BALANCED APPROACH: Buying on the spur of the moment might be fun but it has its drawbacks.
BALANCED APPROACH: Buying on the spur of the moment might be fun but it has its drawbacks. Martin Dimitrov

Strategise to find balance in budget - and partnerships

Part of some studies that Nick and I were undertaking a few years ago included identifying another person's strategies.

We all use strategies or plans of action in our life at times to help us achieve a goal, yet we are often unaware of them as they sit in our subconscious.

The one we were exploring at the time was in relation to shopping.

This was interesting on many levels as it is Nick that seems to have the shopping chip in our family which is not necessarily typical.

His strategy at the time was identified as "See it, want it, buy it”; very simple, spur of the moment and spontaneous.

Mine, on the other hand, was "See it, like it, do I need it, walk away, how much will I use it, is it good value, what are other shops offering, how do the prices and desirability compare, make decision”. Very different ... and clearly mine took a lot longer.

The purpose of the exercise was to be able to change the strategy if it was unhelpful and, as you might imagine, neither of us found our strategies unhelpful as they worked perfectly well for us, however Nick's didn't always work well for our budget.

Over time he adapted his strategy to "See, want it, walk away, consider it, buy it ... maybe” which was a vast improvement as far as I and our budget were concerned.

It has further developed since then and he has become a little stealthier about how he goes about buying these days.

This is particularly true if it's a major purchase (which we're considering at the moment) as he recognises he needs to influence and convince me of all the advantages and cost benefits well in advance in order to get me to agree.

He can spend months researching and comparing, dropping the occasional comment or finding reasons that something might need to be replaced to improve efficiency, running costs etc with the intent of weaving a plausible case.

Because this strategy is a little closer to mine I obviously preferred it and it worked well to begin with, however I gradually started to see through this amended approach and I pick up on it much earlier these days.

Fortunately, it now works OK for both of us and our budget most of the time and we normally have a good laugh about it, particularly when he uses my own approach back to me.

Are you aware of your own buying strategy? How well does it work for you?

Rowena Hardy is a facilitator, performance coach and partner of Minds Aligned:

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