Whether you’re browsing online shops at home or making a trip to the mall, you might run into an item that’ll make you feel like you’re experiencing love at first sight. But before you impulsively purchase that trendy dress or pair of shoes on sale, take some time to think about whether it’s really true love or just a fling.
While it’s always fun to buy yourself something new, it’s really important to think about how we’re consuming—and how much we’re overspending. Many items you’ll come across are made to be super trendy, disposable, and cheap so you’ll buy more. Aka fast fashion at its finest. But when we over-consume and buy way more than we actually need or want, we’re also be more likely to toss out more.
Once those items are no longer considered cool, many are donated or thrown out, where they’ll end up in a landfill. To give you an idea of how much waste that results in, the Environmental Protection Agency says 11.3 million tons of municipal solid waste textiles ended up in landfills in 2018. This mainly consists of extremely common things like discarded clothing, furniture, carpets, and footwear.
We’re all human, and we’re going to buy things; no one’s perfect, and that’s how we like it. The next time you do decide to make a purchase, there’s a way to avoid overspending and make sure you’re making conscious decisions at the checkout: The “Rule of 3s,” which was created by Justin, the creator behind the TikTok account @hellsborough.
Here’s what to keep in mind so you’ll stick with things you’ll love for years to come.
How to Avoid Overspending with the Rule of 3s
Justin says to ask yourself these three simple questions the next time you’re considering making a purchase. They’ll make it easy to avoid overspending and only buy what you need.
1. Can you pay three times the amount?
Before you splurge on that designer pair of shoes, think about if you can really afford it. In Justin’s video, he asks: “Can I afford to pay three times the amount?” If you can’t, save your money. You’ll be happy with that decision in the long-run.
2. Would you have loved it three years ago?
Justin’s second rule is to make sure that you’re totally in love with the item before buying it. You don’t want to spend your money on something just because it’s everywhere right now, only to hate it down the line. Justin recommends asking yourself a simple question: “Would I have liked it three years ago?” Past you and present you will lead you to the right decision.
3. Would this be the third item that looks similar to something in your closet?
Justin’s final rule is to not purchase an item if you have something similar to it at home: “Sometimes it’s nice to have similar items… but three?” If you already have two black tees at home, you probably won’t need another one just because the sleeves on it are a little bit different.
Hey there! Want to help us change the world every day through easy, achievable, eco-friendly tips and tricks? Sign up for the Brightly Spot and join our movement of over a million changemakers.