Blog | 6 Questions to Ask Before Making a Large Purchase

Have you been flip-flopping on whether or not to buy that big-ticket item? Even purchases of $100 can seem like a big commitment to some, while others would not bat an eye. To help make the process easier, here are a few questions to ask yourself if you struggle to choose.

Is this purchase in your budget?

Some big-ticket items might not be worth the financial burden you could be putting yourself in. If buying this item will affect your ability to take care of necessities like rent, bills, etc., you might need to find an alternative option on what item you are looking to buy.

If you do not have a budget set up, our Online and Mobile Banking Budgeting tool is available to get you started. For additional assistance, check out our Budget Buddies get some help setting up a budget that works for you.

Is this purchase for something you need or want? 

By definition, needing something means it’s essential while wanting something is the desire to possess an item. However, sometimes these overlap, making decisions harder and more pressing. For instance, you may NEED a new pair of shoes, but you might WANT a particular brand or style.

It isn’t wrong to want something; not every purchase you make has to fit a need. Just keep in mind that if you are unsure about spending money: is this purchase a need or want, and if it overlaps, can you settle for another version?

Are you disappointed or indifferent at the thought of not making the purchase? 

Sometimes you might be fooled by the initial excitement of purchase to determine if it is something you want or need. We see this happen a lot with nostalgic or specialty items. For example, many older games that have been discontinued are revamped to fit the newer console style or an item being sold in limited amounts. This causes the buyer to feel pressured to buy with little time to think things over.

The excitement or pressure to get the item clouds your judgment, and once received, you might feel the decision was a mistake, AKA buyer’s remorse.

How long have you thought about this purchase?

Is this a choice you are making in the moment, or have you gotten some time to think it over? Many times in the moment, purchases are not thought out and researched. You might be missing deals, or the items might be overpriced or of bad quality. If you are in a situation where you have to make a decision today, it’s easy enough to do a quick search online on the seller, brand, or specific thing you are looking at to check prices and reviews.

Are you getting the best price?

Nowadays, shopping makes it super simple to price check, and many stores will even price match items. Always search the item online to see if another store has it cheaper, or if a coupon or a discount code is available.

If you’re a member, don’t forget to check out R1 Cha-Ching to see if there is a special purchase coupon or discount for the store or site you are buying from. This service is available with some of our Spending accounts, so be sure to log in or register to see what savings you might be missing out on.

How are you planning to pay? 

If you have the cash to pay, that is always the first option many people will turn to. However, if you don’t have the cash now or want to keep the money you have saved in case of an emergency, there are a few good loan alternatives.

Credit Cards, Personal Loans, Small Dollar Loans, and Fast Cash Loans are all ways to get money now to make a purchase. These loans can be used for anything you need ranging from school supplies, shoes, travel, appliances, and more.

For the big purchases was always have several types of Auto Loans and Mortgages to fit your needs.

If it can wait, we have the Savings Builder Loan for anyone looking to build their credit history while saving money.

Final Tips

If you are still not sure, here are a few tips to keep in mind while shopping.

  1. Put the item in your cart and walk around the store; you might change your mind or find something better during that time.
  2. Flip a coin. One side is ‘buy’; the other is ‘do not buy.’ When you flip the coin, and it lands, are you disappointed? Something else deciding for you can help clear your head and reveal your true feelings.
  3. Don’t decide on the spot. If you wait a few days and have forgotten all about the item, you might not need or even truly want it.

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