5 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Making a Big Purchase

big purchase

Feeling the urge for a big purchase? Looking at some pricey things like a house or a new car? If the answer is yes, it’s time to start some planning! Big purchases should only be made after some careful considerations have been thought through. Only you can define what a big purchase is; however, it’s typically something that is outside your normal means of spending. A big purchase is one that typically causes a hit to your savings. 

Here are 5 questions you should reflect on before you make any kind of big purchase:

1) How much money is really in your account?

Do you have your monthly expenses covered? Do you also have cash stored in case of an emergency? You never know what’s going to happen in the future. You want to make sure you have enough to cover your expenses as well as any unforeseen things that may happen. If you’re making a big purchase, you want to make sure you have enough for that purchase, your current expenses, as well as anything else that may come up. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you have at least 3-4 months of your income/salary saved up to pay for current expenses like rent, food, loans, etc., before making a big purchase. Ensure that you can make the purchase and have enough saved for expenses in case you lose or job or something unforeseen happens.

2) Is now the right time?

Consider if your big purchase needs to happen now. Obviously, there are circumstances in which you may need to make a purchase now. However, if that’s not the case, consider if you can wait a few months or another year. Think about how much money you might accumulate and save by putting off the purchase for when you’re more financially stable. You might pay off some debt as well as some current finances that you have in the process, thus putting you in a better position to buy what you want.

3) Could there be a more affordable alternative?

Let’s say you’re looking for a car. You’ve fallen in love with a new model that you just have to have…until you see the price tag. Instead of investing in something that will strain your wallet, consider finding an older or used model of whatever you’re trying to attain. If buying another model is not an option, consider putting off the purchase until you’re more financially stable.

4) How do you want to make the purchase?

If you’re making a big purchase, do you have the option of just paying in cash? Not many people are going to be able to say yes to that. I would recommend not putting everything on a credit card as that will hurt you if you’re not able to pay the credit card off immediately. It’s not healthy for your credit score to carry a large balance on a credit card either. The alternative is, do you want to take out a loan for this? Do you know how to go about doing that? Consider that if you take out a loan, then you’re going to be making installments to pay back that loan over time. Do you have enough money to make those monthly or weekly payments? Don’t forget there will also likely be an interest rate, resulting in a higher total in payments than the actual cost of the object you’re buying.

5) Did you do your homework?

There are more questions beyond the ones above that you should be considering before you make a large purchase. There is no right answer to these questions, but it’s important to have answers. Be sure to do the research. Don’t go to the first bank that will offer you a loan. Don’t put everything on a credit card. You want to make sure that you make the best decision that sets you up for a financially stable present and future. 

The opinions expressed by the guest writer/blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Brown Girl Magazine, Inc., or any employee thereof. Brown Girl Magazine is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the guest writer/bloggers. This work is the opinion of the blogger. It is not the intention of Brown Girl Magazine to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. If you’d like to submit a guest post, please follow the guidelines we’ve set forth here
By Jamie James

Jamie is a financial services consultant based in Chicago. She has over seven years of experience in the financial industry, … Read more ›

Oak Creek: A Story of Hate, Hope and Healing

Every year on August 5th, the Sikh American community remembers one of our community’s most devastating tragedies in recent memory — the Oak Creek massacre. On this day in 2012, a white supremacist gunman entered the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, a gurdwara (Sikh house of worship) in Oak Creek, Wisconsin where he shot and killed six worshippers and severely injured others. This violent attack was the deadliest mass shooting targeting Sikh Americans in U.S. history, and at the time, was one of the worst attacks on a U.S. house of worship in decades. Six worshippers — Paramjit Kaur Saini, Sita Singh, Ranjit Singh, Prakash Singh, Suveg Singh Khattra, and Satwant Singh Kaleka — were killed on that horrific day. An additional community member, Baba Punjab Singh, was severely paralyzed and ultimately passed away from complications related to his injuries in 2020. Others, including Bhai Santokh Singh and responding police officer and hero, Lt. Brian Murphy, were seriously wounded during the shooting. 

[Read Related: Oak Creek Gurdwara Massacre’s 4th Anniversary: Young Sikhs Express Optimism for the Continued Struggle Against Hate and Ignorance]

In 2022, the community came together to demonstrate that we are undaunted. My organization, the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) joined in supporting the anniversary observance at Oak Creek: a remembrance event centered around the theme of “Heal, Unite, Act.” The Oak Creek Sikh community hosted a series of in-person events, including the 10th Annual Oak Creek Sikh Memorial Anniversary Candlelight Remembrance Vigil on Friday, August 5, 2022. The program included a representative from the White House, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Oak Creek Mayor Dan Bukiewicz, and representatives of the families who lost loved ones. Being there in Oak Creek 10 years after the tragedy was deeply meaningful — both to see the inspiring resilience of this community and to remember how much remains to be done.

In D.C., SALDEF continues to fight for policies that improve the lives of Sikh Americans. I had the honor of chairing the most recent iteration of the Faith-Based Security Advisory Council at the Department of Homeland Security, providing recommendations at the request of Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. Consequently, the three subcommittees published a report that emphasized the importance of greater accessibility, greater equity, and greater transparency in counterterrorism efforts that for too long revolved around surveilling populations like the one that was senselessly attacked at the Oak Creek gurdwara in 2012. Leading the FBSAC as a Sikh woman, and representing a community that was highly targeted alongside Muslims by both white supremacists and in post-9/11 counterterrorism profiling, was an opportunity to push the Council to advocate more fiercely for further information-sharing between communities and law enforcement, extending grant opportunities for security for Gurdwaras and other houses of worship, and building trust between the government and Sikh communities. In addition, I advocated for accountability for the damage needlessly caused to Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and Hindu (MASSAH) communities by federal agencies historically pursuing “counterterrorism” objectives which has resulted in eroded trust rather than the development of strong partnerships. 

Although we have made great strides in this country, there is still more to do. Through our work we have partnered with many across the nation to come together and find solutions through tenets central to Sikhism and America — unity, love, and equality. SALDEF continues to strongly endorse the policy framework articulated across the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (H.R. 350 / S. 963); Justice for Victims of Hate Crimes Act; and the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) Improvement Act (H.R. 6825). We believe strongly in mandating federal agencies to create dedicated offices to investigate domestic terrorism; allowing prosecutors to feasibly indict perpetrators of hate crimes; and allowing religious nonprofits to access federal funding to enhance their own security.

[Read Related: Anti-Sikh Hate is on the Rise: Here’s What we can Do]

While 11 years have passed, the effects of the Oak Creek shooting are never far from the minds of Sikh American advocates and the community we serve. SALDEF will not stop taking a stand against senseless violence and hate crimes. We continue to work in unity with our community and movement partners, and fight for better policies that will actively keep all of our communities safe. Through tragedy, we find hope. We know there can be a world where people from all backgrounds and cultures can practice their faith freely and, even though it has eluded the Sikh American community in the past, we still believe this world is possible.

Photo Courtesy of Amrita Kular

The opinions expressed by the writer of this piece, and those providing comments thereon (collectively, the “Writers”), are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Brown Girl Magazine, Inc., or any of its employees, directors, officers, affiliates, or assigns (collectively, “BGM”). BGM is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Writers. It is not the intention of Brown Girl Magazine to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. If you have a complaint about this content, please email us at Staff@browngirlmagazine.com. This post is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. If you’d like to submit a guest post, please follow the guidelines we’ve set forth here.
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By Kiran Kaur Gill

Kiran Kaur Gill is an accomplished professional with exemplary executive experience. In her role as Executive Director, she is responsible … Read more ›