Are these purchases necessary?

We live in a consumer-oriented society where too much emphasis is placed on buying stuff, whether or not we really need it. Here are some things to consider next time you are shopping to help you cut back on unnecessary purchases and save money.

Before you purchase any item, think to yourself if you really need it.

  • Why are you buying it, is it necessary, or can you do without it.
  • We often just pick up items as we walk through the store without much thought on the necessity of the product. By making conscious decisions in your shopping, you can save money by only buying what you truly need.

How to shop consciously:

  • Shop with a list and stick to it.
  • Understand your reasoning for buying stuff – is it an emotional purchase?
  • Here are some steps to help you stop making emotional purchases:
    • Ask yourself if you really need an item and why.
    • Don’t shop when you are hungry or in a gloomy mood.
    • Take a limited amount of cash with you instead of using a credit or debit card.
    • Create a waiting period for items not on your list such as clothes, books or other unnecessary purchases. For example, make yourself wait a week before buying the new sweater you saw at the store.

Find another way to relieve stress other than shopping – exercise, reading, walking, etc.

Before you replace and item, can it be fixed or mended?

  • We can save a lot of money when we chose to fix or mend items that we already have instead of throwing them out and replacing them.
  • Many items are still useful but we are so conditioned in our culture to throw away something that is no longer perfect because we can easily go to the store and replace it. Not only does this cost money, it also creates much more garbage to fill our landfills.
  • Utilize a local repair company, shoe cobbler or seamstress if you aren’t comfortable with fixing the item yourself.
  • Learning how to fix thing can be fun and a great lesson for your kids and a fun family activity.

Take a spending break once a week where you don’t buy a single item all day.

By only making necessary purchases, our economy, community, family and environment thrive.

  • Set aside one day a week (or start with one day every two weeks) where you don’t spend anything at all.
  • This will require a little bit of advanced planning so that you have gas in your car and food to eat.
  • By taking a break from spending, you will hopefully begin to see how much it is an automatic, unconscious part of our lives and how we can begin to cut some of it out.

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