Written by: Phindile Le Bris Sithole-Spong
It’s easy to get swept up in buying the latest gadgets, fashion items or even eating out. But often times when we make purchases, we don’t think about if what we are buying is something we just want or something we need. As someone who has fallen into the online shopping hole one too many times. I can tell you that the struggle is real. And sometimes hitting “buy” just feels so good even if you know you don’t need something. However as a home owner and a new mother I have come to learn that sometimes I have to put what matters to me and my family first over what I just want.
This can mean making sure our bills are paid, or that we have some savings for any emergencies. What ever the case, for both my husband and I, it is a constant balancing act of deciding what we want, what we need and what we cant live without. Which is why when buying something it is important to make sure that I ask myself these questions;
- Do I need this?
- If not then do I have the funds to buy it without compromising on our families needs?
- If not then ask if you can save to buy that thing later?
This may seem like a long way to go about spending money but as someone who works, I can tell you that when you start to think about how hard you work to make your money, you will be less likely to spend it on things that don’t matter. Or things that you just don’t really need. Another good way to go about it is to ask yourself if something adds to your life. For instance, for my husband and I going out to dinner or lunch is a must. As new parents we rarely get to go out and don’t party much either. So when we can we eat out together as a family.
This is a good change of pace but also a way to reconnect outside of our home. Which when you have a baby can be a stressful and messy place. So sitting out, eating good food and drinking good wine is a great way to decompress. And whilst it is a luxury, it is one worth making for us. It also is not one we make every single day or without considering the complete cost.
When it comes to other things that we love we also try find alternative methods to get them. As someone who loves clothes and looking good, I have realized that instead of spending X amount on a new outfit. I can spend a fraction of that on a new outfit from a second hand or consignment store. This is not only better for my wallet but also better for the environment. So what ever it is that you want or need its important to ask yourself if there is another way to spend your money. In a way that is well thought out and that will make you feel good in the moment and after you have swiped your card.