Stepping off the Purchase Path: How to buy less and have more
Something that has been on the radar for quite some time at OutdoorCure HQ is buying less… well…stuff! We all get sucked in to the purchasing cycle – some more frequently than others - and for the past two years we really have had a good look at our spending habits to see if they can be adapted and brought in line with the ‘Think different, Think Simple’ approach. The reality is, we really do not need all the stuff we tell ourselves we do. And, we don’t always buy it for the right reasons. There can be many reasons behind the urge to make a purchase, and being aware of these is the first step in the right direction. Sometimes we make purchases to make us feel better, or if something is missing in our lives we might try and compensate for that. It might be that you are buying for the lifestyle or image you want to project (sometimes this is not even the one you are living!) It could even be boredom. Regardless of the reason, it is so easy in today’s society to buy at the click of a button, without even moving from the sofa. We are also constantly bombarded with adverts on social media and money off offers via email. How can we start to escape consumerist society, and create a simpler, less stressful and more sustainable way of living?
The OutdoorCure Guide to Buying Less and Having More
1) Often, binge or compulsive shopping, is a response to how you are feeling. Check in with your emotions if you find yourself wanting to buy, buy, buy. Is there anything else going on? If so, remember, purchasing is only a temporary fix – the purchase ‘buzz’ is short lived and can have longer lasting consequences, especially if you are already in debt. What could you do differently?
2) Do some research – read articles or blogs. Two books that really resonated with the OutdoorCure Team are: Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki and The Year of Less by Cait Flanders. It can be very thought provoking to read others’ experiences.
3) Think about what the benefits will be to you? What would it look like if you bought less? Maybe you would have more money or a tidier, less stressful environment. Maybe you would have more time to spend doing things, rather than buying things.
4) Minimise the temptation – unsubscribe from the automated emails, unfollow or block brands on Instagram, don’t pop into the shops on your lunch break – choose to do something different.
5) Think about your purchase from a sustainable lifestyle or ethical point of view. Where was it made? Where will it eventually end up? Do you really need it?
6) If you really, really and we mean REALLY want it – pause before you purchase. Wait 24 hours and then ask yourself again. This is particularly helpful if you were purchasing as an emotional response because often there can be a shift while you pause.
7) Remember that things don’t make us happy! Rather, it is experiences, adventures, connections, friendship and laughter that make us happy, not our belongings. If you have more money and time to spend on these, ultimately you will have much more in your life!
We hope that some of these tips will inspire you to be more mindful in your purchases. Why not set yourself a goal and monitor your progress over the next month? Let us know how you get on,
The OutdoorCure Team x