Careful planning before purchasing

Last week, we talked about making careful decisions with our money.  I decided to throw in some tips this week that reflect the biblical perspective written here and here.

Before buying small- or big- ticket items, consider what my husband and I have learned or observed over the years.

1.  Determine the need.  Consider these three options versus buying.

  • Maybe the item you want to buy can be borrowed instead.  In our extensive family, big-ticket items like carpet steam cleaners or pressure washers are often borrowed from family members when needed.
  • If the item you want to buy is broken, maybe it can be repaired.  I can’t tell you how many countless times we have fixed our 1966 lawnmower.  It has given Mike, my husband, added skills in working on small engine motors.  Maybe you too will gain skills by repairing or restoring.
  • Try replicating the item yourself at a lower cost.  I have a friend who wanted a large bookshelf for her family room.  After comparing prices, she found that the bookshelf would cost less if she designed and built it herself.  By the way, it looks gorgeous.

2.  Make an informed decision before buying.  Investigate the quality of craftsmanship.  Will the item hold up during wear and tear and be worth the amount you will pay?

You can answer this question by getting information from family, friends, or co-workers who have already purchased the item. Combine this knowledge with reliable consumer information from the internet.  Also talk with those who sell the item and ask which brand is the best and why.  You may want to ask specifically what brand is sold the most and why consumers are buying that particular brand over another one. Or ask the differences between each brand.

I hope these tips have encouraged you, join me tomorrow as we continue.

Charlotte

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