Sunday, August 24, 2008

How to Choose Purchases


Be still my heart. Thou hast known worse than this.
Homer, 850 B.C.

It is definitely not the worst use of your mind and time and money to learn "how to budget". Money you don't spend now can be saved and invested with compound interest to your future benefit. Here are some tips to help you make wise purchase decisions:

1) Relax and take a deep breath. This should be good clean fun. No one can buy everything. Just generally in many ways and for one's whole life, it is necessary to make choices constantly, of what one needs to have and what cannot be kept.

2) Since one needs to choose, and everyone must choose, it is necessary to realize that what one needs is individual and is not the same as the next person.

3) Purchases, most of them, are made on whims.

4) Set priorities. Since everyone has limited resources for keeping all that one would like to, choices must be carefully and thoughtfully made. Consider such factors as:

a) keeping to your budget,
and everyone has one (if one pays for this, can one also pay for something else down the road. How much can one afford to pay for this item and still afford other purchases one must make?)

the utility of the purchase (does one really need it?). Think many times: why buy it? How much does one really need? What one cannot know is what one will not buy if one does buy now. The purchase might be cheaper or better made somewhere else.

c) the wisdom of the purchase (can one give it a good home and keep it well stored? Will it be regretted if it does not fit one's space?)

d) the beauty and desirability of the purchase (as often as possible).

5) Availability which would seem first in importance is actually last and, in America, least in significance. Just because if it is available for purchase does not mean it must be purchased. The internet is making so much available for purchase now that was not available in the past and widening choice. Be philosophical and humble; if it is not there when you want it, then it was somehow not meant to be yours. Save that money for something else. Don't forget that what is coming down the road toward you is likely to be huge and you will want to be ready with the money.

Happiness does not just involve making purchases. Studies show that we derive the most happiness from our relationships with others. lift your self-esteem or erase loneliness. Instead, find lots of ways to increase your cheerfulness. While it may seem that money and purchasing makes the world go around, it is best to aim to expand your friendships and interests. Purchasing to lift self esteem and erase loneliness spends our future benefit when we should be searching and educating ourselves in ways that will always, in many situations, meet these needs. While purchasing is a solitary activity and resourceful use of time, our relationships with others most influence our happiness.

Ultimately the goal of purchasing well is appreciation and satisfaction. Purchase wisely, so that one will not have buyer's remorse, or regret a purchase decision. While I, personally, always try not to judge or define anyone by their purchase decisions because I know how easy it is to make inappropriate purchases, please be aware that many out there do exactly that. We all sometimes make bad decisions from haste or inadequate funds.
Your purchases are your choices and they differentiate you from others. What you think is a wonderful buy is individual to you, and not necessarily widely shared.

Choose carefully, but go ahead and shop. It is one of the great pleasures of life. There is scientific proof that your heart beats faster when a purchase is made and the interaction can be fun. It is a privilege to purchase and and a joy to receive.

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