Major Purchases and the Cool-Off Period

May 31, 2016

Whenever my family goes to the Jersey shore for summer vacation, two things always happen. When we arrive I always say, “I wish we had a beach house. Maybe someday we'll get a place at the shore -- maybe once all the kids are off to college.” Second and without fail, after we’re there for a week, as much as I’ve enjoyed it, I can’t wait to go home. My kids all howl with laughter because I say, “I don’t need to have a beach house.” It’s become the running joke of our family vacations.

The point of this story: there are so many times we are tempted to make financially impulsive decisions without thinking them through. My family, especially my wife, knows that I’m particularly susceptible to wanting a beach house. Our family rule is that for any major purchase, we hold off for a period of time, usually about 20-30 days, which we call the “cool-off period.”

Our family actually keeps a goal sheet of things that we do and do not want to do as a family financially. We use that goal sheet to help guide us through decisions on major purchases.

Have you ever made an impulsive buy? I’m sure we all have at one time or another. It's one thing to think about a purchase for years and do copious amounts of research, but it's another story when we purchase something on impulse, and more than likely, grow to regret it.   

My challenge to you is to consider a strategy for major purchases, especially if you tend to be an impulse buyer. We have a running joke in our family regarding my general frugality, being the product of grandparents who went through the Great Depression. However, not everyone shares that mindset.

I’m a big believer in deferred gratification. Deferred gratification is the concept of either facing the pain and discipline of saying no today, or facing the pain of regret down the road. Every day, I see people that regret spending their money too quickly in retirement and/or not saving enough while working. This isn’t to say you should go through life pinching every penny if you don't have to. But at the same time, life is about balance, and there is something to be said about deferred gratification.

Creating a strategy for making financially sound decisions on major purchases will put you on a path to financial wellness, helping to enable you to live the retirement of your wishes. We aim to help our clients through this process, and would encourage you to give us a call with any questions you may have about your financial future.

For more topics like this, check out our radio show “Retirement Plain and Simple” every Saturday morning at 8 on WNPV 1440 AM and like us on Facebook!

If we at Kemp Harvest Financial Group can help you in any way with regard to your financial planning needs, please feel free to contact us.

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