DO YOU SHOP MINDFULLY?
Mindful shopping means focusing on what you spend your money on. Being mindful with your money is important since it means focusing not just on your present situation, but also on your future needs. The key to a successful yet reasonable shopping experience is to plan accordingly for each shopping trip.
HERE ARE OUR 3 TIPS FOR MINDFUL SHOPPING:
1. MAKE 3 LISTS
Eliminate that emotional impulse to buy. A practical way to do this is to keep 3 lists:
LIST #1: “PRIORITY LIST”
These are “must buy” items that you need NOW. For instance, if you eat rice every day, but your 10-year-old rice cooker stopped working, then you should buy another rice cooker because you need it.
How about clothes? Should you buy some favorite pieces? Check your closet and see what you already have. You’ll be surprised to see what’s in there. If you have several pairs of black leggings, don’t buy another one just because it’s on sale.
Another example: when the weather gets cold, and you realize that your “go to” sweater or jacket is coming apart, buying one becomes a priority. After all, you will be using it a lot during the winter season.
LIST #2: “NOT URGENT LIST”
Maybe you find a really nice dress or suit that fits you perfectly, and you’re thinking that you could wear it for special occasions. For as long as you are financially able to pay for it, then go for it. If you charge it on a credit card, make sure you pay it off as soon as possible. Don’t just pay the minimum credit card payments because you will get charged more interest the longer it takes for you to pay it off.
I always keep a few special occasion dresses and suits in my closet. I suggest you buy high-quality clothes because they last longer and you get your money’s worth. Also, stick to pieces that are timeless so that you can wear it no matter what year it is.
Since I worked in the business world for many years, I have accumulated at least 30 suits in my closet. They are all in wonderful condition. Fortunately, I don’t see the need to buy more suits at this time because I can still fit into all of them.
LIST #3: “DREAM LIST”
These are things that you would LOVE to have, but you don’t really need them because they’re not one of the essentials. For instance, do you really need to buy those Tiffany & Co. sunglasses? They are nice, but can you afford it? Yes, you can put it on a credit card and then make payments.
It’s okay to reward yourself every once in a while. Just make sure you don’t buy too many “dream items” at the same time or you won’t have much money left over for other things that you really need.
2. STICK TO A REALISTIC BUDGET
Having a realistic budget and sticking to it is one of the best ways to make mindful purchases. I know, budgets are boring, but having one creates financial awareness.
If possible, do NOT use credit cards for holiday shopping. Instead use debit cards when making purchases. Also, I know it’s tempting to go overboard during the holidays, and you may want to open lines of credit at every store you visit just to buy gifts. BEWARE: after the New Year comes around, and the credit card bill arrives, you will have buyer’s remorse. You mean well, but then reality bites you in the butt.
Let’s say you are stressed out and worried about something….and you decide to do some “retail therapy” to lift your spirits. Unnecessary shopping is one of the worst ways to deal with worry and anxiety. Think about it…do your worries really disappear after a day of endless shopping? You may end up feeling worse at the end of the day because you know you overspent.
3. THINK BEFORE YOU BUY
Think twice before you make the actual purchase. These days, you can purchase anything in seconds, thanks to internet shopping. You need to be mindful. Whether you shop online or offline, you will spend too much money on items that you don’t need IF you don’t practice mindful shopping.
So next time you find something fabulous, ask yourself: “Will I use this item regularly?”
If your answer is “no”, then you can probably live without it.
While shopping, you will see items ON SALE. Not to mention those “BUY ONE, GET ONE” offers…oooh, those are simply hard to resist. Just remember, advertisements were designed to grab your attention.
It’s tempting to buy that beautiful vase especially when it’s 50% off. Wait, don’t you already have several similar vases at home? Remember, buying something for $79 means you will have $79 less to spend on other things.
Eliminate that emotional impulse to buy. If you like something at the store, ask the sales associate to hold the item for you. Go home and see if you still feel the same way about the product. This is actually beneficial because it allows you to think twice before you make the actual purchase. When you practice mindful shopping, you become more logical.