You see this really nice, shiny thing while you’re off window shopping, and you just simply have to have it. You’re about to whip out your credit card, but then you check the price tag: It costs infinitely more than your weekly budget for food and transportation, and that’s enough to make you think twice about the purchase.

While the temptation to just look away and swipe can be strong, being the smart shopper that you are, you’ll need to practice a bit of self-control and logic. Before deciding on getting that expensive want, you’ll need to ask yourself these questions:

Do you already own something similar?

As your 30s bring about your certainty regarding your lifestyle and sense of style, you gravitate more towards things that scream your personality. However, you may be buying too much of the same thing. How many black dresses do you own (I’m personally guilty of this). Do you really need another high-end eyeshadow palette in neutrals? If you think you already own something interchangeable, then it’s may be best to skip it for another day.

Is there really anything that makes it more special than other products in the same category?

What’s in this expensive purchase that you’re willing to shell out a huge sum for? Does it really have anything unique about it? Think deeply, and don’t be blinded by the brand or the packaging, because you still should be getting real value for your money.

Will you use it often? If not, will it increase in value if you keep it unused?

If you’re planning to buy something with a hefty price tag like a pair of designer shoes, make sure that they’re first and foremost comfortable, and that the style can withstand the changing of seasons and trends. If you’re planning to buy an expensive collectible which you are not planning to take out of the box, then you may first want to make sure that it appreciates as time goes by, and that your money won’t be sitting in your display case gathering dust.

Is there a cheaper alternative?

Cheaper doesn’t directly translate to poor quality, if you know where to look. Sometimes, prices of products can bloat big time, not just because of the brand, but also because of packaging (which is true with most makeup lines). There will always be places that offer the same thing you’re after, but with less bells and whistles. Or if you can, go directly to the source—you may even get to haggle with sellers, too!

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Are you capable of paying for it down the road?

Getting something expensive on a zero-interest installment scheme is a good plan, but you will need to make sure that you’ll still be capable of paying for your purchase three, six months, or one year later. While the cost of the item or the service won’t chalk up additional cash out, late credit card payments will, so best be certain about having enough funds to complete the payment.

H/T: Professional Babe

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