Emotional $pending

Those fabulous red suede shoes may make your pulse race...

Posted 2/24/20

... but they are just as likely to result in long-term debt regret. 

Here are five tips for making smart decisions, without allowing your heart to take over.

1) First, get an accurate …

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Emotional $pending

Those fabulous red suede shoes may make your pulse race...

Posted

... but they are just as likely to result in long-term debt regret. 

Here are five tips for making smart decisions, without allowing your heart to take over.

1) First, get an accurate picture of what it costs to maintain your lifestyle and fund your goals. Getting a clear idea of your fixed and variable expenses and being able to quantify your goals in terms of dollars and timeframes will help you understand what you can comfortably afford to spend in the near term.

2) Ask yourself if you want something or need something before you buy it. If you really need it and you can pay for it right away without touching funds that are earmarked for other important goals, then go for it.

3) Pause and think twice. Take some time between deciding to buy and making the actual purchase (especially for big-ticket items.) Prioritize your expenditures by categorizing them in terms of cost and effect. For example, you should pay your health insurance and car insurance before booking a short-term vacation.

4) Set a budget and make a list before shopping. Whether shopping for groceries, household items or gifts, creating a list - and sticking to it - will help you avoid impulse buys.

5) If you’re unhappy with aspects of your life, buying a whole new wardrobe, moving to a new house or booking a getaway vacation won’t actually provide the fix you’re searching for. You might not be dealing with the real problems you have, so don’t be afraid of internal reflection; it can lead to a whole lot of good!

Remember that your financial priorities should almost always be focused on your long-term goals. A bit of planning and some outside help can go a long way toward better spending decisions.