When you ‘need’ something what is the first thing you do? Just go out and buy it? I’m pretty sure that’s what alot of people do. I like to think of it as “no conscious buying“. And what’s the opposite of that? CONSCIOUS BUYING. Giving great consideration to each and every thing you buy. My Mum mistakes ‘being thrifty’ as buying a super cheap knife on sale at Red Dot. That’s not thrifty because if that knife isn’t going to last it’s not only a waste of money but a waste of resources and will become landfill.
Today I bought a bassinet. It was after a long discussion with my partner and alot of research. It occured to me how much effort I had put into something someone else might have just gone out and bought without the blink of an eye. Having a baby (any day now!) has put me in what must be the biggest consumption period of my life. These are necessities (not just a new dress to wear on the weekend) but every thing I’ve bought I’ve given great consideration to.
If you still don’t understand what I mean, here’s a little glimpse into how my brain has operated for everything I’ve bought.
- So I think I need X.
- I research X and decide whether this is something we really need.
- If I decide it is something we need (not just want), I then research all the different types of options for X.
- I decide what factors to consider when making a decision for this purchase (eg. quality, colour, cost, storage, duration of use, sustainability etc).
- I decide whether buying secondhand is an option. If it is, I check the availability and prices brand new and then compare this to secondhand. I check for secondhand via Gumtree, eBay and Op Shops. I also check the prices of hiring. Sometimes you might even be able to put the word out via your social networks to see if anyone has what you need.
- I take my time and eventually find what I need.
That’s pretty much how my purchasing experiences have been over the last 6 months. It has applied to the new car, the cot and bassinet, the nursing chair, clothes for baby, clothes for me, EVERYTHING.
Someone might say “but it seems harder” – well the benefits far outweigh the hassles. You make a far more educated decision, you usually save money (or at least know that you’re spending alot of money for a good reason) and you can even save the environment.
And you could easily replace the ‘X’ with something like ‘new dress’, ‘bookshelf’, ‘camera’ – you name it, the same consideration should be given to everything you consume.