Online shopping has made it easy for consumers to buy almost anything at the push of a button. That is exactly why buying items on an impulse is so easy. A variety of factors affect our decision-making process and the reasoning behind each new purchase, especially during hectic shopping times like the holiday season.

These eight simple questions might help us comprehend our shopping better and perhaps spend our hard-earned money more wisely.

1. Do I really need it?

At first, this seems like a simple question to answer, but when it comes down to the reality of it, we human beings are very capable of finding flimsy reasons to justify purchasing something that perhaps we shouldn’t.

Ask yourself what you’re going to be using this item or service for? Is it for a practical reason? Is for decoration? Do you really need it?

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2. What’s my budget?

When considering buying something new it pays to stick to a financial budget.

A budget can be your best friend. Expensive credit card charges are the last addition to a lovely new purchase that anyone wants. Sticking within a budget, no matter how big or small, allows you to really enjoy your new things without feeling guilty over an unaccounted overspend.

It’s always best to keep this in mind especially around certain times of the year where overspending would be considered normal; it doesn’t have to be.

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3. Have I done enough research?

Purchasing an item, especially a big ticket item, calls for a little research. If you choose to buy something that will last longer, then always check if the price tag fits the item’s quality. Not more than once have we bought something pricy that didn’t last long. Should you consider saving and paying slightly more for a product if it’s guaranteed to last longer, meaning you’re not constantly shelling out for rubbish replacements that end up costing more in the long run? The answer to that is probably ‘yes.’

Alternatively, taking some time to think about your potential purchase is a good idea. If you’re still thinking about a week or two later, it might be worth the buy.

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4. Do I really like it?

Advertisers make a living by convincing consumers to buy their specific product by highlighting additional extras; a great example is in the cellphone market offering bigger and better features than in their previous edition. So, ask yourself if you need all the new whizzy add-ons in the long run or perhaps you need them right here and now.

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5. Does it make me feel better about myself?

Regardless of the great promos offered out there, our decision to buy is largely influenced by our emotions. More often than not, we’d love to tap on that instant satisfaction that makes us feel so good. This product shirt makes me proud because it’s unique and make me look smart, or this laptop is top notch and I nailed a bargain. Well, our feelings can’t be ignored obviously, but maybe just maybe, our feeling of greatness will vanish soon and we might have used the money to buy something of more value in the long run? Hmm…

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6. Am I getting the best for my money?

Although having access to online shopping makes buying items super easy, make sure that the product shown online is the product that is going to be delivered to your porch.

Reading reviews before buying is a guaranteed way to assure your money is well spent. See what other ReviewMaster members are saying about the brands, companies, and apps they buy from and use. You can even discover the best websites related to the type of service or product you’re interested in.

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7. What’s the return policy?

As boring and play it safe as that sounds it’s well worth knowing what you can expect if something breaks or turns out to be very different from what you were expecting. Being stuck with something that’s new and useless can leave you feeling frustrated and affect how you see the company or seller that provided it.

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8. Am I buying this out of habit?

Some common examples of habit purchases can be found around buying birthday or holiday gifts. These touchpoint areas are where consumers are encouraged by advertising or social pressures to make those often-regrettable impulse buys. It also works the same way with services. We may be required to have some of these services like insurance, but are we getting the best deal? Sometimes we choose to stick with something that costs more money in the long run because of the hassle of changing supplier.

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Having checked off all the questions, you should now be able to make more reasonable purchases in the future. There’s nothing wrong with buying something you want if you know that making the purchase isn’t out of your price range and that spending that money won’t impact on other areas of your life. By slowing down and thinking about the reasons behind your purchases you may be able to make beneficial changes to your shopping habits.