As college students, we know very well how hard it is to earn a penny. For two weeks, you work long and hard, sweat and cry; and then do it all over again the following two weeks—the hustle never ends. Payday then arrives and boom all your money is gone and you’re broke again (insert crying emoji here).
It’s important for us to keep track of the money we work so hard to earn, and it’s vital to make sure we are financially secured till the next paycheck. Most of us tend to buy on impulse and don’t spend our money wisely. You want to make sure that all those hours you put in at work are worth it.
As someone who knows how quickly money can be gone in a day, I have compiled a list of six things to ask yourself before buying anything. In the hopes that it’ll encourage you to be more conscious of your spending habits and maybe save you a dollar or two.
1. Do I actually need it?
I plead guilty to buying on impulse. I’ll walk into a store, see a sale and somehow manage to convince myself that I need a certain item. Before acting on impulse, take a minute to think about whether you need the item you picked up. If you concluded that you can live without it, will probably forget about it, or eventually change your mind, odds are you don’t need it! (Photo via @stylefromalexis)
2. Will this product eventually go on sale, and can I save money by waiting?
Insider tip: As someone who works in retail, I can promise you that almost everything eventually goes on sale. One thing I like to do is walk into different stores and glance around the departments. I take into account the things that catch my attention, and then predict what could eventually go on sale. I then come back a couple of weeks later and check if those same items are still there, and if they were marked down. Let’s just say that 8 times out of 10 it did. And trust me you’ll appreciate waiting when you realize how much the original price was to what it is now. (Photo via @velvetnvinyl)
3. Do I feel excited about this product?
If you spot an item and it makes you excited, then there’s a good chance it might be worth spending on it. If you walk out of the store and go home, and you’re still thinking about the item, this probably means you really want it and will get a lot of use out of it. It’s important to love what you buy, especially if it’s on the pricier side. (Photo via @sarahmaberry)
4. Will I actually wear it or use it more than once?
When deciding on buying anything, it’s important to consider whether you will use it, and if you’ll use it more than once. If they answer is no, then you don’t need it. Why waste money on a product that is just going to sit in your room collecting dust. You just wasted hard, earned money for nothing. Make sure that what you buy is worth it. Trust me you’ll feel proud to know it was a smart purchase. (Photo via @brisaamarr)
5. Can I afford to buy it?
So, I know wish we can spend money without looking at our bank accounts, but unfortunately this isn’t the case. A way to be responsible about your finances is asking yourself if it’s okay for you to spend. You want to make sure that all your priorities like your bills are taken care of before spending money. You don’t want to risk not having enough money to pay your bills because you decided those shoes were more important. I always make sure to pay off my bills before buying myself anything. It’s a great way to be responsible and keep track of where my money goes. (Photo via @brisaamarr)
6. Is it cheaper somewhere else?
Newsflash: Almost every retail store sells similar products! Which means it’s up to you to figure out who’s selling it for an overpriced price and who’s affordable. There is no shame in checking out different stores and comparing prices. In fact, this makes you a smart shopper and not someone to be fooled! You’d be surprised to find out how many places are overpricing items for no reason. Once you learn what store carries what and how their prices work, you’ll think twice before making any purchase. (Photo via @sarahgargano29)
So, now that you have these tips, will you think twice before swiping that card again? Let us know in the comments below, what your current spending habits are, and if you plan on using any of the mentioned tips!