Ask Yourself These 3 Things Before You Buy

People ask me how I have managed to avoid shopping for clothes for the past 8+ months.  The tips about emails that I shared in this post have definitely helped a ton.  There are also a few questions I ask myself before I buy anything now.  To be honest, its the reason why I’m sitting on a few hundred dollars worth of gift cards at the moment.  Here are my top 3 questions to ask before you spend money.

1) Ask Yourself:  Will this make me happy a week from now?

Picture this – you are at the register with a child and they see a toy they have never wanted before but now they HAVE to have it.  Usually this is followed up with a meltdown and sometimes the child wins and gets the item.  Note: the parent always loses because public meltdowns are the worst.  Typically, the child loses interest in this toy before you even pull into the driveway.  Inevitably, it ends up in a pile with other cheap junk that eventually will get thrown out.

Grown ups do this too.  Sometimes we are so blinded by a good deal that we buy things we don’t even want.  If you can’t say for sure if you will be happy about the item you purchased in a week (happy about the ITEM not the DEAL) than put it back on the shelf and move on.

2) Ask Yourself:  Will I have a better time because of this purchase?

One of my worst shopping habits in the past was buying a new outfit every time I had plans.  Happy hour? New top.  Conference? New suit.  Wedding or Bachelorette Party? Dress, shoes and a haul at Sephora. Did I have a better time at happy hour because of my new top?  No, I had a better time if all of my friends showed up or if the place was amazing.  Not once did the event improve because I bought something to wear.  Same goes for conferences.  I never learned more or made more connections with people because of my outfit.  It usually has more to do with whether or not I ate breakfast which is often the difference between me talking to people or sitting in the corner.

Buying something new every time you have somewhere to go it is going to destroy your budget and make every event even more expensive.  If the purchase won’t make an impact on how much fun you will have just wear something you own.

3) Ask Yourself:  Do I already own something like this?

At one point I had 20+ pairs of jeans.  Aside from pregnancy I have been about the same size for as long as I can remember.  There was no legitimate reason for this.  Once bought my own pair of jeans from a consignment store (clearly didn’t try them on or I’d realize why they were there to begin with).  The worst part is that I usually wear the same 4 pairs (favorite boot cut/skinny/work/crop) all the time.  It was a bad habit.  If saw a pair in a magazine or on a person I would search them out and buy them.  Didn’t matter if they looked good on a model and not someone 5’3″. I used to do this with bags too.  Now I realize I just need one for work, a clutch and maybe something in the middle that can comfortably hold two juice boxes and a snack.

If you see something nice at a store don’t buy it on the spot.  Check your closet (or attic and bins) to see if you own anything similar.  If you do maybe you just need to put it back in your rotation or style it differently.  Getting inspired by someone else’s outfit is free.  You just need to take a look at what you’ve got before you add to your closet.

Do you have any tips to help you from spending too much when you go shopping?  Leave a comment with your best tip or your favorite one of these! 


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    • Online shopping makes it so easy to impulse buy. Once your cart is full you can definitely ask these questions and start removing the items you really don’t need.

    • It is hard to stop for sure especially when it comes to the kids! We try to shop with the kids when we need to get something specific and not just to pass the time anymore. It gets expensive!

    • I totally understand! It is hard to say no to the kids clothes – they are usually cuter than what I see for myself. It adds up though so we try to go shopping with a budget for the kids to stay under control.

    • That is a great suggestion! Those are the things you should buy. Taking some time will help differentiate the good purchases from the regrettable impulse buys. Thank you for sharing

  • I love this, Misty.
    “Buying something new every time you have somewhere to go it is going to destroy your budget and make every event even more expensive.” Uh, yeah. I wore the same dress to each of my 3 daughter’s weddings. I love the dress so much, I got excited to wear it again. And it’s a neutral champagne color, so it goes with any color scheme. I also wore the same outfit to my sons’ Bar Mitzvahs. 4 out of my 5 boys. The 5th will have his Bar Mitzvah in 2 years from now. I can’t wait to wear the same outfit again.
    When you buy something fancy, my best advice is to buy a quality piece that you look forward to wearing again and again.”

    • That is great advice! I have one suit that I know I feel confident in and will look good. It is nice to not worry every time about an event or presentation. A go to neutral dress can look so different depending on what you wear with it. Then you can focus on having a great time and not how you look because you know it works!


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