I Never Buy Anything Without Considering These 3 Things

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Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Despite my owning what seems like a plethora of items, if you speak to any of my friends, co-workers, or anyone who’s been ever shopping with me, they’ll tell you that while I love buying things, I do not do so frivolously. In fact, when shopping (both online and in-store), I’ll think of a million reasons I shouldn’t make a purchase before considering why I should.

I think this defense mechanism has come out of working at a job where I’m pretty much shopping all day long—such that if I don’t practice some restraint, I’ll end up emptying my bank account daily. After all, I do come across a lot of amazing finds. Nonetheless, over time, I’ve developed some key questions to ask myself before buying anything so that I can minimize my chances of regretting a purchase or, at the very least, overdoing it.

Read about each of them below and, of course, shop some of my favorite purchase-worthy pieces along the way.

1. Am I getting the best deal?

Do your research. When online shopping, all it takes is a quick google search of the item to see if any other sites are selling it for a better price (or without shipping fees). Once you’ve found the best place to buy it, do a quick Google search for any potential promo codes, and use Honey and/or eBates to get even more savings. Even when I’m (rarely) not online and shopping in an actual store, I always do a quick Google search of the item I’m considering, to make sure it’s not on sale or more marked down somewhere else. I’ve saved anywhere from tens to hundreds of dollars this way.

Available in sizes 2 to 8.

2. Do I actually need it?

Put aside how cute it is, how much you like it, and how good it will look on your Instagram. Do you need this item? Will it add value to your wardrobe and give you more options when you’re getting dressed day to day, or fill a void you were missing? Or, is this piece simply overlapping with similar items you already own that are still just as wearable? I can be hard to do, but sometimes when shopping, you have to consciously put your emotions aside for a moment and make sure your purchase is rational.

3. Can I wear this multiple ways?

You should almost always be able to get multiple uses out of something you buy, if not many. Even if you’re buying something for an occasion or to match with something else—for example, a clutch or heels to go with a dress—you should look for pieces that are versatile and can be worn with other items later. Another example is with tops: If a top only looks good with one specific pair of pants or skirt in your closet, you might be better off opting for a different one, rather than having to buy more items to go with it later.