Can I buy it for less?
Comparison shop. Find it on sale. Negotiate. Look for a recycled one in the newspaper, at garage sales or consignment stores, on ebay or craigslist. Avoid the mall.
Will I change my mind?
Usually when you leave a store to comparison shop, you’ll stop wanting it. Advertisers and retail stores are notoriously skilled at making shoppers believe that they need something– even when it isn’t true.
Can I trade something for it?
Swap with a friend, neighbor or family member. Create a toy exchange with other parents. Ask the seller if she wants something you have in exchange for the item or service you desire.
Can I borrow it from someone?
Borrow books, music and movies from the library. Ask your neighbor if you can use her seldom-used yard tools or specialty cooking appliances. Just make sure you are willing and able to repair or replace damaged or lost items.
Can I share the expense with someone?
Co-op with your neighborhood to buy one set of yard maintenance equipment. Consider car-sharing. Ask your babysitter for a reduced hourly rate for watching your child along with another.
Can I cut back on another budget item instead?
If what you want to buy doesn’t fit into your budget, choose to spend less on something else for awhile. Use the money you’re saving on that budget category towards what you want to buy instead.
Can I sell something to come up with the extra money?
Sell an item you no longer use, then use the money to purchase the item you want. Try a sales listing on craigslist, ebay, community bulletin boards or your local classified ads.
Can I make a green choice?
Look for products that make less impact on our environment. Choose a less toxic alternative, one with less packaging and more recycled content, or something that can be reused for something else when you’re done with it.