I just got back from a wonderful trip home visiting my parents, and once again they hit me with some financial knowledge without even meaning too ;)
(Well, my MOM did anyways – my dad just wanted to know how my new “career” was doing w/ blogging. He knows I’ve mastered his two only rules growing up (never put anything on a credit card you can’t pay off, and ALWAYS contribute to your 401(k) at LEAST up to your company match), so now he just wants to make sure I have a salary, haha… and I don’t blame him, sometimes I wonder how long my luck with this gig will last too! ;))
We got on the subject of returning stuff, and how our whole family gets major cases of buyer’s remorse, and my mom was saying she FINALLY figured out how to curb a lot of that, as well as save a lot of money in the process. Her trick is pretty simple: Every time she wants to buy something, or she’s a bit hesitant, she asks her self, “If this breaks, would I be really upset?” If the answer is yes, she usually moves forward with the purchase. If it’s a resounding no, she drops it and moves on (and hopefully it doesn’t break when she drops it! Bah dum-ching.) She also sometimes switches it up and asks herself how she’d feel if someone STOLE IT from her instead. Either way, the point being that if it suddenly goes away from your life, and you’re not too upset about it, you probably shouldn’t be taking it home in the first place. Makes sense, right?
I think I personally need to start doing this myself more and more as time goes on too. The fact that you can now return pretty much anything these days always leaves me with the mentality of “well, I can always return this later if I change my mind” and it always gives me that “out.” Which I usually take 75% of the time! Ooooh, maybe I need to start asking myself a question more along the lines of this!: “If you can never return this, would you still buy it?” Now THAT could do the trick! I guarantee it’ll cut down on at least half of my crazy purchases I always change my mind on 2 hours later! Haha… I like that :) So pretty much I just always need to pretend I’m shopping at a yard sale!
Another thing that came up which was kinda unrelated but also not, was that that friend of a friend of a friend I blogged about last year (who filed bankruptcy TWICE, and then went on a shopping spree shortly after!!) finally made his first return ever! Haha… no joke, apparently he either never knew, or never really thought about it being possible, and when he couldn’t use something he bought recently, he actually went back to return it!! Can you imagine? The guy and his family had been spending and splurging all over the place, buying and foreclosing on homes all the while, and it just now occurred to him that he could have been returning things this whole time if he’d wanted to. Crazy… hopefully he’s just exaggerating his whole “first time” thing here, but ya never know with people these days. Sometimes they just don’t think.
What kind of tricks, or questions, do you ask YOURSELF before picking up something you may not be sure about? Are you a pretty good judge of character, or do you slip up a lot like yours truly? Share away in the comments so we can all hopefully learn from them :) And if anyone wants to steal my mom’s method, go for it! (Why do I smell a mom joke about to happen?)
(Photo by Samuel M. Livingston)
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!