5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying Expensive Items

I’m sure it’s pretty obvious by now that I’m not really the type of person that makes spontaneous decisions about expensive purchases. Seriously, it took me FOUR months to buy a bed base when I moved in to my current house… four goddamn months!

No matter what expensive item I’m buying, I always ask myself the same 5 questions before deciding if I really want to drop any money on it. It doesn’t matter if I’m splurging on something as big as a new car, or something smaller like an expensive new piece of clothing, new furniture, or a new coffee machine; I’ll still ask myself these same 5 questions and you should too…

1. Can You ACTUALLY Afford This?

It’s important to get real with yourself here and think long and hard about whether or not you can actually afford the item. If you were to spend this money, would you still be able to pay rent? Would you still be able to pay for groceries, or go out for dinner with your friends? Would you still be able to maintain your lifestyle after spending this money? If you’re about to buy an expensive item, and you’re not sure that you’ll be able to answer yes to those questions, then you can’t actually afford to buy it.

ALSO, just because you have the option to buy expensive items with AfterPay, doesn’t mean you can actually afford it. Similarly, putting an expensive item on your credit card does not mean that you can actually afford it. In fact, if you can only buy something because you’re chucking it on AfterPay or on your credit card, you can’t really afford that item at all. Re-assess your budget, work your ass off to save your money and splurge on the expensive item when you can actually afford to.

2. Can You Afford It TWICE?

When thinking about an item, take a leaf out of Jay Z’s book and tell yourself that “if you can’t buy it twice, you can’t afford it.”

It’s all well and good to have the cash ready to go, but I believe that you shouldn’t be buying expensive items with your last remaining dollars. Being able to afford something twice might not really relate if you’re buying a house or a car but, to maintain your lifestyle after an expensive purchase, you should still have extra money tucked away in a savings account or an emergency fund. If you need to forfeit your entire new worth to be able to afford this item, then you’ve gotta think again about it.

3. Is It Going To Make You Happy A Year From Now?

Think about this. Are those new Lulu Lemon tights still going to make you smile in twelve months time? Is that new iPhone going to be worth all that money you just spent on it? Are you still going to be using that treadmill this time next year? In a year, will you still be making celery juice every morning with that $500 juicer you just splurged on?

If you can’t imagine that this expensive purchase is still going to be making you happy in a year, then get a grip and walk away from it before you waste your money.

4. Is This The BEST Price You Can Get?


Seriously, it works way more often than you probably think. Take for example, if you’re going to buy a coffee machine or some headphones at JB HI-FI. Ask them what the best price for this item really is, and I can guarantee that you will get a discount. I scored a $119 Nespresso machine for $89 last year at JB HI-FI when I asked this question.


Just the other day I spent a few hundred dollars on a product. I was quoted $750 by Company A (who I wanted to go with) and $650 by Company B. I gave proof of the cheaper quote to Company A and they price matched the lower price. Check out the reply I got:

If you don’t ask, you won’t receive. Simple as that.


The key to saving your dollars is research, research, research!

Find the best in-store or online price for your item and see if you can get money back through apps like Cash Rewards, ShopBack or discounts through Honey. Don’t spend your money until you are damn sure you are getting the best possible price for your item.

5. Is There An Alternative?

If you’ve somehow managed to make it to this final question, you’re pretty bloody close to securing that expensive item for yourself. However, you still need to address whether or not there’s an alternative option to you splurging on this expensive item (which kinda sucks, sorry).

Let me give you some examples:

  • Do you really need to spend $200 on a SMEG toaster when the $15 Kmart toaster does the exact same thing?
  • Do you really need to buy a brand new $30,000 car or would a used car suit you just fine?
  • Do you really need to splurge on the latest iPhone model or will the three-year old model make you just as happy?

If there’s an alternative item that is going to bring you just as much happiness as the expensive item, for a fraction of the price, then don’t waste your cash unnecessarily.

If you’ve thought long and hard about these questions and realised that you can comfortably afford your expensive item without breaking the bank, the item is still going to make you happy a year from now, you’re getting the best bang for your buck AND there’s no alternative, then you bloody deserve to treat yourself to it. Go get em.

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The Stingy Bitch

Based in Sydney, Australia.
Created in 2020.

This site and all of it’s contents are provided for entertainment purposes only and do not constitute personal financial advice. All products that are mentioned are general product advice only, not personal product advice. Not all options are presented and my opinions are subject to change. All content and posts have been prepared as a general summary only and is not intended to be financial advice with respect to any particular matter. This post should not be relied on with respect to any particular matter. If you have questions about any aspect of the content or this site or otherwise require personal financial advice, you ought to seek financial advice. The author disclaims liability to any person who relies on this post.

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Published by thestingybitch

A Twenty-Somethings Guide to Saving Money Whilst Still Living Your Best Life

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