Five Questions To Ask Before You Open Your Wallet (A Guide to Mindful Spending)

Author: Monisha Vasa

With Thanksgiving leftovers devoured and holiday lights going up around the neighborhood, we all know what is coming next. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday...the opportunities to shop over the next few weeks are endless. How do we apply our mindfulness practices on our fifth trip to the mall?

We know it can be challenging, but here are five questions to ask yourself in the pause before purchasing:

1. Is this product beautiful? Sometimes we see a blouse or a piece of jewelry or a home decor item that is simply beautiful. We can imagine our loved ones lighting up while wearing the color that is meant for them. We can all use a few things that make us feel special, or make our spaces warm and welcoming.

2. Is this product needed? Does someone in your life need a particular book or gadget that they just haven't purchased for themselves due to lack of time or resources? Recognizing the needs of those around us, or even anticipating their needs, is a way of showing that we care enough to pay attention.

3. Does this product make me happy? Of course different strokes for different folks. For us at Shyft, our spirits soar at the sight of a beautiful new journal, or a cozy hoodie. What makes your tribe happy? We all have the smallest items that just make us feel good inside.

4. If I make this purchase, will I somehow make a positive impact in the world? Some products or experiences not only benefit the recipient of the gift, but people around the world. Choosing a cosmetic or piece of clothing that either donates proceeds to a particular charity, or supports the just employment of individuals in other countries, is a way to amplify the power of gift giving.

5. Can I afford this? No matter how beautiful, needed, joy inducing or impactful a gift may be, we ultimately have to ask whether we can comfortably afford the purchase. Stretching our budget beyond our limits is stressful and unnecessary. There are plenty of ways to show our love during the holidays without breaking the bank. Consider gifting joint experiences, a meaningful note, or baking a tasty homemade treat.

Ultimately, it is the intention with which we buy, share and give over the holidays that matters most. Whether a gift comes from your own hands and heart, or the nearest store, consider pausing and asking yourself these five questions before giving. Because during the holidays, and year round, perhaps what we need most is thoughtfulness.

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