Lower Your Expenses

How to Justify Large Purchases

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  1. Show Notes

We want you to be sensible with your purchases.  But sometimes you just need a big one!  (Don’t we all). When is a big purchase justifiable?

The topic for this episode came from a listener.

How and when do you justify buying big ticket items like a laptop, high-tech camera, or new TV?


Sometimes you really do need a new computer, your current one is dead.  Or you need a car that isn’t in the shop every month costing you money.  Those are legit reasons for big cash outlays.  Wanting a big ass TV when you are in credit card debt has no justification.

Saving up for something makes it all the more meaningful.

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Put anything expensive on a 30 day list.  If at the end of thirty days, you still want it, than it may be a justifiable purchase. If it’s not something you really need, chances are you will have forgotten all about it by the end of the thirty days.

If you’re making a large purchase, see if the seller has a 0% APR card you can open and put the purchase on.  You have to be on top of this though and make certain to pay the entire balance off before the 0% term ends or you will be in a world of shit.

Just having the cash for something is not enough justification.  You could invest that money.  Would the thing you want to buy or do make you happy (for more than a few hours) or improve your life?  A great experience counts.  In fact, paying for a great, memorable experience has been proven to provide much longer lasting happiness than buying a thing.

Once you have justified your purchase, do your research.  Check out But It For Life on Reddit.  There are threads dedicated to the best of anything you could possibly ever want to buy.  And by best, I don’t necessarily mean the most expensive.  Quality isn’t always linked solely to cost.

Sometimes we need to buy things.  Just learn to distinguish between a want and a need.


Show Notes

Motherf**king BikeA hilarious YouTube video about riding bikes.

Mint:  The easy way to track your spending.

(photo by Anders.Bachmann)

Candice Elliott - Editor-in-Chief
Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.

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