Have you ever been caught between two worlds, where your heart says one thing and your mind says the opposite? The concept of mindfulness has recently gained popularity as a way of paying attention in a particular way – on purpose and in-the-moment awareness without any judgment.
Mindful eating and mindful moving are popular terms you’ve probably heard of before. Now, mindful buying is gaining ground in response to over-consumption within consumer behaviour. Spending money has always been easier than earning it, but that’s especially the case in the age of digital money and online shopping. Studies have shown that the human brain is more comfortable spending digital money as opposed to physical money.
Modern life consumerism
It’s human nature to easily get distracted by the fast-paced world around us and fall into a state of unconscious decision making. This state of mind doesn’t benefit us, but it’s very beneficial to retailers, who often carefully design it to increase consumer spending – think of those targeted ads you see when visiting different websites.
The first step to practising mindful buying is to be aware of your own tendency to overspend and the feelings of remorse you might have afterwards. Before you even notice a clearance sale or a special offer, you should be thinking of the specific items you need and how much you plan to spend on them.
Here are three ways to practice buying more mindfully:
Creating a budget is the most effective tool you can use to manage your money, see your total outflows and inflows in one place and to avoid overspending. Budgeting allows you to prioritise your spending and ultimately helps you to gain a feeling of control over your money.
22seven has made it even easier to budget, see all your money in one place, track your spend, get interesting insights into your behaviour and benchmark your spending habits against other people like you.
2. Creating lists
Before you even create your routine shopping list, create a list where you separate your expenses into “needs’” and “wants” on an emotional level – and then make your shopping list. The goal is to first fulfil the “needs” on the list before you assess how important the “wants” actually are to you.
Time might be in your favour in this case when it comes to your “wants”. You may decide something actually isn’t important to you after thinking long and hard about it!
3. Buying second-hand
One shift in consumer behaviour that the coronavirus outbreak revealed is a rising comfort level with buying second-hand goods. This came after the exceptionally tough economic conditions we found ourselves in and the struggle to make ends meet.
Looking at the apparel market as an example, reselling has grown 21 times faster than the new apparel market in the last three years according to this report.