Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Golden Rule of Buying Stuff

Hi. Welcome to The Finance Gym Action Plan for a Better Life with Money video series. My name is Stacey Powell, and if you’re ready to not just know better about your money but do better, then you’ve come to the right place.

Today we’re going to be talking about the golden rule of buying, and it comes out of the chapter of the book called Buying Stuff. In that chapter of course at some point, I get around to talking about buying a home, buying a car, buying a college education.

But at the beginning of the chapter, I take us all the way back to what we should have learned when we were kids, what hopefully some of our parents taught us. But we know most of our parents, they didn’t teach us this stuff. So now it’s time to start learning, and I start by teaching you about how to buy a bike.

Maybe it’s a $500 bike, $100 bike. You could spend $1000, $3000 on a bike and so what I ask you to do in the chapter is practice some mindfulness techniques when you’re buying. My golden rule of buying is ask how much and get 3 quotes. That’s not just when you’re buying a car, but that’s also when you’re buying a $200 piece of electronics or when you’re getting a root canal from your dentist.

When you are buying anything, just practice asking how much and that way, when you’re buying a house or a car or a really big ticket item, you’ve practiced what you should have practiced when you were kids so that it became easier.

Can you imagine asking how much? Something that the doctor’s office is going to cost. I found for many people it’s uncomfortable and becomes more comfortable when we just practice. So here’s what I would like you to do. The next thing you’re going to buy that is in that kind of mid-range couple of hundred dollars, several hundred dollars, I want you to do these 4 things.

I want you to get paper and pencil out, and I want you to do a little journaling about how important is it that you have the best of this thing you’re buying.
  1. What would make a difference if you bought a new one or a used one? 
  2. How many years do you plan on having this thing you’re going to buy? 
  3. Then the last and most important question. If you bought the less expensive one if you’re going to buy a bike and you’re going to buy an inexpensive used bike or a really expensive brand new one, what are you going to do? 
  4. If you choose the less expensive one and you’re going to save all that money, what would you do with that extra money if you chose the less expensive one? 
So I encourage you just to practice the mindfulness around your buying and practice on smaller stuff where the stakes aren’t quite so high as they are when you’re buying a house or a car. Let me know how it goes.

If you want to know where to let me know how it goes, come into our Facebook group Team Do Better and you can chat with me in our private group. You can also sign up for our newsletter at and subscribe for our YouTube video series. Now go out there and practice some mindful buying.

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