We’ve all encountered the idea of sleeping on a decision before making a purchase or committing to a significant financial investment. Many of us have found ourselves caught in the ‘buyer’s remorse’ conundrum, regretting a decision shortly after making a purchase. But how about going out of your way to find a reason not to buy something? Just as some individuals will discover any justification to acquire something they desire, there exists a tiny minority at the opposite end of the spectrum. This rare breed, upon finding something they genuinely want or need, invests the next few hours or days attempting to convince themselves otherwise, diligently searching for any reason to resist making the purchase. Their hesitation is so profound that unless they can identify a compelling reason not to proceed with the acquisition, they refrain from making the purchase. These are the ‘meticulosumers’ , or someone who meticulously analyzes and considers every aspect before making a purchase, even to the point of finding reasons not to proceed.
Are you a Meticulosumer?
I have been guilty of this and are mostly proud of it. In fact it is a habit, and borderline an obsession. For example, I am due for a new laptop, as my current one is a used one from 2014 and even when I bought it back then, it was refurbished and had already been used for another 2 years. But I have come up with so many reasons why I should continue with this, how it is still runs so good for the most part, that my money is better spent on paying off debt or saving it instead. But as with all consumable items, this laptop is due to be replaced eventually, so I have agreed to push this purchase to September 2024, that is when this laptop will have been used for exactly 10 years. That also means that I start to save for it from now, instead of trying to make one big purchase and come up with the money at once.
While being addicted to non-spending and finding ways not to go ahead with big purchases, this doesn’t extend to smaller, routine purchases, or even purchases that may impact my health or safety. For example, if my car tires or breaks are due for replacement, I won’t hesitate to go ahead and make that purchase. While a Meticulosumer may take things to the extreme, they should know where and when to draw the line and health and safety should always be on an exemption list.
Meticulosumer can’t regret their decision
At the end of the day, you can not regret not buying something because you can always go out and buy it but the opposite can’t be the case with something you wasted money on but hardly ever use.
Imagine having a good car already, that runs fine, is already paid off, but decide to go for the latest model because you saw a commercial for it, or want to keep up with the joneses. So you sign the agreement to buy a car that costs you $45,000 as an example. Based on the downayment you made and current interest rates, you figure that you will be paying $750 a month on this car, for the next 6 years. At first, you say to yourself: “I make enough money to afford this and I can easily afford this. Not to mention that I deserve a new car. ” But things always look better on paper than in the real world. So while you are comfortable making the payment in the first few months, by the 6th payment (with another 66 payments to go or so) , you start feeling payment fatigue, as the car is now taken for granted and you don’t feel like you want to keep paying this big amount – in addition to paying for gas and insurance – and want a way out. Unfortunately, it is not easy to get out of this situation without losing a lot of money.
With a Meticulosumer, this situation is avoided altogether because they would have found a way not to go ahead with such a big purchase in the first place, by first convincing themselves that their current car is more than enough for their needs, and their decision to buy one would never be influenced by a commercial they saw, or to keep up with their neighbour and friends. As they say, once a glass is broken, it is impossible to put it back together. Apply the same imagery to spending money on big purchases and how it is usually close to impossible to recover your losses and get back your money in full. You don’t have a Costco-like return policy for every purchase you made. So avoid that feeling and don’t go ahead with a big purchase to begin with, doing your best to overanalyze and find ways not to go ahead with it.
To be a Meticulosumer is the same as developing your patience or endurance muscle: you need to work on it and develop it to the point of putting it on autopilot and let it do the work and thinking for you when faced with a big purchase decision. This will not only help you avoid waste money and save it instead, it will mean a much brighter and independent financial future for you.