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Humming Money: A simple checklist to help evaluate each purchase

2010 May 17

Since I’ve been on this strict budget and wallet tightening, I’ve noticed that thoughts of money constantly run through my head.  I call it humming money.  Every purchase causes this humming to grow louder.  Questions emerge, like: Does this fit in my budget? Do I need this? Is there a cheaper alternative? / CC BY-SA 2.0

I hate this!  I wish I didn’t have to evaluate every purchase.  I don’t like having to justify to myself where I spend my money! That’s what husbands are for, right?  I jest.

This whole watching-my-spending thing has been a major life adjustment, and I’m still getting used to it.  I decided that I needed a system that made evaluating purchases less a way of seemingly denying myself of things and more of a way to help me realize my financial goals.

My Humming Money Checklist:

  1. Does this purchase fit my financial goals?  My financial goals are to get out of debt and use my money to help others.  If my answer is yes to this question, I can spend the money.  If not, I proceed to question #2.
  2. Could I survive without this purchase?  Being a woman, this is a hard question.  Could I survive without a good facial moisturizer?  Mascara?  I think each person has to make their own determination on what “survive” means to them.  Facial moisturizers and mascara will make my desert island list every time, so I proceed to question #3.
  3. What is the best value?  This is where I could save the big bucks on my so-called survival items.  Instead of the $28 mascara, I could buy the $9 one.  Maybe I will make a game of it and marvel at the savings.

A lifetime of spending freely is a hard thing to break.  Now that I’ve developed the habit of evaluating purchases, this checklist will help me make sure that I’m making the right choices to reach my goals.

How often do you think about money?  What process do you use when deciding whether or not to buy something?

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2 Responses leave one →
  1. Jim permalink
    May 17, 2010

    dude, this is my sitcheachun exactly…viva le frugaL!

  2. Audrey permalink
    May 17, 2010

    I have a similar system, but I have to admit yours is much more streamlined. Mine is more like a little flowchart in my head. And, I’m a coupon convert, so I sometimes will use the savings from that to offset a splurge (which isn’t always for me; I’m a good gift giver!).

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