Inside: To be an intentional shopper, use these five questions to ask yourself before making a purchase. They’ll save you money and help prevent clutter in your home!

Want to save more money and simplify your life? Changing your shopping habits can make a big difference in your home and your bank account!

Decluttering your home has a way of opening your eyes to past purchasing regrets. When you run across items still in the box or with tags on, it makes you realize that the item you thought you had to have was clearly not something you really needed or loved.

If that were true, you would have used it. And it’s no fun to come across those things and to regret money you spent…especially if it was something you considered a splurge.

To shop more intentionally, you need to think about what you’re purchasing and why. Today we’ll go over five questions to ask before making a purchase.

These are the questions to ask before buying a product. Considering these things before buying something will prevent you from buying clutter and from experiencing buyer’s remorse.

questions to ask yourself before making a purchase

Do You Use Retail Therapy As An Excuse For Making A Purchase?

Have you ever gone shopping for some retail therapy because you were having a rough day? Those types of shopping excursions rarely end well.

Spending money to help yourself feel better can throw you off your budgeting and savings goals and can end up bringing more clutter into your home.

Shopping can cause a range of other problems including creating relationship tension, increasing debt, and becoming an addiction.

If you’ve been using the excuse of retail therapy as a reason to shop, there are better alternatives. Try spending time talking with a friend, going for a walk, or listening to some of your favorite music.

Are You Trying To Stop Making Purchases Before They End Up Clutter?

Clutter has a way of cycling through people’s homes. After investing the time to go through and declutter your entire home, you don’t want to end up back where you started.

In order to put an end to the cycle of clutter, you need to look at your shopping habits. You can save a lot of time and money by being more careful about your purchases.

Here are some things to consider before you buy anything new.

Things To Consider Before Making A Purchase

Here are some things to consider before buying anything new.

Is It A “Want” Or A “Need”?

Is the item you are considering something that you think you really need or is it just something you want?

Marketers work really hard to get consumers to believe that they need (or at least deserve) their product. The more they are able to get you to believe this, the more likely you will be to purchase.

However, they are not looking out for what’s best for you. They don’t care if you can afford the item or if it would actually add to your life in any way. Their sole focus is to get you to buy.

Be honest with yourself and ask if this is really something you need or if you could make do instead of buying new.

Do I Need to Make This Purchase Right Away?

If you’ve determined that the item is something you need, consider if it’s something that you need NOW. Quite often the answer is no.

Allowing additional time to consider the purchase can be very helpful. It helps you to really evaluate whether it’s something that would truly add to your life.

Impulse purchases often lead to regret. Take the time you need to consider the item and don’t let yourself feel pressured into buying right away (even if it is during prime day).

Is This Purchase Going to Be a Duplicate?

Do you already have a similar item at home where this new thing will end up being a duplicate? Sometimes it’s ok to replace items that you already have.

Just make sure that it is something that actually needs replacing and isn’t going to just become extra stuff in your home.

questions to ask yourself before making a purchase

How Long Will This Purchase Last Me?

If you’re like me and you enjoy getting great deals, also consider how long the product will last you. If you tend to err on the side of being more frugal and usually purchase less expensive items, ask yourself if it’s worth buying.

Often cheaper items are also lower quality which means it breaks quickly and then becomes clutter or ends up in the trash. Make sure what you’re buying is worth spending your hard-earned dollars on.

Inexpensive items do add up and it’s also no fun having things break on you.

6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Product

Did something catch your eye while shopping in a store or online? Here are the five questions to ask yourself before making a purchase.

1. Is There Somewhere Else That Offers A Better Price For This Product?

If you have decided you definitely want this item, see if you can get it for less elsewhere. These days it’s super easy to do a five-minute Google search to see what competitors are selling it for.

Many stores also offer price matching, so you can often buy in a store for the same price that you find online from a competitor.

Save yourself some money by taking just a few minutes to make sure you’re getting a good deal. Waiting until a different time of year can also save you more money depending on what type of item it is.

2. Am I Buying This Only Because It’s a Promotion or On Sale?

Marketers are really good at marketing. The scarcity mentality of a limited time sale can turn something you were considering into something you’re definitely buying because you don’t want to miss out.

Ask yourself if you’d pay full price for the item. If the answer is no, then don’t buy it. You don’t want to end up with a lot of stuff you don’t need or love simply because it was a good deal.

