2 Questions Before You Buy


In this month’s Guidepost, there were two great questions to ask before you buy anything.

"Do we really need this?"


"Is there another option?"

(The Cheapskates Guide to Happiness by Mark Savage)

I especially love the second question. So often we buy things we think we "need" without questioning if there is another option. Like borrowing, renting, finding something in the house that might work, getting it used, checking out freecycle, or bartering. I love that there are more options besides buying something new.


  • happygirl says:

    LOVE this. And if it is clothes, I say, new shirt in, old shirt out. Repeat as necessary.

  • Julia says:

    Great questions to ask. I believe the less you have the simpler life can be. I know the more I own, the more time I invest in maintaining it and more work I have to do to pay for it. Which equals less time for me to pursue my spiritual and family life.Thanks for all your advice.

  • Can I add a third question?

    Where will it go?

    Often I REALLY want something (just because it’s pretty) but when I ask, “where will it go?” I can’t think of a space, and my (self-imposed) rule is that nothing comes into that house til I know where it’s going to go.

    Works really well and has saved me tons of money.

  • Beth says:

    That’s another great question, thanks!

  • Beth says:

    Definitely happygirl!

  • Lori says:

    Where will I put it? Is my major question, then “will I still be happy with it next month?” Often if you imagine living with the item and push out the scenario to a month/year you find that the will be pushed to the back of a counter/closet and just that mental image does away with the temptation.

    It really helps me with seasonal plants–I have major problems getting rid of them after their time. If I picture them leggy or post bloom as I buy them, I can make a deal with myself that they are long term cut flowers and have an expiration date and THEN I’m better at letting them go when they’re not making me smile just adding stress as I try to ‘save’ them. (Think poinsettias… Once in my lifetime have I gotten one to rebloom and even then it wasn’t a very nice looking accent piece.)

  • Delicia La Fosse says:

    so true! I tend to buy more and more 2nd hand things now and try to sell things I no longer use… where will it go? excellent question! if the answer is in a landfil eventually, I pass!

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