Welcome to the Should I Say No? test. This test should help you if:
- You want to know how to stop spending for 30 days, or a year, or infinity on little extras or big treats
- You want to know how to stop spending on clothes, accessories, entertainment, tech, travel, “beauty”, food and drink on the go…Whatever your poison is that eats all your “disposable” income!
Considering a complete shopping ban? Or do you just need a bit of help now and again taking your finger off the spending trigger? I’ve compiled a list of questions we can ask ourselves to help think about whether something is really value for money.
Do you ever get that tingly sensation that you’re about to buy something you don’t really need? Or that you’re going to regret a year from now? Perhaps we simply know that we’ve been overspending lately and something somewhere’s gotta give. I hope this list helps you spend more mindfully.
I’m a big believer in investing in yourself. If you can’t learn something or make money from what you’re eyeing up, then ask yourself these questions…
How To Stop Spending: The Should I Say No? Test
- #1 Do you already own something like it or something that could do the same job? (Be inventive)
- #2 How many hours would you have to work to pay for it?
- #3 What time is it? Our willpower is lower late at night apparently!
- #4 Do you want it because someone else has got one? Change your name to Jones Kardashian.
- #5 Do you have any credit card/loan debt?
- #6 How are you going to pay for it? With points/vouchers? Or with a cashback credit card? With money you don’t have yet?
- #7 Do you have space for this item at home if it’s a product?
- #8 Are you planning to move soon and willing to lug this with you?
You’re halfway there…Have you lost the urge yet??
- #9 Could you borrow it or put it on a gift wish list?
- #10 Will you or someone you lend it to use it daily or weekly?
- #11 Are you replacing something you already own?
If no, then you can probably live without it.
If yes, then does it really need replacing?
- #12 Could you get a deeper discount in future or get it used?
- #13 Is this your first impulse to buy the thing or have you spent time thinking about it?
- #14 Do you have an idea of how to earn the amount you want to spend?
- #15 Would you rather have this thing today, or achieve your savings goal sooner rather than later? (Will it help you achieve a savings goal despite the initial outlay?)
- #16 Does it belong in your spending priorities? Would you rather have this thing today or achieve your goal in future? Will your future self thank you for buying it?
- #17 If you’ve made it this far, then research whether another brand will give you the same quality cheaper.
If you’ve made this far you may be exhausted and find all desire has evaporated.
Congratulations, you don’t need ****!
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If you’re wondering why #16 is so low down in the list, then perhaps you’re already clear on your spending priorities. But for those of us who aren’t, only getting through the questions beforehand can help us the realise the answer to #16 in the long term.
When we know the few categories or items we are happy to spend on regardless of our overall goal (or because they support that goal indirectly), we can then apply #17 and get the best value from our spending priorities.
To make this list quicker in future take photos or a count of all the clothes you own that you haven’t worn yet, books you haven’t read, DVDs you haven’t watched in the past month etc. Looking at these will remind you that you already have some fashion and entertainment at your fingertips.
The more I used this list, the more I found the value in people, instead of things, and appreciated what I already owned. Get a kick out of saying no. What does saying no to impulse buying allow you to say yes to in the long-term?
What if the product or service you’re thinking of buying passes this test? Then I hope to help you find the best value for money in as many categories as possible. I’ll aim to link to any pages with that intent on the resources page:
So far there’s a page if you want to know how to stop spending on food so much, and a page of taste tests to get better value for money from brands.
How to stop overspending: make a pledge to yourself
If you want to know how to change spending habits for life, also try this post on the mindset behind how to spend less money:
Leave a comment on that post if you want to pledge to yourself to stop spending this year on the things that don’t really matter to you in the grand scheme. Especially if impulse buying is making you unhappy after the fact.
Do you have ideas on how to substitute worn out items with what we already have? Was there something you realised you didn’t need anymore under #11? Where do you have the best luck with secondhand or free finds for #12?
Have you started a side hustle because of #14? Which brands saved the day under #16? Remember, sharing is caring… Comment on the post above and mention this page so I know which part of the blog led you to sharing your wisdom.
Good luck my fellow bears!