While some may reason that choosing to be happy by getting what you want and need is being mindful of oneself, this reasoning does not consider future consequences.
That is the implications of your spending habits on your financial habits. They say a little of saving goes a long way. Which is indeed true when you consider the savings that are to be made in adjusting your spending habits to align with your financial goals.
Mindful shopping refers to making purchasing decisions that realistically support a balanced, quality lifestyle through informed financial habits.
By being a mindful shopper, you make the deliberate choice to live better and spend better, in six easy-to-do ways:-
The goal is to align your spending with values that support your financial goals. For example, if you are a landscaper it makes more sense to buy your lawnmower rather than leasing a lawnmower because it’s a necessary tool for your job.
By taking stock of what you have, you focus on regularly inspecting what you do have, to identify what you don’t have.
The next step is to break down what you don’t have into needs and wants – so you can prioritise your budget items.
For what you do have, learn to optimise their use; for example, fix what needs to/you can fix and make note of the items you need. Using the same example above, if your gardening/landscaping tools are malfunctioning, you can consider maintain them by cleaning and sharpening yourself or replacing some parts over buying new equipment.
Once you’re clear on what you do need, what you don't need, and what your wants are – go ahead and make a shopping list, with your budget in mind.
Remember to stick to your shopping list and you’ll gradually learn to enjoy the feeling and rewards of your self-discipline. For instance:-
Getting to shop and having your items delivered to you from anywhere in the world, has tons of benefits, but unchecked, it sums up being an expensive shopping affair.
Other than the mini-workout you get when you are out shopping, here are some additional advantages:-
Receipts are important for personal and financial accountability but the low durability of paper receipts can derail your fiscal responsibility efforts.
For stress-free record-keeping for long-term documentation and unlimited storage space for eco-friendly, money management, insist on e-receipts that will typically come in the form of app installs.
Local stores do offer the option of e-receipts; simply sign up for their e-service and you’ll also get access to e-notifications on sales and you can start earning customer loyalty points, each time you shop at the store.
Also, whenever you use e-payment mode, automated e-receipts are generated and all you have to do is save them on your device, cloud account, or email for later reference.
It's quite an exciting game-changer for your financial management efforts.
If you’re keen on affordable, unique purchase options, second-hand shopping could be a smart move for you.
From furniture to clothing to decorative items and more – buying secondhand is a sustainable option and a thrifty practice you can sustain due to the availability of thrift stores / second-hand a.k.a mutumba
Another fun, cost-saving option is to have a meet-and-swap with family and friends. Think of this as a barter trade of pre-owned items where you get to skip the hassle of wading through piles of second-hand clothes and crowded streets at little-to-no cost.
We often stick to what we’re used to but researching alternatives to what we’re used to buying can have numerous advantages.
You often come across information on sustainable yet affordable options that offer value-add benefits like re-usable packaging and durable production materials.
Quality items are made to last longer, which means you save time and money and there’s less need to buy more or replace due to breakdown or irreversible wear-and-tear.
All you have to do after is to be mindful of your purchases before and after purchase, that is, keep them clean/correctly maintain them, store properly and use them correctly
Word-Of-Advice: If you don’t find what you require (in availability and/or quality), be patient.
Check-in with the stores regularly for re-stock updates and/or keep searching for alternate stores or sellers that offer what you are looking for without compromising on affordability and quality.
This is an example of a “clutter trap”- Buy 2, Get 1 Free (or) Buy 2 for the price of 1’…
The trap is in that, the item on offer is hyped through different marketing tactics like price tag colour switch or a loud display or fronted by a charismatic sales personnel. However, the item is not on offer or is on offer at a very low price-cut, with a freebie included.
If you’re not yet convinced, ask yourself if the offer is worth deviating from your budget - do you need so many of the same products?
If you only need one of something, then only buy one of that something. Buying extra items to save a few shillings isn’t the best decision, especially, if you rarely use/don't use them or you do not have space to store the items (remember, you have a shopping list to stick to).
From a mindful shopping view – this means you buy to enhance yourself.
That is, shop to compliment your current needs, obligations, and current personal style and limitations, like considering real-time healthcare needs, dietary needs, how much storage space you have, and so on.
With the above in mind, pick out what and when you can declutter. For example, every end-of-year have a scheduled weekend to sort through your wardrobe and note what to donate, sell, re-gift, or item-swap with friends and/or relatives.
Word-Of-Advice: As you work towards regularly doing so, remember; storage is not the answer to clutter. Get rid of what you can and be more aware of what you have and what you need
Mindful shopping is every shopper’s choice made easier.
Even though becoming a mindful shopper might not be possible in a day, it’s possible to take a few minutes or a day per week to sort the clutter in your home, review your budget, browse for offers, and so on.
Just remember to be methodical and patient, even as you enjoy trips to the store, malls, and the online shopping convenience of ordering items to your front door.