Thursday, May 26, 2016

Rule #5 Be Careful When You Shop

One of the problems with being affluent, (and remember, according to the world's standards, as Americans we are ALL affluent) is

we have too much money to spend on non-essentials.

For those of you who don't know, 
the essentials in life are:



Not a lot actually. Now think back to the money you have spent in, let's say, the past 3 months. Think about the trips to the mall, Costco, Target, Kohl's, Walgreens, and Home Depot. Think about the orders placed on Amazon, Zulily, or  Think about the quick stops at a thrift store or yard sale or the "run" into the dollar store. There are so many places to spend our money that the list could just keep going, right? And just how many of those purchases were for things that were "needs?" 

It's time we be a little more careful when we shop.

If you really want to be blown away by how much Americans spend in a day, click on this link here  and watch the numbers! It's fascinating...and a little scary actually. Try it. Really!

The bottom line is we spend A LOT....and usually without even thinking about it.

The "spending too much money" part of this problem is one aspect but we will leave money talk for another day.

On this blog we talk about having, dealing with, storing, juggling, being grumpy about and apologizing over TOO MUCH STUFF. 

And when you bring stuff IN.


Here are some questions to ask yourself when you shop:

1.  WHERE am I going to put this? 

This question helps me a lot, especially when I am tempted to buy new frames, pictures, pillows or other decor for my home. It also helps when I want to buy books or clothes or when my husband wants to buy a new tool. When it feels like your spaces are already completely FULL, (the closet seems too full, the bookshelf seems to be overflowing, the work bench is covered in tools, etc etc.) figuring out where you are going to put it before you buy it and bring it home is really smart. 

For example, if you are buying a new kitchen appliance ....
you just have to have that Wok

 (you know... to go with your run ;)

picture in your mind coming home from the store and opening the box, and then putting the wok away. Is it going to fit? Can you picture it sliding right into a spot on the shelf? Is there really a place for it? If not....if it is going to be a struggle to figure out a home for it and have a place for it to go permanently don't buy it!

2.  Do I already have something really similar to this that I could use instead?

I wrote about this question in a previous blog post about dejunking (you can find it here) but I think it's important to go into when discussing bringing stuff into the house or your life too. When speaking about shopping, it shouldn't come as any kind of surprise, but it is pretty common in our shopping excursions to be drawn to things that are the same types of things or the same style. Or, in other words, when you are out shopping you are going to be steered toward the types of things you have at home. It is imperative, in the battle to have LESS stuff, that we realize it and think about it when we shop. Before we put something in the cart or go up to pay, we should always ask ourselves "Do I already have something similar to this at home?" and/or "Do I have something I can use or wear instead of buying this?" Chances are the answer will be "yes." And then it's time to say "no" to the purchase.

3. Am I buying something today for the wrong reason?

Have you ever thought that you might be shopping for all sorts of reasons other than that you need a particular item? 

What are some of the reasons you might buy?

How about these?

* I'm bored and have extra money this month so I might as well.

* I feel bad that I haven't done much with my child lately so I'm sure buying him/her this item will make them feel better. (and me too :)

* I like the ones I have of these so much that one in another color or slightly different style would be great.

*  I haven't spent very much money on myself lately so I deserve it.

My point is NOT VERY OFTEN are we shopping and buying and bringing new things into our homes for the simple fact that they are NEEDED. In fact, most of the time there are other reasons we buy. And all I suggest is that we ask ourselves, before we fall for it


So, there you go....something to think about.
Ask yourself these questions and...

Remember Rule #5

Blog News:  Guess what I got for a Mother's Day gift? A blog makeover! So be watching in the next couple of weeks for a whole new LOOK here at! 

And thanks again for your support and encouragement.

Next Post:  Rule #6  Set Limits for Yourself and Others

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