The First Steps To Consuming Less


in Memos & Musings · 4 min read

With the advent of the technological era, many of our daily habits have been moved online. Be it buying groceries or carting out new clothes, it is now as simple as a click of a button! However, this convenience also encourages us to consume more, not because it is only easy, but also because we are more likely to be exposed to consumer marketing advertisements and fall prey to impulse buys. 

How often do you find yourself left with things lying around which you do not really need or want? (Well, I got to admit I’m guilty of this too even though I’m already not considered a spendthrift!)

1. Be discerning of reviews

Many of us may look to reviews in order to evaluate the worth of an item. If these reviews are written by previous customers, it is probably a good gauge right? However, we sometimes forget that reviews may be disproportionately posted online: reviews could be swayed by many factors such as price and brand reputation, and those who leave reviews are usually those with extreme views on the product. Furthermore, every individual has different expectations of a product and another person’s good or bad experience with it may not translate into reality with your unique lifestyle. Thus, we may opt to visit a physical store, especially when purchasing items such as furniture.

2. Think first, act later

As its name suggests, impulse buys are often made on a whim, made with our hearts and not our heads! They usually occur because we don’t fully process whether we need the item or whether we just want the item for superficial means. This often leads to our homes being filled with white elephants or items that are unused and make us feel a sense of regret. So, before we make any purchase, we could take a 10 minute pause. With this buffer time, we may be able to think twice and leave behind some items that we don’t need to buy.

3. Doing a deep clean

Sometimes the reason why we over-consume is because we are unsure of what we already possess! We are even more prone to this problem when our house is cluttered and things are not organised. This is where we can Marie-Kondo it up! A deep clean and reorganisation of our home from time to time can help us to keep track of what we have, and also uncover some ‘forgotten’ items. This can prevent us from buying duplicates and also be aware of what we may tend to buy but not use enough.

When we become more mindful of how we consume material goods, we can definitely prevent feelings of post-purchase regret and also leave our wallets feeling happier and healthier!

About Hazelle

Chief trainer of The Moneyball Investors Playbook program and founder of The Joyful Investors, a financial education firm that seeks to help avid investors learn to invest better and make the journey a joyful one. I graduated with a first class honors in Bachelor of Accountancy from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and started my auditing career in one of the Big Four. I believe that once we know how to build our wealth sustainably, we can then live our best lives ever.

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