Your palms get sweaty. Your heart races. Your mind goes in countless directions. These are just some of the physiological feelings you get just before you make a major purchase. It could be something as substantial as a house, or it could be a more common purchase that still costs a lot of money, like a car, health insurance , or college tuition . When it comes down to decision time, we have all felt that little knot in our stomach that makes us second guess everything we have done leading up to that moment. Each of us will have to make large purchases during our lifetime, but that does not make them any easier. After all, we have worked very hard for that money and now we are going to say “goodbye” to a large chunk of it. However, one mistake that we can each avoid is to just “blow” a big decision. While no purchase is a “sure thing,” we can greatly minimize risk, especially in larger purchases, with a few simple steps. So, before you make your next big purchase, do the following. 1. Pray. God cares about our attitude toward money, and it is powerful when we pray to Him concerning issues we are facing with our finances. James reminds us that anyone who lacks wisdom can ask of God, and He will give it (James 1:5). Personally, I lack a lot of wisdom with major purchases. I know very little about cars, and I don’t understand the “ins and outs” of insurance very well. So, why not pray for wisdom that my family will not only understand as much as we can, but will simply do the right thing to best steward what God has given to us? 2. Research. In our information age, there is no excuse for avoiding research. Talk with people who know more than you do. Visit reputable websites and blogs. Buy a magazine or book on the subject and read up. When we made our last major car purchase, I took my father-in-law with me, since he knows far more about the mechanics of a vehicle than I do. Now, the next time we have to buy a “good” car , I will better know what questions to ask. While it is possible to get “paralysis of analysis,” nothing can take the place of seeking the help of professionals. As Solomon wrote, “In an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14b). 3. Discuss with your spouse (or accountability partner). You don’t necessarily have to have a set amount, but there needs to be an understanding that you will not make a major purchase without discussion. Personally, I would suggest anything over $100 early in a marriage, and then maybe $300 or so once you are more financially stable. If you are single, you need to have someone who keeps you accountable on major purchases, and who has the right to get in your face for your own good if you do not discuss these purchases with him or her. Communication will bring up not only facts, but feelings about these purchases, and could ward off a very unwise move. 4. Sleep on it. Never make a major purchase “off the cuff.” Yes, this is coming from experience! For one thing, you will lack the time to do proper research. More than that, though, your mind will be more focused on both the good and bad of the purchase if you take at least one day to think it through. If the item is sold, it’s okay. They’ll make another car, or build another house. You’ll be okay. 5. Accept it. Once you have made these steps, and you decide to go on with the purchase, accept it. You have done your best to both seek God’s will and be as wise with your money as you can be. In reality, that’s all you can do. You still may not like having such a large sum of money leave, but you have thought it through, prayed about it, and sought counsel. Accept your decision as the best you could have made. What other tips would you give before you make a major purchase? Leave suggestions in the comments. Car image from Shutterstock Related Articles: Negotiating Tips: 4 Things You Shouldn’t Do When Making a Deal! 5 Things To Do Before Buying A House What do you want? The Biblical way to get what you want What do you want? (Part 2) Adam Faughn is a minister in Nashville, Tennessee. He is married to Leah and they have 2 children. You can check out his personal blog or follow him on Twitter .
5 Things To Do Before Making A Big Purchase