Inside: If impulse buys are draining your wallet, then learn to embrace your inner lazy person see how procrastination saves you money.
When we moved into our house, the previous owners left their 15-year-old washer and dryer. The washer broke down after a month and we replaced it. And as much as I want to replace the almond colored dryer, we keep putting it off. Almost 12 years later, it still works. Procrastination saved us money.
Much of the time, procrastinating is considered a bad thing. Delaying your savings, putting off that doctor’s appointment, and waiting to deal with maintenance issues are all great examples of when procrastination is bad.
But sometimes, it is good. And I am very good at procrastinating.
If you can delay in a good way, you will likely save money. And it is easy to do.
Questions to ask yourself to delay a purchase
Here are a few questions to need to ask yourself before making a purchase.
Do I really need this?
One of the first things I do when contemplating a purchase is to ask myself, “Do I even need this?”.
For example, our dryer. Yes, the dryer is old and that oh-so-lovely almond color. And yet, much to my chagrin, the dryer works. So, my answer year after year has been “no, I do not need this.”
The question also makes me reconsider things like cookware, garden tools, and more. Of course, sometimes the answer is yes. If our daughter’s only soccer ball was lost and she needs it for practice and games, then we get a new soccer ball.
Do I really want or like this?
Sometimes you know you need something but then the question becomes, “do I even like it?”
You could use a sweater at work because management likes to keep the AC going full blast. Any cardigan would work. But if you are spending money on something you’ll be wearing often, why not enjoy it? So, when you ask yourself the question “do I like this?” it slows you down and forces you to ensure that you’ll be happy with the purchase.
How many times have I thought about this?
Another way delaying a purchase saves me money is that it gives me time to consider how often I think about needing or wanting that item.
This is what I do this with kitchen gear. If I consider wanting an item more than 5 times within a short time span (about 3 months) then I know the item will likely get used.
For example, a food processor. Yes, I can do all that chopping with a knife or puree in a blender. Yet several times a month, the food processor we bought saves me a lot of time and effort when preparing meals.
Did I need it? No.
Did I want it? Yes.
Do I like it? Yes.
Do I use it on a regular basis? Yes.
While the food processor is something I didn’t need, it was something I thought about frequently so eventually did buy one. The decision was a good one.
On the other hand, something like mini tart pans would make it easier to bake those cute little tarts. However, I think about it roughly once a year, which is not enough to need to go out and buy a set nor would it get much use.
How procrastination saves you money
Ok, so those questions may slow you down. But what is the benefit here? How does delaying your purchase save you money?
Change of heart
Do people really change their mind, or is “thinking about it” just another waste of time?
There was a consumer procrastination study titled Consumer Procrastination and Purchase Delay that concluded
A consumer presenting a high procrastination has 73% chance to do not decide while a consumer with a low procrastination will delay its purchase in only 26% of the cases. Procrastination predicts if a consumer will effectively buy or not.
There is the proof that procrastinating your buying decisions can save you money.
Find a better price
Even if you are certain you want to buy that dryer or new mixer, delaying gives you time to compare prices. You may find another retailer has a better price, a coupon is available, or you find out the item regularly goes on sale in October.
Delaying may not only help you hunt down a better price but if you wait until you have the cash for large purchases, such as a car, you will save money on interest payments from a loan.
Find a better option
Not only might you find a better price, delaying your decision also gives you a chance to check reviews and comparison shop for similar items. That is not only procrastinating, it is flexing your frugal muscle and making smart decisions.
Related post: 20 Perfectly Normal Things Frugal People Don’t Do
Is procrastination always the best course of action? Of course not. But often, just waiting is the easiest way to save money.