No Regrets Spending: Top Tips for Making the Best Buying Decisions for You
As a whole, humans tend to consider themselves to be logical, rational creatures who weigh the ramifications of every decision before jumping into the fray or making a sizable purchase. Actually, few things are further from the truth. Emotional response can play an enormous part in the decision-making process, especially where big-ticket items such as vehicles and residences are concerned.
Emotion vs. logic
According to financial experts at Psychology Today magazine, humans are born with an amazing ability save emotional reactions in a sort of mental ‘filing system’ where they can be instantly retrieved to guide future decisions. For instance, a child who is bitten by a squirrel at a young age will automatically store his or her emotional response to the painful and frightening event. The next time that child sees a squirrel; they will know to leave it alone or risk being re-bitten.
These deeply stored emotional responses come into play in the form of ‘intuition’ or a ‘gut reaction.’ These reflexive responses often govern decision making to the point where emotion overrides logic, especially when making a buying decision.
Rational decision making vs. spur-of-the-moment buying
Emotional decision making happens in an instant and can lead to overspending and regrets. Conversely, a person who relies on rationality takes more time to come to a “to buy or not to buy” conclusion. Studies show that most regretful online impulse purchases happen very quickly, whereas a person who spends time perusing product information and reading reviews tends to make a more carefully considered purchase. A logical person using their rational mind in lieu of their emotional responses generally makes fewer retail regrets than someone who jumps at the first offer they see.
Psychology Today also notes that the more information that is presented on a product page, the more time the typical internet user will spend examining the pros and cons before making a purchase or walking away. More info generally equates with better decision making.
Bustle magazine recommends knowing precisely what you want before spending money on something expensive. Houses and vehicles are probably the biggest purchases a person makes in their lifetime, so it’s worth spending more time deciding where to live or what to drive than you’d spend on ordering lunch from a restaurant menu.
Before you write that big check for a new vehicle, understand every detail of the contract as well as you know the fabulous features of the car, truck or van you want to buy. Reputable dealers will happily provide all the information you need to make an informed buying decision. After all, you may be making payments on that beautiful new Chrysler 200 for a number of years, so be sure it has every feature you desire before signing on the proverbial dotted line.
The older people get, the likelier they are to happily defer gratification. When you put off a big purchase until you have all the details, your new car or house or other large expenditure is a lot less likely to bring on regrets.
Sam Burgess works as a financial consultant and often writes blog posts about saving money, and spending it wisely. He hopes his articles help the ordinary family manage their finances for a happier life.
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