Curbing My Enthusiasm – A Guide to Buying Fewer Things

Part of the challenge to be a mindful consumer is to buy fewer things. This is no small challenge as I’m sure you all know how difficult it is to resist impulses to buy, no matter what your budget is. 

Mild Autumn

For instance, I have been wanting a pair of Josefinas for a really long time. I finally decided which colour to pick and I can afford them so I’m now ready to click that purchase button. 

But I haven’t yet because, in my own attempts to manage impulses to buy, I have found helpful to ask myself a few questions first:

1. Am I buying with purpose?

– Do I need it?

– Do I need it now? 

To answer these questions, I consider whether the new item will be replacing something on its way out. If the answer is no, I don’t buy it. No, it’s not easy to make this decision but you have to be ruthless otherwise it defeats the purpose. 

If the answer is yes, I move on to the next set of questions.

2. Am I buying a versatile* item? 

– How will the item work with other items in my wardrobe?

– How many outfits can I create mixing this new item with what I already have?

Versatile items offer many restyling possibilities. If I am highly motivated to buy an item, asking these questions forces me to be mindful about my wardrobe and think creatively about my styling options.

Doing this before I even have the item saves me time and money. This is true even if the answers are yes – if we can mix and match the items in our wardrobes, we’ll be less likely to need to buy something new in the future.

*By versatile I mean adaptable to my own wardrobe, not just pieces that would fit everyone’s wardrobe.

3. Am I buying quality?

Of course, all that I mention above means very little if the item is of poor quality. No matter how much I needed it or how well it fit in my wardrobe, it won’t last. Soon enough, I’m forced to buy a new item.

Asking this question forces me to pay more attention to the composition of an item, learn more about the durability of different materials and how to look after them.

This is something I am still learning to do. It’s not easy for me to pay attention to quality when I’ve already ticked off the other two criteria. But mistakes have been made and I am starting to understand that this is an essential part of the process to become a more mindful consumer. 

What about price, you may ask?

Let’s assume first that we’re talking about an item within our own personal budgets. Price should not come into the conversation until those 3 sets of questions are answered. I have learned this the hard way.

I often make the mistake that I am sure many of you can relate. I see something I need, it fits perfectly with my style, it’s cheap – I buy it. Did I think of quality? Not until a couple of months later when it looks so worn out it’s as if I wore it every day for the past 10 years – true story.

More often than not, a cheaper price-tag does not represent the best economic option. We think we’re saving money but if we consider price-per-wear, we realise that a €12 shirt that only lasts 2 months ends up costing more than a £30 shirt that still looks great after 3 years. 

Stripes and Florals

Back to the beautiful Goa JosefinasI can apply all of the above to help me come to a decision.

Josefinas are versatile (check) and of extremely good quality (check). Now, do I need them? I do have a couple of pairs of shoes on their way out but they’re Spring/Summer – as are the Josefinas.

Winter is coming and I know that if I buy them now, I won’t get to wear them until September. So, Josefinas, I’m sorry to say, I don’t need you right now. 

It’s not easy to be a mindful consumer, particularly when it comes to saying no to yourself. Going through the process of asking those questions forces me to think before I buy and keep those impulses in check. 

How do you curb your consumer enthusiasm? 

Thanks for reading!
xo Rita



8 thoughts on “Curbing My Enthusiasm – A Guide to Buying Fewer Things

  1. I’m hoping we can organise a blogger date soon. We share so many similar philosophies. I’ve been crushing on Josefinas ever since you introduced them to me but even then I knew it just wasn’t the season for them. I’ve bought a few more things from Cuyana but that’s probably it for the moment – unless my husband picks up on all my hints about the wallet 😉

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  3. What a thought-provoking post with some useful tips! The title grabbed my attention. For a while now I have been trying to avoid all impulse buys and I try to buy items which will only work with existing clothes to create a new look and I have to say it is really satisfying. I regularly donate to charity and as a result there is always room in my wardrobe. I’m so pleased to have stumbled across your lovely blog and I’m following along now on Bloglovin’

    • Thank you so much 🙂 I appreciate it and hope you continue to find things interesting around here 🙂

      I have also found the process of trying to make new things work with existing ones quite satisfying. I feel it pushes me to try combinations I wouldn’t have thought otherwise and there’s a nice creative output there.

      🙂 cheers, R

  4. Really great post. Have been trying to simplify my wardrobe and solve the constant dilemma of too many clothes but nothing to wear. These questions are a great mental check to run through before purchasing! Thanks x

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