yours, tiramisu

questions to ask before making any purchase

I've always struggled with impulse control, and tried researching and coming up with questions to ask myself before making purchases. However, they usually don't work, because the questions are usually too broad, and don't address the specific purchases I'm contemplating.

This week, I found Joshua Becker's article 3 Questions to Ask Before Making Any Purchase, which I really like because he splits out the questions by category of purchase. I wanted to keep a condensed version for my own reference, so here is my cherry-picked, rearranged, condensed, and slightly rewritten version of his list.

Of course, all credit goes to Joshua Becker. Thank you for the fantastic list!

3 Questions to Ask Before Any Purchase (by category)


  1. Will this food fuel my body right?
  2. Are my food decisions contributing to my financial stress?
  3. Who am I supporting with this purchase? This one helps me a lot, not just for food but also for clothing, technology, and entertainment. Just thinking about the corporations and billionaires that will get the bulk of my money when I don't shop local is enough to dampen my enthusiasm.


  1. Am I replacing an item of clothing or buying something new? If it's not a specific replacement, rethink it.
  2. Is this something I will wear regularly? If you can't picture yourself wearing it regularly, think again.
  3. Is the style one that will last? Not only do trends change quickly, but we humans also suck at affective forecasting, or predicting what we'll like in the future.


  1. What problem does this solve? Technology should solve problems; if a new technology doesn't solve an existing problem, it is only adding to them.
  2. Are there any rumors of new advancements to this technology? If you don't need the purchase immediately, check if a new release is expected anytime soon.
  3. Can I afford to own it? Think beyond the upfront costs. How much will it cost to maintain, service, and repair?


  1. Will this entertainment choice result in result in rest and value? I like to think about my future self. Will it thank me for how this choice will make it feel?
  2. Am I overusing entertainment to escape my life?
  3. Is there a cheaper alternative?

#english #lists #minimalism