One of the things we love about Italy are the outdoor markets! We can get most everything, and at better prices! But I also love them because it’s a time to stroll through town with friends and neighbors, or to grab an espresso with folks you haven’t seen in a while. A way to integrate into the community, giving everyone a chance to feel part of village life.
Yet they present dangers and temptations! Those good prices just tempt us to buy — even when we don’t need anything!
Oh the dangers of modern life!
Once upon a time, goods were expensive, and people thought purchases over more carefully. But today’s instantaneous society, with its fast food and fast shopping, wreaks havoc in many ways. Unhealthy diets, low-quality goods, built-in obsolescence, and over flowing landfills. We want everything. And we want it right away, no waiting.
Fast food is OK on occasion, but doctors don’t recommend a steady diet of it. Internet, with its immediate results, is wonderful, but it comes with addiction risks. All of this fast stuff has advantages. But not when it comes to shopping!
We do a fair bit of counseling, often dealing with families in financial difficulty. And though the cause is sometimes due to job loss or simply being underpaid, often it’s related to over-spending. Living beyond their means. Failing to live simply, sticking a bit to the side for a rainy day.
So we suggest our Wait and Think Buying Plan.
Wait a few days before buying, especially before buying with credit, asking yourself a few questions:
- Do I actually need it? (And real needs are relatively few.)
- Do I already have something I could use or adapt to work for this need?
- Could I borrow or rent it, instead of purchasing?
- Does it go with my other clothing, home furnishings, or whatever?
- Is it an item I will really wear or use?
- Is it a good buy, or could I shop around for a better one?
- Can I wait until it goes on sale?
- Why pay unnecessary interest — when I could wait until I save up for it?
- Why buy on credit — when I can’t know what problems the future might bring?
Then only after thinking it through, and deciding it’s both a wise choice and something you truly need, go back and buy it.
“But what if it’s no longer there?” some ask. Well, maybe you didn’t really need it, and the Lord kept you from wasting your money.
If overspending leaves you with more month than money, the Wait and Think Buying Plan could reverse that!