Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

12 reasons not to spend

Did the recent Mega Sales turned out to be an expensive affair for you? If you regret the “bargains” which you bought but is unlikely to use, you will regret even more when the credit card statements come  in. 
 
Often people spend for the wrong reasons, and the Mega Sales with all its hype seems to bring out the worst in them.

In order not to be caught off-guard by the next sales, do not buy if  the excuse for buying falls into any of the 12 below:
 
1.     It’s expected of me... Many people act or spend money according to what they feel is expected of them. For example, a successful professional may feel that he ought to be driving a BMW, not his faithful Proton Saga.

Many give in to these “ought tos” because they are afraid of what friends, neighbours or relatives will say if they do not conform to what is expected of them. Some of the more common “ought tos” are listed below:
  •  holding a lavish wedding (even though it means having to dig into your retirement savings)    
  •  keeping up appearances expected of your standing (even though you will be more comfortable, say, if you do not have to be always conscious of not scratching the expensive furniture);
  •  lavishing expensive gifts on your family to prove how much you care (even though you could have expressed your love in other ways).
2.     But everyone in the neighbourhood has one... You don’t even have time to watch local television but you’re subscribing to Astro just because all your friends and relatives have one. That’s a sheer waste of money.

3.     I really ought to buy something because the sales person has been so nice to me and I have taken up so much of her time... Sales assistants do not expect to make a sale with each and every customer. So a nice thank you and an apology for not finding anything you like will be enough.

4.     It would cost a lot just to fix up the old appliance... Don’t assume that it is not going to be worthwhile to have the appliance repaired. Get an estimate of the repair costs before deciding on a new appliance.

5.     It’s so pretty and cute. That may be so but it probably has a price to match and besides you don’t need it. Do not give in to impulse buying.

6.     It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity... Maybe, but for whom? It could be the last opportunity for the retailer to get rid of a product which will be outdated once the latest model floods the market in a few weeks’ time.

7.     I am sick of shopping and my feet hurt... Then go home and finish your shopping another day. Don’t buy something which is going to hurt your purse a lot more than your feet are hurting now.

8.     It will keep peace in the family... Perhaps, but at what cost? Not is it only cheaper decision but it may teach the members of the family the art of give and take.

9.     It’s just this once and I owe it to myself... Perhaps, but only if you have not used this excuse for the last few months and the purchase will not burn a hole in the family budget.

10.    I know I can’t afford it but... If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it.

11.    It isn’t exactly what I need but... No buts, get what you set out to buy or else it might not be fit for the purpose and you will end up still having to buy what you intended to originally.

12.    Why not?... Because you will be throwing good money down the drain, that’s why.