Make Every Purchase Meaningful: There is nothing wrong with shopping once in a while. For a lot of people, it even works as a kind of therapy. Buying something new you’ve been craving or simply strolling between shelves and interacting with other shoppers can lift your mood and give you a sense of achievement, according to a study conducted by a British university.
Problems start when shopping becomes compulsive: you need to go to the mall and fill your shopping cart with items just to feel fulfilled. There’s even a name for this: shopaholic. And in addition to not doing good for your mental health, the practice can be disastrous for your finances!
In a world ruled by materialism and consumerism. It can be challenging to take a deep breath and weigh the pros and cons of each purchase before handing over your credit card. But try to resist and ask yourself the following questions before surrendering to any impulsive purchase:
Can I Afford It?
This is one of the first questions you should ask yourself. Shopaholics often rely on their credit cards but panic the moment they receive the bill at the beginning of the next month.
Before taking the product to the checkout or finishing an online purchase, think several times about the impact that the value of that purchase will have on your budget for the month – for example, if completing the purchase could leave you with less money than you should or in debt.
Better yet, have budgets set for your month’s priorities, clearly identifying how much money you have available to spend. This way, before buying a new shoe or electronic device. You will already know if you can afford it without compromising your finances.
And although we always apply this logic to large purchases. It’s good to remember that small expenses are where the confusion lives. You can have a cup of coffee in the bakery every now and then. But have you ever calculated the cost of three coffees, seven days a week, for 30 days? The final amount of your small purchases may surprise you at the end of the month.
Is the Old One Still Doing the Job?
We usually replace stuff when buying new ones. But many times you don’t need the new product you are buying because the old one is still working – or at least can be fixed. One of the most negative aspects of consumerism/materialism is the need to always have the latest version of a car or electronic device or the newest collection of clothes that just arrived at the store, even if you have a full wardrobe.
When shopping, try to find out what you already have at home that serves the same purpose, and that can prevent you from spending money on a new item. Remember that when you buy two things with a similar purpose. One of them will end up not being used (or even in the trash).
Additionally, before making large purchases, try sharing products with neighbors or family members. Do you need to keep something at home that will have very little use, like a lawn mower? Wouldn’t it be better to borrow it to save on unnecessary expenses?
What Difference Does It Make? (Every Purchase)
Science and psychology have proven that we are never satisfied and always believe that we would be happier with more money or possessions. This means that even if you max out your credit card on clothes or things this month. You’ll probably feel the need to do the same next month.
The best way to avoid impulse buys is to ask yourself what difference will the new thing bring to you. Will that famous brand really bring any happiness or sense of achievement than a similar-but-much-cheaper piece of clothing? Do you need to buy expensive sunglasses just like the celebrity or influencer you love, or should you search for popular glasses frame styles instead?
It can be hard to accept that we don’t always really need to buy something. But it’s better than having something expensive stuffed in the closet or drawer after a use or two.
Who is on the Receiving End?
Another important way to avoid needless purchases is to research a little about the companies/businesses you’re buying from. It is known that some big brands are linked to questionable practices involving preserving the environment and even labor laws, exploiting workers in poor countries.
By assuming a little social awareness. You avoid spending money on things you do not need and make your purchases more meaningful.
It’s also good to cut ties with big brands that try to seduce you with supposedly irresistible promotions and deals via daily emails/messages. Especially during Black Friday. Unsubscribe from all newsletters from your favorite stores to avoid impulse buying. As online shopping is even easier and more irresistible than doing it in person.
You Really Don’t Need Much to Be Happy (Every Purchase)
The term “letting go” has been widely used by new generations to define the partial or total abandonment of some negative practices of consumerism and materialism of the previous generation.
If you search social networks and blogs. You will find countless reports of young people who have let go of material goods – exchanging. For example, shelves full of books for an electronic device to read e-books or buy second-hand clothes.
Some also adopt a “do-it-yourself” approach, building their own furniture and preparing their own food rather than eating out. So, do yourself a favor and try to let go, too, avoiding excessive consumerism and making each purchase more meaningful and well-planned.