Thursday, June 11, 2009

Retail Therapy: Need this?

Let's just put the obvious out there: Shopping is fun. Getting a coveted item of clothing, a new set of golf clubs, the latest electronic device, or a tube of red lipstick makes us feel good. When you're out shopping and caught up in a wave of the "gimmes", it gets hard to differentiate between needs and wants. After all, the dress is cute, right? And it's 20% off, right? So what's the harm in throwing it in your shopping bag?

Well, there's no harm if it's in the budget. And there is absolutely no harm if you really need it. But there you have it ... the two big questions you have to ask yourself before you hand over the debit card: Do I need it? Can I afford it? If you answer "No" to either one, put the item back and move on. Each time you resist an impulse purchase, you are one step closer to sticking to your budget. (And maybe even one step closer to a cuter dress that is an even better deal at a time when you can afford it and do need it. Delayed gratification can be your friend!)

More on Retail Therapy to come ...

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