I’ve always been trying to formulate a good question to ask myself before I buy anything.
While I usually ask myself “do I really need this?” I don’t always do the right thing, but it does help me be more deliberate about what I purchase.
Recently Joshua Becker posted what I feel is a much better question.
The question is this: But what if I don’t?
Whenever you feel the pull of consumerism, simply ask yourself the shortened version of this thought, “What might I be able to do if I didn’t make this purchase?”
Every purchase contains an opportunity cost. The question, “But what if I don’t?”, forces us to recognize and articulate it.
I think most of us don’t really stop to think the amount of effort needed to actually acquire the money in our wallet, or in the case of credit cards, the amount of effort that will be needed in order to pay the bill that will arrive in the upcoming statement.
I believe if I actually take the time to stop and think about it, we’ll drastically reduce the number of frivolous purchases that we make.