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We live in a disposable society. Whatever we don’t want or don’t see a useful need for, we toss in the trash.
I owned a residential and commercial cleaning business and witnessed this firsthand. Perfectly good clothing, electronics, games, and toys were thrown away with no regard for their continued usefulness.
When I got a handle on my spending and made a conscious effort to live more simply, I began to shop purposefully and to really think about what I was buying. I continue this practice even today.
Do you have countless items in your home you regret buying? Want a solution to buy with more purpose?
Here’re my best tips so you can ensure you spend money wisely.
Shopping With Purpose
1. Only Buy Items You LOVE
When I was in my shopaholic phase, racking up credit card debt like crazy, I would often just purchase an item without much thought to how much I loved it. Because I didn’t apply the “I must love it” rule for my purchases, I often brought home items that in hindsight, I didn’t like all that much.
Now when I shop, I must truly LOVE what I purchase, or I don’t get it. If it doesn’t look quite right or the fit is a little off, it’s a no go.
If it’s an item for my home, I bring it into the intended space and if it doesn’t go with the motif or feel of the house, it gets returned.
Try applying this rule of thumb when you shop, and you’ll quickly see how much less leaves the store and ends up in your home.
2. Plan Your Shopping Trip
Do you have items of clothing in your closet you can’t wear because it doesn’t go with anything?
This scenario was all too familiar to me many years ago. That’s why tip #2 is so important.
Planning your shopping trip ensures you come home with the right merchandise to fill the need for your expenditure.
Before you go shopping, take out a notebook and jot down your shopping trip goals. Specifically, what are you looking to purchase today? Do you need a jacket to go with those new pants and top you bought? Do you need a particular household item for the kitchen?
Once you’ve done this, look through your closet and cabinets to ensure you don’t already have something that meets the needs of what you were going to purchase.
Planning ensures you make only the purchases you need. You’ve taken the time to think through the purchase BEFORE you start shopping.
3. Is It An Investment or A Bargain?
When you head out to shop, you should determine your priorities. Are you looking for something of quality or are you ok with a deal?
These are individual choices that only you can make.
I know some people who invest in classic clothing and never buy the trends. They understand paying more means they are getting a piece of clothing that will last a lifetime.
Furniture often falls into this category for folks, understanding cheap furniture will need to be replaced more frequently than high-quality chairs and sofas.
Once you decide this for yourself, it makes it easier to decide how you’ll spend your money when you do need to make a purchase.
Just because you’re willing to invest in a purchase doesn’t mean you still won’t look for the best bargain.
It does say that you are more conscious of what you are buying and are making choices that best meets you and the needs of your family.
No matter how frugal you try to live, from time to time, you do need to spend money.
By thinking through what you need to buy and weighing it against the three criteria above, you determine if the purchase is worthy of opening your wallet at all.