I own a lot of things. Two years ago I owned several times more. Consumer culture led us to believe that the guy who who goes to the grave owning the most toys wins. If that was the case I wouldn’t be hearing messages of unfulfilled lives who would have traded everything they owned for the people who matter to them.

I’ve been fairly good at getting rid of stuff as time went by. My other challenge was preventing myself from buying additional stuff that I don’t really need.

One of my challenges was that if it makes sense for me to buy something or if I really want the product I’ll buy it. Since marketers are pretty good at explaining how it makes sense to buy their product or making you want something I figure I need a different approach on deciding what to buy and what not to buy.

I don’t like hassles or additional cost so one of the things I do was to consider the total cost of the product I’m purchasing.

Here are some factors to consider as additional cost in terms of time, attention and money before purchasing an item.

Transportation going to the store. Purchase of the product. Transportation to bring the product at your house. Learning to use the new product. Storage space while in use. Long term return of investment. Storage space while not in use. Maintenance and repair. Cost to operate. Disposal and recycling.

We often make our buying decisions based on benefits we receive and the sticker price but if you consider all the other factors you’ll have a more accurate view of what you’re getting in to.

I recall going into a deal and was considering factors like transportation cost an operational expenses. The person offering me the deal told me that considering those factors and computing for them wasn’t necessary and all I had to consider was the investment and the income from the investment. And other long term factors. Turns out I was right. My deal with them pushed through but the result didn’t go too well for me because I failed to count the cost.

The problem sometimes is we assume long term use for a product when we have a temporary need.

Do you consider these things before you buy anything?


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