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These 24 questions to ask yourself before buying something will help you think about your consumption and avoid impulse buying! 

Whether you strive to become a minimalist, save money, or adopt a zero-waste lifestyle, you probably want to be a more conscious consumer and stop buying things you don’t need. 

Everything we buy has an environmental footprint and can become clutter we’re going to have to deal with in our homes.

It’s also money that we could have spent differently, invested, or saved for the future

That’s why it’s very important to be mindful when spending money and think through all our purchases to avoid regretting them in the future. 

A great way to do that is to ask yourself questions before buying something.

You will find 24 of the best questions for mindful shopping in this article! 

And if you need more general advice and guidance, check out my complete guide on how to stop impulse buying.

Why should you ask yourself questions before buying something?

When you ask yourself some specific questions, you start to see things from a different perspective.

And it might make you realize that you don’t actually need or want the item you intended to buy. 

Being able to refrain from buying useless things is a life-changing habit that comes with so many benefits!

It helps you save tons of money and maintain a clutter-free home

It’s also helping the environment by not contributing to the demand to produce new things, and it reduces waste in the long run. 

Plus, not buying things you don’t need saves you time and energy as you won’t have to manage such a huge inventory in your home. 

Asking yourself questions before buying something also makes you a more conscious person.

It helps you understand who you are, what you like, and what your values are. 

Read more: How to develop a minimalist mindset? 13 simple tips to think like a minimalist

24 questions to ask yourself before buying something

1. Do I really need/want it? Or am I acting on impulse?

When we see something cool at the store or when shopping online, we sometimes trick ourselves into thinking we need or want it.

But do we?

Or are we acting on impulse because that thing is all shiny and new?

Be honest with yourself when asking this question. 

2. How many times will I use it?

How many times do you see yourself using this item?


Five times?

30 times?

100 times?

There is no right or wrong answer.

But knowing how many times you will use it, is it still worth buying it? 

"How many times will I use it?" is one of the best questions to ask yourself before buying something!

3. How often will I use this?

Similarly, how often do you see yourself using it?

Maybe you know that you will get tons of use out of it.

But if you only plan on using it rarely, like once a year or every few years, is it worth buying it?

Or can you rent it whenever you need it?

4. Why do I want it? 

It is easy to think we want or need something.

But it is also important to think about why.

If we don’t know why, maybe we don’t really want it!

Or we might realize the reason is not good enough to justify buying it. 

5. Do I already have something similar? 

Most of us are guilty of wanting new things when we already have something similar at home that we can use.

If you already own something similar, do you really need to buy a duplicate item?

It will add to the clutter in your home and that’s one more thing you will have to manage. 

6. Can I do without? 

This one is one of my favorite questions to ask yourself before buying something!

Yes, having this item might be nice, but can I do without it?

I find that as human beings, we don’t need that much stuff to live and be happy

7. How much will it cost me?

When you buy something, you pay a monetary cost in exchange for it.

But that’s not the only cost.

You then have to pay with your energy and time to take care of the item, clean it, repair it, manage it, move it, and dispose of it.

Are all these costs worth buying that thing? 

8. Can I even afford it?

Do you have enough money in your bank account to justify buying it?

Many people go into consumer debt to buy stuff they don’t even need.

Try not to do that.

You will thank yourself later!

Only buy things when you have the money to pay for them.

9. Would I buy it if it wasn’t on sale? 

While sales can be a great opportunity to save money on the things we need and buy all the time, they can also push us to buy things we don’t need.

Ask yourself: If this item wasn’t on sale, would you pay full price to get it?

If not, you probably don’t need or want it! 

10. How many hours do I have to work to be able to buy this? Is it worth it? 

We may not realize it but anything we buy, we are buying it with hours from our lives we will never get back.

Think about it: each item costs a given amount of money, and to earn that money, you have to work a certain number of hours.

So in a way, we are buying things with our time

One of the most impactful questions to ask yourself before buying something is "How many hours do I have to work to get this?".

