Intentional Shopping – How to be intentional with new purchases

Have you ever bought things and never used? Did you ever buy something that you already had (and you forgot about it)? Have you ever bought something out of peer pressure? I have done all these and I wish I hadn’t. When I started my intentional living journey, I realized that my shopping habits are costing me too much time, space and money. That is when I started implementing the concept of intentional shopping.

A few years ago, I had an insane number of footwear. I had purchased them while street shopping and that is why they would last only a few months. They were all fancy but  I never had the right footwear for any style. They always looked cheap.

This is why – last year, I decided to invest in high quality footwear that had a classic style that suited my personality. As a result, I started spending way less on maintenance and re-purchasing, my entire outfit looked good quality and the 4 pairs look good on all styles and occasions.

I am not a minimalist who works with a capsule wardrobe. I am an  intentional being who has 2 closets full of clothes that I need, enjoy and use. Over the last 4 years, I have tried to be intentional with my purchases by implementing the intentional shopping principles.

Full disclaimer – I am not perfect. Sometimes I buy stuff that does not resonate with me or I end up not liking. But the frequency of this happening has reduced drastically in the last few years. In today’s blog post, I am sharing everything that you need to know about intentional shopping.

What is Intentional Shopping?

Intentional shopping is not a restrictive principle. It does not even ask you to only buy the things you need. It is a framework which makes sure that you spend your time, money and space on things that actually add value or bring joy in your life.

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Intentional living is basically living a life that is aligned with your values. So, intentional shopping is an approach where you buy things that are aligned with values. Each person has their own set of values and hence each person will have different things that align with them.

I have done my post graduation in Marketing and I know how brands are marketing their products. Companies influence your psychology with their marketing tactics to make you feel like you need their product.

The core concept of intentional living is this –

“Do not look at the marketing material before you buy a product, look at your own set of values.”

Guidelines

For any lifestyle or habit to stick, you need to have certain rules or guidelines. Intentional shopping becomes easier when you follow these guidelines. Whenever you are shopping for anything, make sure you go through these so as to stay intentional.

If you are into intentional living, you have probably heard of the questions that you need to ask before buying anything. I am going to skip on ‘Do you need it?’ part because these questions are meant for things that you don’t need but want. Nobody is going to go through these questions before purchasing tampons or toothpaste.

  • Would you want this 7 days, 1 month or 1 year from now?
  • Can you afford it? (Do not buy stuff you don’t need with your credit card)
  • Have you got something similar?
  • Do I have enough space to keep it?
  • Will I use it in the long run?
  • Will it bring me joy / value?

These questions can help you make the to-buy or not-to-buy decision. These questions help you stay intentional with your purchases.

Here are some other guidelines that I have set for myself that help me stay aligned with my values –

  • Do not buy stuff in sales unless it has been on your shopping list from before the sale started. (Read more about this here).
  • Invest in high-quality items – clothing, accessories, furniture, etc.
  • Buy it only if you know exactly how and when to use it. (I have a pile of handbags that do not match on any outfits / occasions – I regret all those purchases)
  • Do not buy any wearable without trying them on.
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You can have your own set of guidelines that fit into your life well and they might work for you.

Intentional shopping is a habit that you will be able to build over time. Do not give up on it when you fail once or twice. Every time you make an intentional purchase, you will feel joyful and every time you make a decision to not buy something, you will save money, space and time!

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