For some of us born in the ’60s we have an INBUILT rationing machine which keeps asking ‘do you really need it’, ‘can you postpone buying it’ ‘can you hire it when you need’ – and you agonize over many purchases. I too have my share of buying mistakes and keep wondering why I bought them. I bought an accounting software and did not even make an attempt to use it. I paid for the CIBIL fee but did not complete the transaction of getting the report. I agonized over buying a 6k water bag and am still wondering why I bought it. So we all have our areas of weakness.

Try putting in a process like this…and get your spouse to run through the checklist when you buy it…

  1. Do I need it? Do I really need it? Or is it just a want? Is it like a kid wanting a balloon? or an ice-cream?
  2. Do I have something that can substitute this?
  3. Do I really want to clutter my house with this new thing?
  4. Do I really want to spend time and money on cleaning, polishing, and maintaining this new stuff?
  5. How much more do I have to work for buying this? I mean ‘this is how many days effort’? not just money, in TIME terms
  6. Can I hire it from somewhere?
  7. Should I ask around and find if some friend or relative has spare one? (treadmill, exercycle, vaccum cleaner…)
  8. Was this planted in my head by some clever marketing?
  9. Is this going to make me smarter, fitter, cleverer, cuter, more wanted,…and how many times in the past have I failed?
  10. If I am buying this to replace something that I have? what is really wrong with the old one?
  11. My company replaces a car every 5 years, fine, but my personal car can last 15 years, right?
  12. The 5 year car is a marketing gimmick you duffer, do not fall for it.
  13. Am I buying this to please my banker? can I REALLY understand this product?

Well do not just make a list. Use it and discuss it with your spouse.

First cluttering your house with amazingly unnecessary stuff (the 5th shirt is unnecessary), feeling the house has got small (lol), or the clothes have gone tight(!), and then buying a video to ‘de-clutter’ – what an amazing sequence of events.

Wake up. We need not buy so many things and dump them just to keep the World economy running. We are choking on our own exhaust pipes. Yuck.




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  1. Only yesterday I was thinking along these lines. Guess “Retail Therapy” is just another way of filling up voids in the emotional/psychological space that only gets bigger & deeper with every ‘sale/deal’ one might come across! Recently I feel I just might have become free of the underlying disease! Of course, further diagnostic tests will reveal the reality sooner or later.

    Also realized, this only is a very personal journey. Other members in the family (spouse/parents/etc) could be in a different place and any attempts to bring everyone on the same page can be hazardous!

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