Way to intentional living it’s not always easy – especially when advertising and social pressures are constantly pushing us to buy.
To regain control of our resources (and lives), it’s important to step back and ask ourselves some hard questions before reaching for our wallets.
Here are 15 questions to help guide your purchase decisions and help you live more intentionally:
1. Do I really need it?
The most basic question. Differentiating between wants and needs can drastically reduce unnecessary purchases.
2. Do I own anything else that can serve the same purpose?
Sometimes we just forget about it things we already own that can serve the same purpose.
3. Am I buying it primarily because it’s on sale?
A bargain is only good if you needed the item.
4. Will I actually use it regularly?
An item that you only use once or twice may not be worth it.
5. Can I borrow it from someone instead of buying it?
For things that you will rarely use, a loan can be a smart and economical choice.
6. What else can I do with this money?
Opportunity cost should always be an important factor in decision making.
7. Will it add value to my life or help me fulfill my purpose?
If the answer is no, it’s probably not worth it.
8. How many hours of work does this purchase correspond to?
Considering purchases in terms of working hours can give you a sobering perspective.
9. Will I have to maintain it?
Maintenance costs can add up, both in terms of money and time.
10. Am I buying it for myself or am I influenced by someone else’s opinion or wish?
Sometimes we shop to impress or fit in. Make sure your purchase is driven by your needs and not by outside influences.
11. Can this purchase wait?
If it’s not urgent, give it time. You may find that you can do without it. And I cannot emphasize this point enough.
12. What is my emotional state?
Buying things when you’re stressed, bored, or unhappy can lead to regretful purchases.
13. Is this an impulse purchase?
If it wasn’t on your list or in your plan, stop and reconsider.
14. What happens if I don’t buy it?
If the answer is “not much”, this may not be a necessary purchase.
15. Will this purchase potentially lead to further purchases?
Watch out for The Diderot effect– a spiral where one purchase leads to another. Make sure that what you are buying will not require additional expenses.
Making intentional decisions about our purchases can help us align our actions with our values, avoid unnecessary clutter, and live more fulfilling lives.
Try asking yourself any (or all) of these questions the next time you’re considering a purchase.