Why You Should Make Purchase Decisions Slowly

Why I'm slow with making purchase decisions

I'm told that I take ages to make purchase decisions when it's something I don't immediately need. Need, as in it would not seriously affect my ability to live reasonably.

I would stand there for a few seconds, contemplating, or come back to it after walking around elsewhere (or after a week in case of online shopping). I might note it down on a temporary wish list.

During that time, I evaluate the following:

  • the 'utility' (satisfaction, happiness, usefulness, improvement to my quality of life) the purchase would bring to my immediate and future self,
  • the opportunity cost- what I could have done with the money instead, and
  • the equivalent time cost- how much 'time' I would have spent to acquire it (see this post)

If I still want to purchase the item after one week, I will either make the purchase or place it on my permanent wish list and make the purchase when appropriate.

Why is this beneficial?

  • Every purchase you make will have gone through your lengthy deliberation process on whether it truly benefits you, i.e. purchases that make it out alive will be much more likely to have a true benefit to your current and future self
  • This stops impulse purchases
  • This significantly reduces the likelihood of regretful purchases
  • If you reject a purchase after one week, the money is retained for something that can bring higher 'utility'.

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