Stop Trying to Solve Problems With Dollars

Recently I saw a Reddit post within the /r/Frugal subreddit called The Buyerarchy of Needs.  This really got me thinking, many of us have a tendency to want to solve our problems by pulling out our wallets.

No matter how financially successful you are, you will always have day to day problems to deal with.

There are a lot of problems that can be quickly and easily solved by throwing money at them.  But oftentimes that is not the most efficient or fulfilling approach to the issue.  This hierarchy lays out how we should be thinking about our day to day problems and needs.

Buyerarchy of Needs

If you have a houseplant that is outgrowing its pot, do you really need to hop on Amazon and order a new one for $40?  Or do you already have one you can use?  Can you borrow one or swap with a friend or neighbor?  Do you really need brand new or can you buy a used one at your local thrift shop or from a marketplace like Craigslist?  Can you make one yourself or improvise one out of a container you already have?  These scenarios should all be considered before jumping right to the last step and charging it to the credit card.

This is a straightforward approach that provides a lot of valuable insight into my own buying behavior.

It’s not to say this is something that needs to be agonized over every time you have a need, but take a step back once in a while and think about whether this is a problem that needs to be solved with dollars or if it can be solved lower on the hierarchy.

Did you find the Buyerarchy of Needs inspirational?  Leave me a comment below!