A couple of nights ago I was watching something on ESPN when they went to commercial. During that commercial, there was an advertisement for something new at Taco Bell called the Beefy Nacho Burrito. I don’t know what it was going on in my mind, but I had to have that, and I had to have it then and there. Since my wife was out of town and we have no kids, I hopped into the car, drove about 5 minutes, ordered 2, just in case one wasn’t enough, and came back home to immediately eat it. One was great, one not so crunchy, but I wasn’t disappointed one bit.

I’m not usually someone who’s a spontaneous shopper like that, but every once in awhile something hits my mind just right and I want it then and there. Sometimes I have to wait a day, and most of the time I find that my mind has forgotten about it overnight, or at least the need for it then and there has dissipated. Occasionally something sticks, but it’s rare.

I know I’m not the only that has these types of things happen to them. My saving grace is that mine are usually food related in some fashion, which means these things don’t cost me a lot of money. In the case of the burrito, it’s only 99 cents; I think I can afford that. Had it been 5 dollars I might have still gone, but I’d have given it a bit more thought.

Many people are what I call “see it – need it” shoppers; others call them spontaneous shoppers. That’s really what the purpose of commercials is for, to show you something and hope to entice you that you absolutely need it. At 99 cents, I can get behind it. But what about those people who see things like the new 3D TVs for $3,500 and feel like they absolutely need that, to the exclusion of anything else that’s definitely important?

What happens? People look to use credit cards, or look to spend money they really don’t have for these things they believe they need, and need it then and there. This is why we have so many issues with budgeting our money, because a budget makes us put perspective into our spending, makes us realize that maybe we should save up the money for some of these things we want, or think that maybe we really don’t need it.

When you get the urge to buy something you see and think you need, weigh a few things if you can. One, how much it costs. Two, do you really need it. Three, how will you pay for it. And four, will something else suffer if I buy it.

And if it only costs 99 cents, and you can, go for it. If it’s expensive, give it a bit more thought. It’s probably better to plan for something like that than get yourself in trouble with other bills later on.

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