Step 1: Define Your Why
The first step in any major upgrade or purchase decision is to define your why. Ask yourself key questions such as:
- Why do you want to upgrade?
- What, exactly, is your upgrade going to change?
- What value will it add to your life?
- Is it worth the sacrifices you will make to afford it?
- Have you calculated the salary you need to maintain it?
- Are you going to appreciate every minute of time you spend with that upgraded thing after you get it, or will you soon become accustomed to it and begin pining for some other upgrade?
Be honest with yourself when answering these questions. And be mindful of the following well-known adage: what begins as a pleasure often ends as an expectation.
Step 2: Calculate the True Cost
Upgrades and purchases often come with hidden costs that we don’t always consider. Before making a decision, take the time to calculate the true cost of the upgrade or purchase. This includes not just the upfront cost, but also any ongoing costs associated with owning or maintaining the item.
Step 3: Consider the Alternatives
Sometimes, the upgrade or purchase we have our hearts set on isn’t the only option available. It’s important to consider alternative options that may be more cost-effective or better suited to your needs.
For example, if you’re considering upgrading to a new car, could you instead make some upgrades or repairs to your existing car to make it more functional and enjoyable to drive? Or, could you purchase a used car rather than a brand new one?
By considering alternative options, you can make a more informed decision about what will truly add value to your life.
Step 4: Weigh the Pros and Cons
Every upgrade or purchase decision comes with its own set of pros and cons. It’s important to take the time to weigh these pros and cons before making a decision.
Consider the potential benefits of the upgrade or purchase, as well as the potential drawbacks. Will the benefits outweigh the costs and drawbacks in the long run?
Step 5: Evaluate Your Priorities
Ultimately, the decision to upgrade or make a purchase should be based on your personal priorities. Ask yourself:
- What matters most to you?
- Is it having the latest and greatest gadgets, or is it financial security and stability?
By evaluating your priorities, you can make a decision that aligns with your values and goals.
The bottom line is that there are great reasons to earn more money, but a zombie-like pursuit of “more, more, more” will not solve your financial or personal problems. What will help you evolve, and work toward having a secure financial plan, is figuring out what you really want, and why. By defining your why, calculating the true cost, considering alternatives, weighing the pros and cons, and evaluating your priorities, you can make upgrade and purchase decisions that align with your goals and values, and help you build a secure financial future.