The Three Questions I Ask Myself That Keeps Me from Overspending on Clothing & Home Decor
While I have purchased new clothing items over the last several months, I’ve noticed that I am purchasing few and far in-between. Even as recently as a year ago, I was constantly purchasing new items because I wanted different looks and to try different styles.
Perhaps it’s because I am getting older or because I am trying to be intentional with my purchases (still working on this), but I am a bit more budget-conscientious than I was before. I find myself adding items to cart often, but it’s rare that I’ll actually purchase it.
For example, one of my favorite stores, Vineyard Vines, had a massive sale about a month ago where some items were as much as 50% off. I almost purchased a few items simply because they were cute and the prices were so good, but it came down to a couple of questions I have asked myself with nearly every purchase I’ve made in the last several months:
“Do I need this?”
“Would I buy this if it wasn’t on sale?”
“Is this within the budget?”
Unfortunately for me, the answers to those questions were “no” so I didn’t purchase anything during that sale.
The same thing happened when I saw this beautiful chinoiserie stool I was thinking about purchasing smack dab in the middle of Christmas shopping season.
Essentially setting a budget and constantly evaluating my purchases has actually resulted in me shopping less, even when I can afford to treat myself. Allow me to explain the purpose behind these questions a little more and how this has helped form my decisions.
“DO I NEED THIS?”
I am a sucker for a good sale – especially if it’s a normally higher-priced item. Perhaps it’s psychological, but it tricks you into thinking it’s something you should buy because how often would you be able to purchase a $100 dress for only $34 or a $150 coat for $85? You’d be crazy to miss that sale and not purchase it, right?
When I set a budget and started asking myself whether or not I needed it, I began to spend less. Something could be on sale, beautiful in style, and seemingly perfect, but if I don’t need it and have to find a place to put it, I probably shouldn’t buy it.
Part of us being more intentional about our decorative and clothing purchases is making sure that the items we get are the items that we actually could use. Sure with decorations, there’s a little more flexibility, but if I am purchasing something simply because it’s cute with the expectation that I’ll “find a place for it later” I am wasting money.
I’ll never forget when I purchased 5 items from Bullseye Playground when they had their sea and coastal decor up, only to currently use like a couple or so items from it because I couldn’t figure out how to style it in a way that didn’t look like I was being cheesy. Luckily they were only a couple dollars an item, but that adds up and is still essentially a waste.
“WOULD I BUY THIS IF IT WASN’T ON SALE?”
This question is one of the biggest questions I ask myself each time I feel compelled to purchase something on sale. If this item wasn’t on sale and it was full price, but I could afford it, would I still want to purchase it?
You would be surprised how many items that narrowed down for me because often times the answer is “no.”
It’s an item I think is cute or nice looking, but it’s not something that if it were full price I’d be inclined to pay for. There are some items that I’ve still purchased because the answer was “yes” but most of the time it’s not. Most of the time I don’t really want that dress or those shoes, but it’s so cheap that you feel like you should buy it.
(Related Post – How We Decorated Our Kitchen on a Budget)
“IS THIS WITHIN THE BUDGET?”
The last question we often ask ourselves is specifically about the budget. Let’s say I said yes to the above two questions – the bigger question is whether or not we can afford it, even if it’s something we need and/or something we’d buy full price.
For example, the chinoiserie stool I wanted to purchase was an item we wanted (for the bedroom) and an item I’d pay full price for, but at the time I saw it, we could not afford it. So, as MUCH as I swooned over that stool, it wasn’t a wise purchase for us at that time. I still haven’t gotten it, but it’s still on my wish-list, so one day I expect that we will, but it’s just that other things are higher on the priority list.
There was a beautiful rug that I saw that I wanted to purchase for the kitchen, but with the amount of bills we had going out that week, it wouldn’t be a wise purchase.
Sometimes you may love something and you may even see a need for it, but unless it’s an absolute necessity, it’s probably best that you wait.
While there are other things I often consider when making purchases, these are the three questions that have been a great way to stop me from overspending on things like clothing, travel accommodations, and decor. It’s also helped us become more intentional about things we spend on in hopes of trying to maintain a firm budget that enables us to save even more. What about you, friend?
Do you struggle with overspending? If not, what are some things you do to keep yourself from overspending on items you do not need?