Time and time again, advice from the greats tell us that seeing the big picture and being consistent are the keys to success. We may not see the impact of our actions on a daily basis, but when we look back after a week, a month, a year… those small steps accumulate.
Begin with the end in mind – Stephen Covey
It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently. – Anthony Robbins
Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals. – Jim Rohn
If you want to save time, money, and decrease your environmental footprint, the best way to go about it is to embrace consistency … Consumption is the driver of environmental degradation and the drainer of our wallets.
So next time you’re shopping, think about the big picture and keep a few things in mind:
What’s this going to look like in 5 years? Things that stand the test of time add more value to your life.
Will this be fashionable next fall too? Think again if you can’t see yourself wearing (or using) this more than a handful of times.
Don’t take advice from ads. Magazines and commercials are biased; They are trying to sell you something. They paint a beautiful picture that’s been designed to make you feel good and purchase. Thousands of dollars and years of marketing research go into ads. Stay true to yourself.
Be wary of advice from sales clerks. They are salesmen, working for a commission so their advice about what you should buy is subjective.
Online > In Store > Online: the great thing about online shopping is that it takes away the social pressures of buying. Without a pushy salesman you can take your time and use tools to compare various products. But be weary of shopping solely online. Pictures can be very deceiving. A poorly made computer case can look high quality online and turn out to be junk. Read the reviews (not just the first 3) Do your research online then go to a store and actually handle the product. From there you can compare price and decide where to buy. You may also want to consider the eco comparison of shopping online vs going to the store.
Learn to identify true value. Buying something might give you instant gratification, but will it add value to your life? Getting years of use out of something is gratifying. Keep this in mind as you’re deciding what to buy.
Time is money. Many of us are tempted to just make a quick purchase “I can return it if I need to”. The fact is that we don’t get around to returning it because we don’t have time and making quick purchases are almost always regrettable. Rather than buying 10 pairs of shoes to find 1 you actually like, do your research and buy right the first time. I’d argue that this will actually save you more time and definitely more money.
Experiences are more valuable than things. Save your money and enjoy a vacation or time off with your family.
What’s your strategy for shopping smarter and getting more value out of the things you buy? Let us know in the comments.