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How to avoid spending on things that you would later regret buying?

Henil Shah
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How to avoid spending on things that you would later regret buying?

We all work to earn money not just for fulfilling our basic requirements, but also to enjoy life. However, due to our lifestyle and spending habits, the happy life comes to an end when things do not go as planned as we end up dealing with bunch of unwanted stuff. It is a waste of money if spending on items or experiences does not improve or enhance life. So, it is important to spend wisely to avoid future regrets, which is easier said than done. However, if you can follow the few tips given below, it would help you to make spending decisions which you will not regret in future.

1. Consider how much you earn on an hourly basis
While shopping, it is easy to forget how hard you have worked to get that particular item. So, to make sure that it does not happen, consider how many hours you need to work for each such purchases that you make. If your earning is on a hourly basis, then the calculation of the same becomes easy. However, if you receive your salary on a monthly basis, then you need to calculate your per hour earning. Say, for example, you earn a salary of Rs 30,000 per month and you have a 9-hour work shift and you work for 22 days in a month. Then your total working hours in a month would be 198 (9 hours x 22 days) and your per hour earning would be Rs 152 (Rs. 30000/198 hours). Now, say you wish to buy an item worth Rs. 1,000, then to buy it, you need to work for about 7 hours. Now, you need to think whether that item is worth 7 hours of your efforts? If yes, then surely go ahead and buy it. 

2. Use your credit card with care
Credit card and internet have enticed many towards impulsive shopping. This is due to the ease and convenience when you buy things on just a click of the mouse. However, if you make the purchasing experience a bit difficult, then the chances of splurging on things you don’t need may reduce to a great extent. This you can do by avoiding the use of credit card. It is always better to use credit cards at the time of emergencies only.

3. Implement 24-hour rule
You buy an item without giving a thought and later get upset when you realise that the thing you bought is not proving to be useful. So, to avoid such instances, it is better to implement the 24-hour rule for any purchase, say, above Rs 5,000 (This can be anything that you feel is big). So, when you implement the 24-hour rule, you would never buy an item which is more than Rs 5,000 (or as per the limit decided by you) without waiting for 24 hours from the time you felt you wish to buy it. In these 24 hours, what you would do is that you would check the reviews of the item that you are buying, compare it with other items which may be cheaper and get your job done. However, after 24 hours, if you still feel that you really wish to buy the same item, then at least you will have no regret as you have taken enough time to think about it.

4. Take having a budget seriously
You can avoid any impulsive purchase if you have a budget in place and follow it. Have a budget in place and allocate some part to such impulsive purchases. This will help you to buy things without guilt and without affecting other important purchases due to servicing of credit card bills. You can even have a financial goal for such items where in you can start an SIP for such goal every month and withdraw from the corpus when you require to make such purchases. This will ensure that your other cash flows remain unaffected and you can also buy things that you desire without having any regret.

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