Tips that will help you buy less things, and be more mindful of what you purchase! It is clear that compulsive buying is unsustainable for our lives & the planet, so why do we keep doing it? Maybe we feel like getting new things will help us feel better somehow, and it probably does for a little while, until you realise you actually have to keep whatever you bought!
These last years I’ve been more conscious about what I buy. One of the reasons being I didn’t want to spend money that I didn’t have, another one being I didn’t want to have a cluttered room and there are so many clothes my wardrobe can hold. Decluttering of course helped not to have things overflowing, but I still had to make a change in my shopping habits. I was never a massive spender (mainly because I was a student and couldn’t afford to be) but even so, I felt that thinking more about what I want has helped so much.
So here are a few tips I believe will help you buy less of what you don’t need, and more of what you do:
1. Get to know your taste
Getting to know yourself will be one of the best things you can do to buy less! It will help you find your true sense of style. Everyone has certain colours, textures & patterns they like and identifying them will help you stick to buying what you’ll ultimately enjoy. This doesn’t mean you can’t purchase something that isn’t in your comfort zone, it just means you know yourself and you know if you’ll use said item!
2. Stop aimlessly following trends
This one goes hand in hand with the last point. If you know your style, you won’t just purchase things because they’re ‘on-trend that season’, you’ll purchase timeless items that you’ll like no matter what the trendy things are.
I sometimes think it’s tough to separate what we actually like from what we think we like just because it’s popular, but the best way to know is to imagine yourself a few years from now using or wearing that item. If it’s an item of clothing, for example, think about the different ways you could wear it. If you can only think of one, it might not be the item you really want or need.
3. Know how to sales shop
Sales season can be tricky if you want to buy less. It’s the time a lot of us shop the most and end up with things we don’t actually need. I used to do this more, but I’ve gotten better when the sales come. I think to myself ‘Do I really need that pink crop top that’s 3€?’ ‘Or do I just want it because it’s 3€?’.
Sales can be good when you’ve been wanting an item for a while, and it’s finally on sale! Use sales to buy things you actually need or have been wanting for ages.
4. Make wishlists or Pinterest boards
This helps me a lot with clothing. I have different boards on Pinterest with outfit ideas so I can imagine myself wearing a certain piece of clothing on many occasions. For example, I’m thinking about getting new shoes, so I pin different outfit photos with those shoes to see if they would look how I want on a day to day basis. This usually works because if I don’t see myself wearing them a lot I actually end up not buying them!
5. Quality over Quantity
Pretty self-explanatory. Think about durability, more than buying a lot of cheap items.
For example, I used to get cheap jewellery because I could buy 3 necklaces for 7€. The thing about this kind of jewellery is that it doesn’t last long, it stains your skin green and ends up going a different colour. I didn’t want to spend money on more expensive jewellery, so I would repurchase these necklaces time and time again. In the end, I’d get tired of having to throw them away every couple of months feeling that I was throwing away my money too. So what I do now is buy jewellery that’s better quality and a bit more expensive, but it will actually last years!
6. Give yourself time
When you see an item you think you want, go home. Think about it for a few days (maybe even weeks depending on the item). If you still want it, get it. If you don’t, then don’t!!
Sometimes, if it’s on sale we’ll feel a sense of urgency to buy it compulsively. The sale will end and we won’t have bought that item on time. This is when you have to think about if you’re going to end up using that item and envision yourself actually needing it!
These tips are all little mental tricks that you can keep in mind if you want to buy less stuff. Of course, it’s nice to, once in a while, cave in and make that impulse buy! I like to apply these tips, especially with clothes, since I already have so many and I love fashion but I don’t want to buy items that are just going to lay at the bottom of my wardrobe unworn. I’ve been thinking more about what I buy and this has also helped me define my personal style!
Have you been trying to buy less?
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