About a month ago my girls were playing in the living room behind a chair. They were building a tent. A crash and bang later, and the sole lamp in the living room, a floor lamp with a glass shade, was gone. I was a bit upset, but it was a free to us lamp, I was mainly upset that they could have gotten hurt! Glass shade+kids= bad idea.
I didn’t rush out to replace it, both because we only spend what we have, and we don’t spend a lot of time in the living room in the evening. If we need light we can turn on the hall light or dining room light to see, but usually we retreat to our office or bedroom after the kids’ bedtime.
While I was shopping at Target last week I found a lamp I liked on the end cap. If you don’t shop the Target end caps you are missing out! They put all their clearance stuff there, stuff that is ridiculously marked down at times, just to clear more space for the new stuff coming in. It was a base, pretty and a large size for only $7.99. So I put it in my cart and walked into the lamp aisle to find a shade. After 15 minutes, the lamp went back on that end cap.
It passed my “Should I buy this?” test.
- We need it. We would like to spend more time in our living room, but the setup isn’t practical right now.
- We have the cash for it. This should be a no brainer, but for many years cost was calculated by minimum payments, or hopes of cash falling from the sky.
- It was value purchase. Value purchases are deals on things that are good quality. Value purchases are NOT the cheapest item, nor are they an expensive item because they are good quality. They are both a deal, and quality enough to withstand my crazy house.
So why didn’t I buy it?
I am sure you have your own theories, but here is why I put it back. The lamp base was a representation of something bigger. Making the living room more liveable. If I bought the lamp base, I would have to buy a shade (cheapest option: $19.99). If I bought the lamp base and shade, I would have to buy a table since we have none in that room. (Target options started at $49.99) If I bought a table, I would need to move furniture around to fit it. The best option would be to toss the jumped on, ripped, missing cushions couch with a new couch. (Ikea sells them for $299) And lastly I would want to paint the room ($50), buy a new rug ($200), and get a coffee table ($100).
So the lamp went back, because having a lamp in that room means a makeover of the room, total cost about $700. We’ll get to it someday but for now that $700 room makeover is another $700 in debt paid off.
Do you ever find yourself purchasing something that leads to other purchases? What questions do you ask yourself before you buy something?
Did you catch the word I used above when I was talking about buying the lamp base that was a red flag for spendaholics? Leave me a comment if you spotted it. If you get it right you may just win a little something. 😉