Justine Harrington on June 25, 2017 0 Comments How to Shop Like a Minimalist We’ve all been there – you’re at Target, tearing through your shopping list with the speed of a tornado, when a shiny object suddenly slows you in your tracks. Sure, you didn’t know you wanted yet another pair of cute $20 sunglasses, but these are adorably retro and you’re going to the beach next weekend and the thing is… you’ve just gotta have them! An impulse purchase every now and then is fine, but the problem is that it rarely stops there. More and more Target trips start to pile up, and before you know it, you’ve got a stack of barely-worn sunglasses and some serious buyer’s remorse. We’re all guilty of a little rampant consumerism now and again, but how can we curtail these behaviors – and save our wallets and our souls in the process? Read on for the top questions to ask yourself before buying something new, to help you break free of the culture of stuff, once and for all. The Best Books About Minimalism on Amazon 1) Why do I want this? If you could only ask yourself one question from this list, this one would be it. We rarely take a few minutes to sit with ourselves and ask, “Why do I want this?” before purchasing something. This is why it can be super helpful to decide in advance what you want to buy, so that you have time to think about why you want something. Perhaps it’s on sale, or maybe an investment of some kind. Consider whether you’re just trying to justify a purchase, as opposed to actually needing the item in question. 2) When and how often will I use this? Is the item you want to buy something you’re planning on using often? And if so, how often? If you can’t see yourself wearing or using something on a regular basis, it’s probably time to re-think things. 3) How does this purchase make me feel? Spending money is an emotional decision, no doubt about it. It’s important to ask yourself how your purchase truly makes you feel – why do you want to buy something, and what are your emotions surrounding that thing? It can be really easy to fall for cool marketing, as opposed to actually delving into why you want something. If you know that the thing you’re buying will make you feel good for some time to come, go for it! But, if you think you’re buying something just to feel good in the moment, that kind of joy is never sustainable. 4) Does this item work well with what I have? Have you ever bought a great shirt that looked so good in the dressing room…only to discover that nothing in your closet pairs well with it? Welcome to the club! But, there’s almost no use in buying something if you don’t have anything that goes with it. If we’re talking clothes, then it’s time to start visualizing outfits when you want to purchase something new – rather than thinking about clothing in terms of single pieces. And, if we’re talking furniture, make sure the piece goes well with what’s already in your living room before plunking down your credit card. 5) Am I only getting this because I feel pressure to do so? Ask yourself if you’re feeling pressure from an outside source (whether that’s a person, Pinterest, or something else) to purchase something. Is someone trying to convince you to get something that you’re not sure you even want? Are you feeling a certain cultural, peer, or societal pressure to get something? If so, then it’s probably not the right decision. 6) Is this really my style? Let’s face it, we can’t expect to be able to pull off every trend. Just because something is considered trendy doesn’t mean it’s right for you! This goes for virtually everything – clothes, shoes, furniture, you name it. Don’t try to force something if it isn’t your style. You’ll likely just end up not wearing or using the item, and regretting the purchase. This tip also goes for buying something just because it’s a “good” brand. Yes, the brand may have put a lot of money into effective advertising – but if it doesn’t fit you, isn’t useful for your needs, or simply isn’t your style, then it’s time to move on. Keep in mind that if something truly isn’t “you”, it’ll likely stick out – and not in a good way. 7) Does this item fit? Especially when it comes to clothes, we often buy things that are ill-fitting just because they’re on sale, or inexpensive, or we saw someone we admire wearing them. It may seem like a good idea in the moment, but you’ll never wear something that doesn’t fit right. Words of wisdom: If the dress you adore isn’t in your size, walk away. 8) Can I afford this? Having a clothing budget is obviously ideal, but even if you’re budget-allergic, you should still make an effort to only buy clothes that you know can afford. If something is crazy-expensive and out of your price range, it’s definitely okay (and preferable) to say no. True, there’s a fine line between investing in quality pieces (that you won’t be apt to throw away) and not buying items that are too expensive for you. But it’s important to know when something just isn’t in your budget, if you want to avoid the guilt and remorse that comes from buying ultra-pricey items. 9) Would this item be more trouble than it’s worth? Is the clothing item in question something you’ll need to have dry-cleaned regularly…and you know that you never go to the dry cleaner? Is the piece of furniture you want something that will have to be specially cleaned or maintained? There are some items that are simply not worth the hassle or expense, depending on your lifestyle and preferences.