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The 10 Second Rule

In my previous post,  We discussed the importance of differentiating needs and wants. Needs are purchases that we need to survive/lead a fulfilled life. Wants are purchases that we can do without and they generally serve as a status symbol. These purchases are also the ones that do not create any lasting value.

Often, while shopping in a mall or a superstore, we would not start evaluating each purchase and classify it as a want or need. The shopping list is usually the best way to tackle this situation.

However, if you really find yourself in such a situation, I have a perfect solution for you. It is called the 10-second rule and I first came across it on TheSimpleDollar, one of my favorite personal finance blogs.

Whenever you are about to purchase an item that is not on your list and yo cannot seem to avoid purchasing it, wait for 10 seconds, think whether you can do without this purchase, would this purchase really add value to you in the long term or can this money be put to some alternate better use?

For example, suppose you are in a shopping mall and just see a t-shirt that you have to buy, think about whether you really need a new t-shirt or do you already have enough? If you don’t, can you buy a cheaper alternative instead of a “branded” one? If you already have enough t-shirts, can you defer this purchase to a time when you really need one? You get the drift. Simply by reflecting on the purchase, we can often make a rational decision and save some money in the process.

Do you like this tip or do you have one of your own? Please share your thoughts with me. Till we meet again!

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