Gift giving season is approaching which means shopping season starts now. As humans who are constantly consuming and buying more and more stuff, here are some questions to keep in mind while you think about your next purchase.

Questions to ask yourself when about to buy: (because "Do I realllly neeeeeed this?" doesn't always stop you) These questions can work both ways for why you should or shouldn't buy an item.

•Can I afford this? (it's not a bargain if you can't)
•Is this item good quality?/Will it last a good amount of time?
•Will I use this in my every day life?
•Can I find the same product cheaper somewhere else?
•Can I buy this product local?/How far away is this from?/Where is it made in?
•Is there a better alternative? One that is better for myself, others or the earth?
•Is this something that I will still want/use in a day/week/month/year?
•Can I borrow/get this from a friend?
•What else could I be spending my money on?
•How long did it take to get the money that I am spending?/Where did I get the money from that I am spending?
•Do I want to support this brand by buying their products?
•(for clothing etc.) Does this match anything else that I have? What will I wear this with?/Is it only good for one outfit?/Is that one outfit worth it?
•How happy am I/will I be if I buy this?
•(for food) Am I hungry?
•(for food) Do I have this at home?
•Do I have room for this at home?
•Do I already have something similar to this?
•Is this a part of what I came to the store for?
•Will I be able to get this another time?
•Will it have value in the future?
•(for online) Would I buy this in real life?
•Can I make this for cheaper?
•Could someone else help me get this cheaper?
•Will this be on sale/clearance later? (especially for seasonal items)
•Would you buy it if it wasn't on sale?
•Is this a good time to be making decisions about spending money? (sleep on it, eat, etc.)
•Can you return it if you don't like it?
•Is it reusable?/Can you give it away once you're done with it?

"Rich people stay rich by living like they're broke. Broke people stay broke by living like they're rich."
-unknown

There is a lot to think about when buying because you, as a consumer, have the power to influence the world. As someone who doesn't spend on much, I believe it is also important to treat yourself sometimes and just buy something that makes you happy, though. It's all about balance in a world where consumerism is constantly exposed to us. Give it a thought before your next shopping spree!
~M