7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying Anything

7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying Anything

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Scroll by means of Instagram and it rapidly turns into obvious that happiness and “dwelling your greatest life” have turn into synonymous with buying new automobiles, carrying eye-catching “on pattern” outfits, house renovations, constructing a property portfolio and taking countless holidays to luxurious locations.

With COVID-19 impacting economies all over the world, what has additionally turn into clear is how closely reliant companies and governments are on consumption to drive financial restoration. With 70% of the US gross home product depending on family spending and $230 billion spent on promoting within the United States alone annually, the onslaught of selling campaigns designs to assist folks half with their hard-earned wages and financial savings is to be anticipated.

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As social media influencers too turn into simpler in turning their viewers and followers into paying prospects, reminding people who they’ve company over their buying selections and that consumption shouldn’t be the one measure of happiness turns into more and more essential– particularly at a time when overconsumption has turn into a critical risk to useful resource sustainability.

Overconsumption is a risk to sustainability. Photo: Liza Summer.

With the population expected to rise to 9.7 billion by 2050 and realizing {that a} finite earth can not probably assist the infinite useful resource calls for of each particular person, enterprise and authorities it is very important curb senseless consumption.

Before blindly following the buying recommendation and suggestions of your favorite influencer or getting seduced to spend by intelligent advertisers, listed below are some inquiries to ask your self before you purchase something:

1. Do I actually love or want the merchandise?

For many individuals, accumulating materials possessions is a senseless behavior, a approach to ease boredom, to realize fulfilment (irrespective of how momentary), and a approach to measure self-worth. But earlier than you dip into your financial savings account or spend cash you don’t have, ask your self whether or not buying the merchandise will actually deliver the worth you might be searching for.

Here are some issues to mirror on: Do you actually like it, and why? Do you really want it, and why? Will you cherish it? Will it make you any happier?

By doing this train, not solely will you get monetary savings and sources, however you’ll higher determine the belongings you actually worth and the gadgets value spending your cash on.

2. Has the merchandise been produced responsibly and sustainably?

Documentaries comparable to The True Cost, China Blue, Tapped and Seaspiracy uncovered the darkish underbelly of a few of the world’s largest industries and the way shopper selections influence the pure setting, communities and the lives of employees within the provide chain.

Voting along with your greenback is only one software that you should utilize to assist construct a extra equitable and sustainable society. So earlier than making a purchase order, take into account the next:

  • Who made the merchandise, had been they paid a good and dwelling wage and underneath what situations did they work?
  • What is the environmental influence of manufacturing and the way is the enterprise mitigating this?
  • Does it include any moral or sustainability certifications comparable to fair-trade, licensed natural, and many others.?
  • Does the producer have a status for making merchandise which are constructed to final?
  • Is the product made regionally or abroad and what’s its carbon footprint?

3. Can I truly afford the merchandise?

Thanks to non-public loans, bank cards and monetary merchandise comparable to Afterpay, it has by no means been simpler to reside effectively past your means. But consider carefully earlier than you fall into the debt entice. A normal rule of thumb is to avoid wasting your earnings after which pay for issues that depreciate in worth comparable to automobiles, clothes and holidays.


In this point in time the place social media has fueled comparinitis it’s necessary to keep in mind that your life is your individual and that you’re accountable for paying again money owed and coping with the stress it typically brings. Don’t get caught up in how different individuals are dwelling and the way they curate their “greatest selves” on social media. The extra you see by means of the entice of maintaining with the Joneses the higher off financially you may be within the long-run.

4. How many hours of my life am I buying and selling to afford it?

Think of your purchases on this method: How many hours do you must work to afford it? If your job pays you $25 an hour and the merchandise prices $500, you might be buying and selling 20 hours of your life simply to afford the merchandise. Since time is a finite commodity, are you actually keen to commerce treasured hours of your life for that merchandise? Once you turn into accustomed to your purchases on this method, you might be much less more likely to waste each time and cash.

5. Can I discover a second-hand model of it?

Buying second-hand shouldn’t be solely higher for the setting since there are not any virgin sources required to provide the merchandise, it’s also higher in your checking account. You’ll discover a number of second-hand clothes, furnishings and different home goods at native thrift shops, op-shops, Facebook market, Gumtree, Craigslist and even on-line by way of platforms comparable to ThredUp and Depop.

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6. What is the price per use of the merchandise?

Another approach to decide how a lot worth you’ll get from buying an merchandise is to work out how often you’ll use it. To do that, you have to to calculate its value per use. Simply divide the price by the anticipated variety of makes use of the determine will allow you to decide whether or not it’s well worth the expense. For instance, many individuals buy clothes gadgets they’ll solely put on a handful of instances, comparable to a ball robe for a particular occasion. If the price of a model new robe is $700 and the anticipated utilization is 2x, the price per use is $350. And should you additionally take into account the hours of your life you must commerce to afford it, it’s possible you’ll decide that the costume shouldn’t be value the price and resolve to borrow or rent a dress – which works out cheaper and reduces waste.

7. What are the merchandise’s ongoing prices?

If you buy a automobile, white items or perhaps a swimming pool, you’ll normally must pay for ongoing upkeep prices within the type of alternative components, repairs and so forth. In the case of a automobile, there’s additionally the prices of registration, insurance coverage and gas. Then there’s additionally the time and vitality required to keep up this stuff. Are you ready to pay these prices? Are you ready to commerce your time to be able to afford and keep this stuff? The solutions to those questions will allow you to to find out whether or not the gadgets are value buying or whether or not you’re a lot better off with out them.

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Cover picture by cottonbro.

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