Here are some suggestions to consider BEFORE you make your next purchase:
1. Pay only with cash or check. Stop using your credit cards. Try this for one month. You will find you think and plan more–much more. Plus, at the end of the month you will find you will have spent far less than normal for the ―normal‖ things of life. (Credit card companies have statistics to show that you will normally spend 34% more if you use credit as compared to cash.)
If you really want some excitement in your life, go on a cash only basis AND carry a small note pad to write down everything you spend down to one penny. This simple exercise will help you identify and correct some of your poor spending habits.
2. Is the thing you want to buy a necessity or an indulgence? Can you meet the need for this thing in any other way?
3. Does it reflect your Christian ethics? For example, what magazines, TV, radio, INTERNET, etc., do you allow into your home? Do you even know what is in your home?
4. Is this the very best possible price you can get? Are you buying on impulse? You are if you don’t take the time to check around for better prices—check Consumers’ Reports, etc.
5. Is it a highly depreciative item? If it is, look for a better alternative. For example, you can choose to buy used cars and appliances. You can also choose to buy basic cars and appliances and forgo some or all the bells and whistles.
6. Does it require costly upkeep? There is nothing wrong with Christians owning boats, motor homes, lake lots, swimming pools, etc. But, before you buy, consider the cost of upkeep. Many folks get into trouble because they can afford to buy, but cannot afford to maintain.
7. Can you rent or borrow rather than buy? You don’t have to own all that you use or enjoy.
8. And finally, does it bring you closer to God?
Any other questions or thoughts I missed?