Sales are a good way to end up with inexpensive clutter.

3. Will This Product Make My Life More Complicated Or Easier?

Many products talk a good game, but fewer of them end up delivering on their promise. While I have found some products that do simplify my life in some way by saving me time or money, I’ve also purchased quite a few products that didn’t.

Think carefully about whether this item really would simplify your life or if it would just add more stuff to your home. If you’re not sure, see if it’s something you could borrow from someone to test out first.

Waiting at least a day before purchasing can also help you more clearly see if the item would benefit or burden your life.

4. Why Do I Want This?

Checking in with yourself on how you are feeling and asking why do I want this can provide a lot of clarity. Is it because you don’t want to miss out?

Are you shopping to try and help yourself feel better about something? Being honest with yourself about your motivation for purchasing something will help you to make a better decision.

Make sure your reasons are good and that you’re not buying in reaction to a feeling that you have. Emotional shopping rarely has positive outcomes.

5. Would This Purchase Support My Goals?

And finally, carefully consider if this purchase would support the goals you’ve set for yourself.

If you’re working to simplify your life, would this item help or hinder your efforts? If you’re trying to save money, is this something that fits within your budgeted parameters?

There are many different types of goals you can have in your life. Make sure that what you bring into your home and your life helps further those goals rather than take away from them.

questions to ask yourself before making a purchase

6. How Many Hours of Work Will It Take to Pay for This?

This final question can really put things into perspective when considering if you really want to purchase something or not. Calculate how many hours of work it will take you to pay for the item.

Is it worth that? While money is replaceable, time is not. If you’re working extra hours for things you don’t even need or truly love, it’s time to reassess your priorities.

Your time is valuable. Treat it as such.

Key Questions for Frugal Consumers:

Here are some additional questions to ask yourself before making a purchase as a frugal consumer.

Can I buy this product used or borrow from someone else?

There are lots of great options for buying items secondhand. If this it a type of item you’ve determined that you really want or need could you get it from someone else or from a thrift shop?

Buying secondhand saves a lot of money and is also more environmentally friendly than constantly buying new items.

What is the return policy on this product?

Always check what the store’s return policy is for the item should you want to return it. If you are buying online check who covers return shipping charges.

Read the fine print and make a note of how long you have to return the item should you need to. Hold onto the original packaging and receipt for easier returns.

Be a More Intentional Shopper Using These 5 Questions Before You Buy a Product

You will be a more intention shopper by using the five questions to ask before making a purchase and additional considerations mentioned in this post. Taking the time to carefully consider what you buy will help you to save money and move you towards your goals.

These questions to ask yourself before making a purchase will help prevent clutter from piling up in your home and can minimize buyer’s remorse from purchasing items you didn’t truly want or need. You’ll be well on your way to simplifying your home and life!

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4 Comments

  1. Great post Julianna! I really appreciated the question: Does this take me towards my goal? A lot of times we buy stuff just because we want it right at that moment but it will just weigh us down our waste resources we want for more important things.
    I have also helped myself make wise purchasing decisions buy asking:
    How many hours of work do I have to do to pay for this item? (That puts things in perspective really fast)
    and I also tend to leave the store when I really like something and if I continue thinking about if for days or even weeks after I go ahead and get it but most of the time I forget or decide I didn’t really want it!

  2. I often put items from on-line shopping on a wish list. Then I visit that list over the next several weeks to see if it is something I really want for myself or my family. At the same time I think about what it would replace and does that item really need to be replaced. I have saved a lot of money just by waiting.

  3. These are great tips and reminders. I too have thought about how many hours I need to work to pay for an item. That puts things into perspective quickly and makes decisions easy. For example, I will tell myself I need to work half a day to pay for this item pre-deductions.” Then ask myself, “How often will I really use this item?” I have applied that mindset since I first started working in high school many years ago now and saved myself a lot money and preventative clutter not to mention spending remorse.
    My sister shared her advice that’s also been helpful. If you think you need or want something, think it over for 30 days. If you’re still dreaming of it or wishing you had it whether a need or want then move forward with the decision. If you forgot about it then forget it and move on. Many times we forget what we “needed” or wanted 30 days ago. Bigger purchases may need a longer time frame.

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