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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How to avoid buying things you don't need

To avoid buying things you do not need, logical steps may apply. These steps are shop with focus, stick to a list, think about what you buy, stay within a budget and buy things you want separately from things you need. The reason these techniques work is because they do not allow the opportunity to buy things you do not need.

Another method that is used to avoid buying things you do not need is shopping with cash only. However doing so might only ensure a certain amount of money is spent while shopping, but it doesn't necessarily prevent the purchase of unneeded unless additional techniques are followed.

Shop with focus


Shopping with focus means concentrating on the purpose of the shopping and what is to be bought. By focusing distractions such as store displays, and clearance deals on unneeded things become easier to pass by. Focusing also helps develop a sensible pattern of shopping that becomes habit after repetition.

Stick to a list


Even if you are focused while shopping there's a chance you'll lose that focus just for long enough for an unneeded product to enter your mind and shopping basket. When you regain consciousness you might find an excuse has developed to justify the purchase. For example, "It's not on the list but I only recognized the need when I saw it at the store." If it can't be thought of ahead of time, it's probably not that important of a 'need' if it’s a need at all.

Think about items


When making a list of things to buy or locating needed items in a store thinking about each item individually can help assess whether or not that need is real and how money can be saved on the need. For example, needs can be justified for all kinds of reasons, so to avoid this, making another list of needs from highest to lowest can help prioritize and weed out more dubious needs.

Stay within a budget


Budgets like the cash only buying method give financial guidelines that if stayed within, help ensure financial stability. With credit the opportunity to go outside of a budget becomes all too real so making sure credit card spending is either paid for within a budget or avoided altogether can help reduce or avoid buying things you do not need.

Buy wants separately


Never buying things you want is somewhat prohibitive and can lower the quality of your life. However, with that in mind, wants are best regulated with the above buying techniques. Another way to avoid buying things you do not need when you are shopping for those specific items is to buy allowed wants separately. This ensures confusion among the two types of items won't occur while shopping.

Wanted things combined with aggressive sales and marketing methods make shopping an offensive assault on one's wallet. To protect yourself from exploits of consumer behavior, and avoid buying things you don't need when you don't want them, practicing methods like those listed above can be helpful. Even if they don't work 100 percent, don't give up using failure as an excuse to buy wanted things, as that's another trick the mind can use on itself to get what it wants and not what it needs.