Just click on the link, print it out, cut on the dotted line, and tape it up. Then put your card(s) inside, and you'll see the questions every time you pull out your credit/debit card to charge something. This is what's on the sleeve:
Every dollar I spend is a statement about the kind of world I want & the quality of life I value.
Sample questions to ask before buying:
• Is this something I need?
• Do I already own something that could serve the same purpose?
• Can I borrow one, find one used, or make one instead of buying new?
• Was it made locally?
• Was it made with environmentally preferable materials?
• Was it made with fair labor practices?
• Will it serve more than one purpose?
• Is it made well enough to last a useful length of time?
• Will it be easy and cost-effective to maintain?
• Will using it require excessive energy?
• Does it come in excessive packaging?
• Can I recycle or compost it when I'm done with it?
• If I'm still not sure, can I wait a month before deciding to buy it?
I personally think this set of questions is really fantastic and spot-on for me, so I'm going to use the wallet buddy as-is. I ask myself some of these questions some of the time when shopping, but I certainly don't think about all of them all the time, and I could use a handy reminder. This is the kind of conscious consuming I'm aiming for.
But if you have different questions you want to ask yourself, you could make your own sleeve. They could remind you about avoiding bad habits ("Will I enjoy this in the short-term but regret it in the long-term?" or even "Am I buying another X even though I know I shouldn't?"), being selective about credit card use ("Can I pay this off at the end of the month?"), not using your credit cards at all ("Is this an emergency? Is this worth the interest charges I'll have to pay?"), or whatever else fits your priorities.
Of course, I'm sure that the effect of seeing the questions on the sleeve will wear off after time. And by the time you're pulling out your card to check out, it's an awkward time to stop and reconsider! But I'm hoping that the repeated exposure will keep the questions in my mind.
What do you think? Corny or effective? And more importantly, what questions belong on your sleeve-- or your mental checklist-- when you're shopping?