The Purchase Appraiser

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We’ve all bought things we’ve immediately—and forever after—regretted.

I bet just saying that has you thinking of a few purchases that make you wince at the memory.

Just as with other mistakes we make in life, there are a few lessons to be learned there—and our tool below will help you do just that.

Get a list of some things you’ve bought recently. Enter each one into the tool and see whether it’s a good purchase or a bad purchase. When you’re done, take a look at your bad and mediocre purchases to see if you can find patterns in them. Which factors usually lead you to make such ill-advised shopping decisions?

When you identify them, create new rules of thumb that will prevent you from making more poor or bland purchases in the future. For instance, if you’re in debt, it may be that many of your bad purchases were simply beyond your budget. So maybe your new rule of thumb is that before you buy anything, you run the numbers to make sure it fits within your budget.

After you set the rule, give yourself incentive to stick to it by giving yourself a reward if you stick to the rule for a month or two.

Bookmark this page and also use it to rate purchases you are considering. Pull it out when you’re about to click “checkout” on your favorite site, or about to bid on an eBay goodie, or when you’re standing in the checkout line at the local store you can’t resist.

Purchase Appraiser

+ Add Item
Is It Worth It?
If you’re in a pinch, get it. But if you have time to
search further, put this back. You can do better.
Appraise More Items
Item Name:
Appraisal:

Total Amount Spent On:

Summary:

You are a savvy shopper. Nice work!
Whoa, Nelly. You need a few rules of thumb so you learn how to spend money on things that you like and that are within your budget.
Some of your purchases are right on the money, others not so much. Keep working on it.
Appraise More Items

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Stay committed to only making good purchases by regularly evaluating your transactions. Link your accounts Link your accounts in the My Money Center, do so now so you can see all your spending at a glance and learn from your purchasing habits.