11. Can I use it in different ways?

While it is perfectly fine to buy something you can only use in one way, see if you can find a similar item that could be used in different ways.

That way, you won’t need to buy or have as many things in your home and will have less clutter

12. Will buying this bring me closer to my goals? 

Sometimes, without even realizing it, we buy things that are taking us farther away from our goals and dreams.

For instance, if you plan on moving in six months, you probably don’t need to stock up on clothes or bathroom products.

It will make the process harder!

And if you’re trying to improve your health, you don’t want to buy all those toxic cleaning products or unhealthy snacks.

13. How was the product made? Am I okay with that? 

As I strive to live every day as sustainably as possible, I always ask myself how the things I want to buy are made.

What are they made from?

Where were they produced?


Were they mass-produced in a sweatshop or crafted in small batches with quality, people, and the planet in mind? 

14. How long will it last?

Get into the habit of asking yourself how long the item will last.

Is it worth buying this $5 t-shirt from a fast fashion brand if you will no longer be able to wear it a few months from now?

You will be better off buying something that will last you longer and is made to stand the test of time. 

15. What will I do with it at the end of its life or when I no longer want it? 

It is also important to think about what we are going to do when we no longer want the item or when it reaches the end of its life.

Will you be able to recycle it?

Sell it?

Donate it?

Or will it have to go in the trash? 

16. Will I still use/want it a year from now? Five years from now? 

Do you still want to buy this item knowing you’re only going to use it for a few months?

For a year?

It might not be worth it. 

17. Could I borrow it?

One thing I love doing that helps me reduce how much I buy is borrowing things from loved ones.

Of course, I lend them things as well when they need them.

Sometimes, it’s not worth owning something we only use occasionally.

Borrow it if you can.

Plus, it is so much better for the planet!

18. Can I find it second-hand instead of buying it new? 

Speaking of being sustainable, see if you can buy this item second-hand instead of new, for instance at thrift stores or online.

Buying things second-hand has many environmental benefits!

It wil also make you save a lot of money, and it’s always great to support your local community. 

See if you can get it second-hand instead of new to save money and the planet.

19. How will it bring value to my life? 

When we think we need something, it’s important to think about how it will add value to our lives.

Because we may realize that the item isn’t that necessary after all.

Or we might discover that we need it more than we thought. 

20. Will I regret buying it? 

This is one of the best questions to ask yourself before buying something!

If you want to avoid regretful purchases, ask yourself whether you will regret buying it afterward. 

21. Can I wait for a week before making this purchase? A month? 

I always try to wait at least a few days before making a purchase.

When you give yourself time to think about it, you allow yourself to see things from a different perspective.

You are less likely to make impulsive decisions and end up having regrets later.

And you might realize you don’t actually want the item

Read more: How to do a no-spend month? 9 helpful tips for a successful no-buy challenge

22. Where will this item live in my home?

Why would we purchase something that we don’t have room for?

If you don’t have space for it, don’t buy it!

And maybe you’ll also realize you don’t want to make space for it because it isn’t worth it. 

23. Who am I buying this for? 

Sometimes, we buy things for our fantasy selves.

We buy them for the person we think we are or want to be.

Are you buying this item for your true authentic self or your fantasy self?

Try to be honest with yourself.

24. Will this make my life easier or more complicated? 

Things are tools that are here to make our lives easier or better in some way.

If they don’t contribute to your happiness, comfort, productivity, or well-being, do you really want them?

It’s not worth buying something if it doesn’t make your life better, especially if it makes it more complicated

Final thoughts on questions to ask yourself before buying something

There are countless questions you can ask yourself before buying something!

No matter which ones you choose, they should help you stop impulse buying and shop with intention

Answering these questions will also help you understand yourself better, which is very powerful. 

What questions do you like to ask yourself before buying something?

Please, share them in the comments! 

If you liked this article, you will also enjoy reading: 50 helpful questions to ask yourself when decluttering your home

Don’t forget to share this blog post with your friends to help them stop impulse buying as well! 

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