Could You Be A More Conscious Consumer?

Are you a conscious consumer? There are so many reasons to become more measured about what we choose to purchase and when. From being kinder to the planet to helping you organise your life and your finances by owning less possessions that you don’t really need, there are many compelling factors when it comes to practising mindful shopping. With opportunities to purchase literally available 24/7 and at the click of a button with apps on our smartphones, it's become harder than ever to resist impulse purchasing. And yet getting our consumerism under control is critical for our own wellbeing and that of our planet. So what can you do to break the cycle? How do you learn to challenge your shopping habits and become more mindful about what you buy?

Plan What You Need
Buying things on impulse - whether it's booking a last-minute weekend break or giving in to that must-have new skirt - is never a good idea. After all, how many items of clothing have you bought because it was on sale or you saw it on a friend it looked great on, only for it to remain on the hanger because it didn’t really suit you or your life? Planning in purchases makes so much more sense. When you remove the knee-jerk, ‘I’ve got to have it’ approach, you gain so much more - peace of mind, closet space and a bank balance that doesn’t make you wince. Take the time to audit your current wardrobe and plan out what you will need to buy for the season. This also leads to better style in most cases! And if you know you have a large purchase coming up, try to factor it in and reduce your spending to save towards it.

Try Pre-Loved
More and more people are waking up to the benefits of purchasing preloved, and there are lots of ways to use this in your life. It could be browsing Depop for clothes and accessories before purchasing new. Perhaps you might get into upcycling furniture rather than buying lower-quality flatpack. Or when it's time to get a new car you could work with a supplier like Quick Car Credit to buy a nearly new vehicle instead of going for a brand new model that will start depreciating the minute you drive off the forecourt. Always try to source something at second-hand first, and not only will you be helping the planet out, but you’ll probably save some money too.

Build In A Delay
Your main aim is to create a bit of distance between yourself and each purchase. Never buy anything straight away if you can help it - this gives you a chance to cool down, think it through rationally without urgency, and compare deals to make sure you’re getting the best price. You should always use a shopping comparison site to see if you can find an item for less, and you could try starting a wishlist photo album - if you see something you want to buy, instead of heading straight to the till, simply take a picture on your phone and add it to the album. At the end of the week, if you still want to buy it, go ahead. But you might be surprised how many items you don’t feel so strongly about once there’s a little distance between you and the checkout.

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