Conscious shopping: 7 questions to ask yourself before buying anything
A little while back, I wrote up a post about how I control my shopping habits. It was a bit all over the place to be honest. I was just trying to figure out how the minimalist approach could work for my life and how to get a grip on my shopping.
The tips today, however, are a lot more concrete and organized. (...I'd like to think. 😅)
Maybe you're a minimalist, maybe you're not. Maybe you're trying to live "Zero Waste" or not. In any case, I'm writing this for anyone who wants to shop more intentionally and not junk up her/his life with unnecessary stuff.
So, here are 7 questions to ask yourself before buying anything:
1. First and foremost: Will you miss this item in your daily life if you don't buy it?
I feel that's a bit of weird question, but it is sooo important. Let me elaborate:
I find this question more powerful than the very vague: "Does it add value to my life?" Everything adds some sort of value. Even if it's just a feeling of temporary satisfaction. Asking the other way round - "Will I be able to live without this item?" - is so much more helpful.
So, if you won't even notice the absence of a certain item, why buying it in the first place? After all, if you want to live sustainably, the goal is to avoid unnecessary purchases and own the least amount of items possible.
2. By buying this item, will you replace an existing one or will you just add another thing to your life?
Also very important question. If it doesn't replace an old/broken/unusable item, well, what's the point really? It seems you already own a perfectly fine thing. Why buy another one? (Well, there is the very rare occasion that a new need comes up, which has to be met. Maybe you started to do yoga and need a yoga mat? However, in my experience, there aren't too many new needs.)
... and closely related:
3. Do you already own something similar that could do the job?
Even if you don't already own the exact same thing, still, you might own something similar which will do just fine. (Maybe you own a pilates mat that could function as a yoga mat? 😜)
4. Is it multifunctional?
Crucial. You really really don't want to own a fancy dress in case you get invited to a wedding... sometime. Only own clothes you can dress up or down, as necessary. Own a towel that can be a beach dress, a bathrobe, a blanket and a bag. Multifunctionality is key.
5. Is it durable/is it high quality?
Ideally, it should last you a lifetime. Yes, a lifetime. You only want to purchase itms you're confident will last your for decades.
6. Is it repairable?
As you can't always tell whether something will last you your entire life, at least, make sure you can fix it in case it breaks. (I feel, I just discarded all Apple products. *lol*)
7. Will it go out of style?
Never buy into trends. Trends don't last a lifetime and after a couple of months, that particular item will seem dated. Trendy pieces, usually, aren't high quality or repairable, to start with.