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Whether you open your wallet or not, you make decisions about your money every day. And it can be hard to think about the long term when you feel like you’re just getting by from paycheck to paycheck. But even with limited resources, there are ways you can slowly and steadily prepare for the future.

Sometimes the decisions you make will someday make you is what my grandmother used to say. We’re all faced with difficult decisions daily. Decisions that effect our families futures and financial lives. The decisions are what I call “dollar decisions

Whenever your making purchases you want to be able to follow these 5 simple steps to evaluate your decision to make sure it’s the right one to make. To accomplish this you have to plan your purchase carefully. Having a clear idea of what you need and staying focused on it is essential to staying within your budget.

The following action plan will help you decide if you should or should not make your next purchase.

DEFINE

…what your goal is. What do you want to achieve with this purchase? For example, I need to purchase a car that will fit my family of 4, for under $10,000 cause I want to pay cash.

DETERMINE

…If it’s a want or a need – My car died so I no longer have a way to get to work (Need) My car is two years old still rides just fine, but they just introduced the new body. (want)

A good way to help you decide is to use it in a sentence, “I need this TV because…”, “I want this food because…”. Sometimes saying things out loud changes our perspective.

IDENTIFY

…the pros and cons of making the purchase. What are the benefits of making this purchase and what are the negatives.

DECIDE

…if it’s a purchase that you can afford to make right now and if you should based on all factors above.

Once you decide the best purchase option that best matches your criteria, even if it’s not to purchase a decision was made. It’s always good to ask yourself the following questions when a purchase is made to evaluate your decision. Did you stay within budget? Do you feel good about the purchase? If you can say yes to all of these questions, congratulations you’ve made a conscious purchase decision with your best interest and bottom line in mind.

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