This is sort of a follow-up to my rule about shopping. If I must go shopping and buy stuff, I try to remember to ask myself these questions, or at least some of them!
- Do I need it?
- How many do I already have?
- How much will I use it?
- How long will it last?
- Could I borrow it from a friend or family member?
- Can I do without it?
- Am I able to clean, lubricate and/or maintain it myself?
- Am I willing to?
- Will I be able to repair it?
- Have I researched it to get the best quality for the best price?
- How will I dispose of it when I'm done using it?
- Are the resources that went into it renewable or nonrenewable?
- Is it made of recycled materials, and is it recyclable?
- Is there anything that I already own that I could substitute for it?
I think I copied this list out of a book a while back, but I can't remember the source and couldn't find it online. If anyone knows who should be credited, please let me know. Not all of these questions relate directly to finances, e.g. things that are recyclable might actually be pricier, but it's a good guide to being a more responsible consumer in general.