Are you ignoring your financial fitness? You may be if you hear a voice saying to you when you spend money, “I shouldn’t really be buying this,” or “How am I going to pay for this?” Maybe you hear no voice at all. Is it so buried that you wouldn’t even hear it if were screaming at you?

Recently, I happened to be at the same event, and at the same table, as one of my clients that I had just begun working with. Another woman at the table had brought some beautiful watches with multi-colored bands and was selling them. My client saw those watches and immediately went in like a vulture, grabbing its prey. It was clear that her money voice had been shut off and given no chance to speak. I asked her at our next appointment what she was thinking when she initially saw the watches. She told me that she couldn’t help buying the watch when she saw that it was pink! I knew then that we had some work to do!

Here are three questions to ask yourself before you make your next purchase or find yourself in an unexpected situation where there are pretty things!

Question 1: Why am I shopping? If you know that you’re emotionally shopping (upset and want to buy something to feel better), than leave the store. This might be really difficult to do because you want to feel joy, but this won’t do it and the urge to stay in the store might be really strong, but find the courage to leave anyway—walk yourself right out the door! Shopping when you’re emotional is just as dangerous as buying groceries when you’re hungry! Create a Joy List: Write down all the things that bring you joy that cost nothing, and when you feel like emotionally shopping the next time, pick an item from your Joy List. Recognize how great you feel afterward!

Question 2: Can I afford this? When you find yourself about to make a purchase, take a few quiet moments and then ask this question. If your inner money voice doesn’t know the answer, then this part of your financial life needs work. So, until you know for sure what you can afford, refrain from purchasing anything other than expenses for your basic needs.

Make time and commit to developing your Money Plan so that you know the next time you go shopping what you can afford to buy. Having a Money Plan lets you decide in advance how you’ll spend your money, takes away impulsive buying, and creates financial peace. Knowing in advance what you can afford to spend will help you make sound financial decisions, especially in those moments that you don’t expect to find yourself in—when pretty pink-banded watches pop out on the table!

Question 3: Do I really need this? Understand your needs versus your wants! A need is essential for you to sustain life and includes food and shelter expenses. A want is a desire to possess or do something. Let me be clear--it’s perfectly fine to want. What’s important is to know that what you want, you can afford. With a Money Plan, when you make a ‘Want Purchase,’ it will feel great when you know, without a doubt, that you have the means to do so.

So, the next time you find yourself ready to make a purchase, STOP, and then ask yourself the above three questions. Also, I’m happy to say that my client now listens to her inner money voice, has committed to her Money Plan and now feels financial peace in her life.

Author's Bio: 

Financial Coach Cindy Parran Brochu helps the financially stressed to simplify their money lives. Want to discover money plan strategies that REALLY work? Visit for your free copy of Money Mastery 101: How to Reduce Your Money Stress and Simplify Your Life.