Pause before you pay (part I)


In the rush of daily life, the urge to make spontaneous purchases can be compelling. Yet, giving in to this impulse often leads to clutter, not just in our homes but in our financial lives as well. 

Warren Buffett wisely advised, “If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need.” This caution speaks volumes about the value of pausing before making a purchase.

Preventing Impulse Buys

The first benefit of taking a moment before reaching for your wallet is the opportunity to question the necessity of a purchase. Is this item something you’ve been planning to buy, or is it just a momentary desire triggered by clever marketing or fleeting emotions? Stopping to reflect can help you avoid the quick thrill of impulse buying, which often fades into regret.

Alignment with Financial Goals

Every purchase or investment you make has the potential to either advance or detract from your financial goals. This makes pausing before a purchase not just prudent, but essential. 

Ask yourself: Does this purchase align with my long-term aspirations? For instance, if your goal is to travel more, weigh the immediate satisfaction of a new outfit against the enduring memories and pleasure of a future trip. 

Beyond typical savings, consider diverse investment avenues as well. Investing in stocks might offer potential returns and liquidity, but alternative investments like art could align with personal passions and provide aesthetic enjoyment while still appreciating in value over time. 

As Oprah Winfrey insightfully remarked, “Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time.” This philosophy encourages not just thoughtful spending but also daring and diversifying your investment choices, pushing you to explore options beyond the conventional, thereby broadening your financial horizon and potentially enriching your personal and financial growth.

Reduces Buyer’s Remorse

Nothing is more frustrating than purchasing something only to realise it wasn’t necessary, or it doesn’t bring the joy you expected. By pausing, you give yourself the chance to really think about how much you’ll use the item and whether it’s worth the cost. This mindfulness can significantly decrease the likelihood of buyer’s remorse.

By adopting a mindful approach to spending, not only do you save money, but you also ensure that your purchases bring real value and joy into your life. This practice of pausing helps cultivate a deeper understanding of your financial habits and fosters a more intentional lifestyle.

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