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Need, Love, and Want Rule for Purchases

Buying tomatoes with cash.Years ago, I read an article suggesting the "need, love, or want" rule when making purchases. This has worked well for me and I'd like to share my experience.

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When shopping for any item - even groceries, I can ask myself, "Do I really need this?" Obviously, we all need healthy food like vegetables, fruits, lean meats and grains, so that's a no-brainer. This sure eliminates the junk; chips, cookies, most processed foods like sugary cereals, and box mixes that contribute more chemicals than anything else.

Buying clothes and small household appliances - things we use every day - is much easier when I use this rule. Do I really need another tee shirt, jacket or pair of jeans, or that new blender or coffee maker, or do I just want it? Do I just love it? Will it make my life better, and is it worth the outlay? I've learned to ask myself these questions automatically. It's amazing how easily I can walk away from many purchases I would have made and regretted.

For big ticket items like furniture, major appliances, cars, splurges like a vacation or sports equipment, even new houses, the same rules apply. Do I really need a newer, bigger and more expensive house or am I just trying to fill an inner need? Does the car I am looking at fit the "real me" or am I trying to impress someone else? Do I need all the bells and whistles that come with a fancy new washer and dryer, or would the simplest model work just as well? Do I really love that new sofa, chair or desk, or am I just tired of the status quo and want to switch up a bit? Will a Club Med vacation give me happy memories for a long time to come, or am I searching for a break from the ordinary that can be satisfied in other, less expensive ways?

Asking myself why I want to spend has helped me to save not only dollars and cents but a lot of time and energy with items and experiences I didn't really have to have. I highly recommend this method of budgeting.

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April 28, 20150 found this helpful

My mom who passed @ 85, (13 yrs ago), always taught us to ask 3 questions: Do I want it?; do I need it?; can I afford it?; through years of amassing things- I added one more-do I have a place to put it?
My mama was was so wise and took care of us girls so well!. Thanks mom we sure do miss you!

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April 28, 20150 found this helpful

I love these "not buying" tips. I also love the "can I afford it" and the "do I have a place to put it" rule. Think of all the bankruptcies and the hoarding problems that could have been avoided if people had lived by these "very responsible" rules.

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