📚 The rolling shopping list

First Published: 2023-07-25

Wait before you buy

My impulse purchases have been frequent cause for frustration in the past few years. Only recently have I spent near 500€ for an all inclusive 48 core arm cluster without even sleeping on the purchase, only to realize my lack of adequate cooling to keep the cluster running for prolonged periods of time.

270€ of impulse purchase

Plenty of methods exist to cope with impulse purchasing, from plain frugality to budgeting, tho I have found it difficult to adhere to those. Today I want to introduce to you my current method of avoiding overindulgence: by writing a shopping list.

The basic idea

You'll need a piece of paper, perhaps in a notebook or journal, and a pen or two. Whenever you desire a certain product, you note it down, together with the current date as well as it's price. When you later decide you don't want it anymore, you strike it through. If a predetermined amount of time has passed and you still want it, you buy it. Once you ordered it, you strike it through with a different pen, I like to use a green one for this. If you want to keep things digital, I suggest bold plus strikethrough.

Example:

DateItemPrice
16.7.Sandisk Extreme Pro 1TB microSD120€
18.7.Samsung Evo Plus 256GB microSD15€
22.7.Anker Nano 2 65W40€
24.7.8BitDo Wireless USB Adapter 222€

How long to wait

This will depend greatly on your spending habits and amount of disposable income. While different wait times for different prices make things more complicated, I recommend doing it anyway, as waiting an eternity for a relatively small purchase is counter productive if you want shopping to still be fun.

Here are my timings:

PriceTime
≤ 30€2d
≤ 100€7d
≤ 250€14d
> 250€30d

Technicalities:

For me, price refers to the price of the product plus shipping, rounded up. If I'm shopping in person, I'll buy items under 30€ right away. Purchases above 100€ are, and should stay, pretty rare for me.


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