Lately, I have had the unfortunate and difficult task of going through my mom's condo. She passed away a few months ago, and initially it was just too difficult to deal with. Now that more time has passed, I am slowly working my way through all of the items she had kept and treasured. Trying to determine what to keep, what to give to those that loved her and what to give away to good will, recycling and trash.
What has really impacted me is what she kept were things that maybe were not worth much to others but were treasures to her. They were letters, journals, pictures, music (LPs and CDs), trinkets and mementos. It got me thinking about how much we all spend yearly on things that are so unimportant. At the end of the day you can't take it with you.
I was spending a day shopping with some girlfriends a while back and one of us was trying to decide if we should purchase a pair of obnoxiously-expensive shoes. The question that was raised was, "Do you absolutely love them?" Which is a really good question to ask before you buy anything that is not essential. In fact, anything that you buy should fall into one of these categories"
- I need to have this (such as soap, maxipads, food etc.)
- I want to have this, I can afford it and I absolutely love it.
What was most impactful about going through my mom's things was realizing that what Mom valued the most could not even be bought in stores. I think when shopping we should be more mindful and only buy things that will truly add value to our life or the lives of those we love and care about. If the only justification is that it's a really great deal then it doesn't qualify. I always find that the Costco outing can be a frenzy of, "I don't really need this, or really love it but it's only $19.99," until you have a cart full of it's only $19.99 items and a bill of $500.
Another benefit to this practice is that you will have less stress about money and not be spending more of your time working just to buy items you don't really need.
I know the idea of value is subjective but just be honest with yourself. Make sure your investment adds to your personal growth, or character, truly makes you happy or helps you to reach your potential. To invest in ourselves is to enrich our lives.
Ask yourself the next time you purchase something: "What value will this add to my life?" A worthwhile investment feeds the soul and contributes to the support of your body, mind and spirit. Say yes to what you truly value and say no to any more buyer's remorse.
What are some items you've bought and regretted?
For more by Carolyn Anderson, click here.
For more on mindfulness, click here.
HuffPost Lifestyle is a daily newsletter that will make you happier and healthier — one email at a time. Learn more