“What would you recommend for a new wheelset for mountain bike?”
The mechanic’s eyes lit up as he started to talk about the latest carbon wheel rim from Nobl, and the dependability and “bling” factor of Chris King hubs. Soon a second mechanic had joined the conversation and I had one of the carbon rims in my hands, and we were discussing only using top end spokes for a wheel build like this.
In moments, my innocent question had resulted in a super cool new wheelset worth $2500 Canadian.
Understand, I WANT these wheels. I love my bike. I love new gear for my bike. I especially love new carbon gear for my bike. This hand-built carbon wheelset would be perfect.
But I didn’t do it. I didn’t order the wheels. I walked away (for now, I have some money building up in my Choice Account).
Walking away from purchases, both big and small, can be a difficult task, especially in today’s world of credit cards and making payments. Just five or six years ago I probably would have just made that purchase and worried about the consequences later because, well, because I really want to own those wheels.
I am guessing you probably have been in similar situations, both in Life and in your business, and sometimes you have made that purchase and then regretted it afterwards, promising yourself that you wouldn’t make the same mistake again (and then, later, made a similar purchase).
How can you (and me, and my wife, and my son) stop making purchases on the spot? Purchases that lead to guilt, stress, and panic?
Use the “Four Purchasing R’s”
This is how I avoid making these types of purchases now:
1. Refuse to buy something in the moment: Always go into a store, or on a shopping trip, or read a sales page with a clear decision of whether or not you plan to purchase. If you end up in a situation where an opportunity to buy something pops up, stick to window shopping, walk away, and take some time to make a proper decision on whether or not you need the item.
2. Remember, and use, your core value statement: When buying something, it should be supporting either your Life or Business Core Value Statement (depending on the situation). If it does not support your Core Value Statement then be honest with yourself: why do you feel you need it? Is this purchase going to resonate with you and your values in a few hours or days?
3. Review your current money goals: Sit down and review what your current money plan is. What do you need your money to be doing for you right now? Does this purchase support your current money goals? If not, why are you making the purchase?
4. Repeat the process at least once: After following the first three Purchasing R’s, if you feel like the purchase makes sense, and you can afford it, then…
Wait a few more days and start at the first “R” one more time.
What I have found is, when I use the “Four Purchasing R’s” one of three things will happen:
1. I will realize I don’t need whatever it is I am desiring to buy, and I forget about it.
2. I decide to delay my decision over and over again before finally deciding one way or the other (usually I decide not to buy)
3. I make the purchase and feel good about it because I have made an informed choice about spending the money.
The “Four Purchasing R’s” versus the Carbon Wheelset
If I run the opportunity to buy expensive wheels for my bike through these filters it looks like this:
1. Refuse: The wheels sounded cool, and I desired them, so I got up off the stool and left the store, wallet intact.
2. Remember: My Core Value Statement is “Provide the Security my Family needs to have amazing Adventures together”. Carbon wheels would assist with having amazing biking adventures with my family, but they are not necessary. In this case my Core Value Statement didn’t give me a clear “yes” or “no” answer.
3. Review: My family and business are currently both debt free except for our mortgage. However, we are within five years of paying off our mortgage, 3 years if we start putting extra money on it, which is one of our current money goals. $2500 would take a nice chunk out of that mortgage and towards our money goal.
4. Repeat: I haven’t ended at a solid “no” about the wheels yet, there may be ways, using my Choice Account, to accomplish getting the wheels and paying off our mortgage. For now I am in a cycle of repeating this process every time I walk by the bike store, or consider buying the wheels. Until I get a strong “yes” with all four R’s (and discuss with my wife and son) I won’t be buying the wheels.