Before you shop

Think Once Before You Shop, Think Twice Before You Buy

Had a bad day at work? Nothing to wear for that upcoming party? Tired of looking at the same colour scheme in your home? It must be time to hit the shops! ‘Retail Therapy’ is a term often used to encourage us to indulge in a little “me time”. It’s meant to help clear our head and provide a pick-me-up. Or so we’re told.

Believe me, I understand the attraction of shopping.

The bright lights, the endless possibilities, and the pursuit for the best bargain possible! But there has also been more than one time when I snagged a bargain only to get home and have serious buyer’s remorse. Suddenly the pretty dress wasn’t so flattering, the cushion didn’t match my décor, and the gift for that relative wasn’t right at all!

Regrets come thick and fast after unwise shopping sprees. You may not regret the purchase straight away – sometimes it’ll take a while to realise the mistake. Usually by then it’s too late to return the item and it gets added to the gift box, junk room, or ‘don’t want to deal with’ pile. It’s quite frightening if you think just how much money has been spent on unwise purchases over the years.

What do you have to show for it now?

When I’m helping a client declutter their home, there is a single repeated sentiment: “Why did I buy this? What a waste of money!”

Many people want to regain the money they lost on unwise purchases, but often the item’s value is much less than they think. The suite of chipboard furniture you bought 15 years ago is barely more than a donation now. The cute but excessive baby toys won’t fetch much on the marketplace. And don’t even consider old VHS or tape players! With the rapid development of technology, these items quickly lose their value.

Many people shop because they are trying to seek fulfilment.

We think that having things will make us happy, or be a means to making us happy. We work harder to pay for those things, and end up with less time to enjoy the very things we worked hard for. Frustration sets in as we realise we now have both less time and money! If we could just take a step off the materialistic merry-go-round, we would see that we can enjoy life without being consumed by our stuff.

If you’re tired of struggling with stuff and having no time or energy, there’s one thing to remember:

Think Once Before You Shop, Twice Before You Buy.

Here are 3 questions to ask yourself before you shop and hand over your hard-earned cash.

  1. What problem does this solve?Often we see something on sale and immediately think we ‘need’ it. But when we stop and think, we often realise we’re doing just fine without it. What we think is a need, is actually just a want.
  2. Where will it live?Think of the exact location that item will live in. Can’t think of one? Don’t just add to the clutter by adding to your ‘deal with it later’ pile. Know where it will live, otherwise it will just end up another homeless item wandering the house.
  3. Can I wait a week?The impulse to buy is strong. The dopamine hit is real and it gives us a buzz when we purchase. If something’s telling you to halt before you hand over your wallet, take a step back. Often, a week later, we can’t remember what that thing that we “had to have” even was.

Do you really need it, after all?

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