Circuit City was one of the most dangerous places for me to go “browsing.” I would walk into this massive store with all of the electronics being displayed. Back then, if you knew that you really wanted something, all you had to do was three things. First, find the item. Second, fill out the credit application. Third, walk out of the store with the item. The best part of it was the 18 months no interest financing.
Probably a good thing for me that Circuit City no longer exists and that the sweet financing offers are a little harder to come by. I haven’t always been prudent.
Typically the consumer shopping experience is quick and happens with a lot of emotion. When immediate gratification takes over, you typically never take a moment to stop, think, and ask yourself some questions. It is that moment of reflection that creates space between emotion and action and brings some common sense into the fold.
It is at that time you really need to ask some serious questions BEFORE you buy. What you will often find is that buying that item is not such a hot idea.
On spending – ask the following questions:
Why is it important to me?
When you do the math, you will soon figure out that it is probably an impulse buy rather than something well thought out.
Am I looking for it to create an emotion?
Spending money is one of the go-to actions to fill many voids. Instead, fill it with God.
Am I suffering from media room syndrome?
Many people buy homes because of the “cool” media room, and many of those media rooms stay pretty vacant. What seems like a good idea can turn into a significant money mistake.
Is there any conflict?
If you pray about spending decisions, God will either give you peace or allow you to stay in conflict. Prayer before action is really the greatest first step.
Is it robbing me of freedom to be free to God?
It is a straightforward process. If anything is going to rob your freedom of being in a relationship with Christ, really pray that is the direction you should take. Consider debt as the most significant freedom robber.
What does your spouse think?
Ouch! That is the last (and one of the more important) questions you need to use as a buy filter.
There are probably more lousy buying decisions lying around your home than good ones. Put some prayer and some space between the emotion and the action, and you will become a better steward of God’s money.