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This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.
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Responsible and intelligent consumption is becoming increasingly relevant in the new economically active generations given the highly changing scenarios, while previous generations, more than for pleasure, are being forced to adopt new shopping habits. The fact is that for years, green trends, fair trade, collaborative consumption and business models of shared responsibilities have increased, but it seems that, when it comes to taking specific personal smart consumption measures, we are giving sticks. blind. In other words, we buy without goals and with poorly structured consumer behaviors or habits.
Consuming responsibly and wisely involves much more than just looking for the lowest price; smart consumption is the ability to make good decisions every time we choose a product or service and that is a much broader issue.
Therefore, here are 10 smart consumption habits that you can incorporate into your day to day.
1. Take advantage of the internet
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Gone are the days in which to buy an item you would compare qualities and prices of at least three distributors near your home. Now the internet has opened up to consumers the ability to purchase items from virtually anywhere in the world. Find out about the new forms of online payment and use them; Compare your articles between the different digital markets like E-Bay, Mercado libre, Alibaba or Amazon to speak of the giants; Give more and more platforms with fairer trade objectives a chance or get closer to producers directly. Access the information of the product you plan to buy, get in touch with producers and / or sellers first-hand on their social networks and look for applications that could help you buy better.
2. Distinguish between needs and wants
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There are basic needs such as shelter, food, clothing, etc., and different needs (but just as important for our mental well-being) such as recognition, self-realization and transcendence. There are also desires which are basically things that we could live well without (usually luxuries). It is not bad to give ourselves a “treat”, the problem comes when we prioritize badly and neglect the real needs to give ourselves these luxuries or we buy them through debt limiting our future income for a superfluous pleasure. Remember that luxuries should be bought with money that you have already worked and only with the remainder after having taken care of the needs, savings and investment. In other words, the “gustitos” are the last link in the financial chain.
3. Avoid making major purchases when you are emotionally upset.
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Being very depressed, stressed or happy can generally obscure our ability to make a good financial decision, so no matter how stable you are, it never hurts to develop emotional intelligence. That always brings good financial dividends as a calm and informed mind makes good money decisions. For this you can take some courses in resilience, philosophy or psychology for conflict resolution; This will give the necessary emotional tools for when necessary.
4. Beware of budget cuts
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In financially difficult times you generally have to cut back. However, there are some expenses that should not be cut unless absolutely necessary. They are related to your access to technology, information, health, investment and education, because that cut is only a small short-term saving that has a great long-term cost. In other words, this reduction in spending today could become a costly mistake tomorrow.
5. Know your rights
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- Right to choose: No one can pressure you or condition the purchase of something.
- Right not to be discriminated: For no reason.
- Right to compensation: If a supplier sells you a product of poor quality or that does not comply with the rules, you have the right to have it replaced or your money back and, where appropriate, to a bonus of no less than 20% of the price paid.
- Right to demand compliance with advertising: What the advertising says is enforceable as part of a contract, that is, the advertising must be truthful, verifiable and not mislead.
6. Sustainable and solidarity purchase
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That your consumption is as kind to nature as possible, prefer artisan products, from socially responsible companies, with fair labor policies and / or clean production processes, avoid “use and throw away” products, buy the content and not the packaging You can also inform yourself about this on the internet before buying.
7. Beware of advertising
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Advertising is designed to convince you, fancy you, create false needs, or provoke unwarranted fears. Much more today than hyper-segmented social media advertising can find its target audience in an impressive way. This is possible due to all the personal information that we disclose for free on our social media, so be careful with the personal information that you share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc., or when you download the application of dogs and kittens that you want to access to all the information on your smartphone. Remember that when something is free, the product is you .
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Where many see waste, others see potential money. Not only will recycling be good for the environment, it could be your next big business and source of income if you add a little added value and innovation. Many times you only need to turn a few nuts and that’s it.
9. Buy healthy
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Buying things that are harmful to health is not only a bad decision, it also brings hidden long-term costs, such as medical treatments that will have to be covered in the future.
10. Consider inflation
Inflation is the general rise in prices. In other words, when you hear on the news that inflation will be 4% during the year, it means that what cost you a thousand pesos at the beginning of the year, at the end of it will cost you a thousand and forty pesos. However, it must be remembered that this calculation is an average, so depending on the products you consume, you could be paying more or less than that average. INEGI has a personal inflation calculator that can help you to consume products with the lowest price increase.