Today’s technology brings so many luxuries for us. We have become so accustomed to all the gadgets that we have come to feel we can’t live without them. But having all of these luxuries adds up to a large ticket price.

Before you purchase these luxuries, consider how it will affect your budget or savings/debt level. Some of my wife’s favorite simple luxuries are the quick pre-made meals that give her more time, but she avoids them most of the time (if not equal or cheaper in value to the home-made version) to save on our grocery purchases.

Follow these steps to spend your money wisely:

  1. Begin by making a list of all of your needs and wants (group the needs together and wants together with the needs at the top of your list) with the cost next to each item.
  2. Prioritize each in order of importance.
  3. Identify how much free money you have and when it is available, then which need/want fits with that, but remember to save up the $$s for the needs before spending the $$s on wants
    • This step has become much faster and easier for us through CalendarBudget. We put each need and want into our budget where it won’t put us in the red (we look at the projected balance for that day to see if it’s in the red or not after putting our possible purchase in). If we find it’s going to put us in the red that day we can easily move it to another day where it won’t break our budget.
  4. Make a list of the benefits and drawbacks from purchasing the item (especially for the big purchases) and identify any ways we could save on the purchases. Free is the favorite price when it’s available. Occasionally it’s better to buy the more expensive one, because the cheaper price may mean cheaper quality and so, in the long run, would end up spending more having to replace the item over and over. Also, take into consideration any additional expenses that would come with the item.

Warning to self, when making these purchases, be aware of your motivation behind the purchase. Avoid purchasing just because your neighbor/friend has one of those. If you try to keep up with someone else you will probably end up digging a big debt hole for yourself and thus not really own anything because it’s all bought on credit.