Let’s face it, some of us just have so. much. stuff. How much of it do we even use or need? I feel like there many people in our society (including myself) that are driven by this ‘stuff’ mentality where we just want more and more things for whatever reason at all. I can find pretty much any justification to buy anything. A long while back, my sister and I decided to call this ‘justifying our purchases’ because it was something that happened on a regular basis while shopping. Something like this:
I have a good brown purse already, but this one is saddle brown. It matches with black better.
Oh my gosh, it’s getting colder out, and my closet is not up to the challenge of keeping me warm this winter. I gotta ‘winterize’ my closet more.
I know these posts are a little off the cuff, but I believe achieving balance overall in life and finding areas to reduce spending will help you prioritize and free up money you think you don’t have to spend on things that are highly beneficial for your health or well-being. And just think, if there are ways you can cut spending, you may not have to work as much to pay for all those purchases you might not actually need. There was a post I found on the Minimalists’ website that changed my view on stuff completely. It’s called the Minimalistic Paradox, and this is all it says:
“Minimalists don’t avoid material possessions; we avoid excess. Paradoxically, by owning less, the things we own bring greater joy to our lives.
In other words, all of our things are our favorite things. Otherwise they are in the way.”
Let me repeat that last part because it hit me so hard, and I will never forget it: “All of our things are our favorite things.”
I had a huge enlightenment on this whole idea after reading that post and sentence.
Instead of having five different varieties of one object that are just okay to you, why not just have one (or maybe two) that is/are your absolute favorite(s).
Recently, since I’ve been reading more about minimalism and what it entails, I’ve been inspired to create questions for myself when I am out buying things. I’ve significantly reduced spending on myself this year as I’ve been been paying school loans because I want to become debt-free as soon as possible, and this has definitely helped me recently. I have zero interest in buying or acquiring anything that is just going to end up as clutter.
So here they are. Some of them you may already ask yourself, but there may be some you’ve never thought about:
- Will it become one of my favorites? This one is my go-to question. Do your research so you’re finding something that really suits your needs and will be worthwhile. If it’s apparel, make sure it’s versatile! If it will be your favorite item in a certain category, say a purse or watch, then buy it. And use the heck out of it! Which leads to a follow-up question: is it good quality? Spend within your means, but buy less and you will have money to invest in higher quality products that last longer and you may just love more. Think about how good it feels to have something you love and every time you use or wear it, you feel awesome or appreciative because you just flat out love dat thang. I’ll explain more about what I mean under question #3.
- Do I need it or am I justifying the purchase? Not as easy as it seems to answer. It’s not hard for me to convince myself that I need many things I really don’t. Again, that’s where the ‘justifying the purchase’ comes in to play; essentially creating a need that is not really there.
- Will I use it for a long time? Or ‘will I even use it at all?’ may be a better question. Will it become clutter? Don’t buy things you think have the potential to just sit in a closet or shelf and rarely be used. Another question to consider is: will I be able to use it for a long time?’ This tags on to #1; make sure it’s good quality if it’s something you see being very useful. For example, work shoes. Every time I bought those black Payless ones they would rip, and they weren’t very supportive. When working a lot, I would go through them every five or six months. This year, I found some awesome-looking all-black Nike Frees, and I love them more than anything. Every time I put them on, I just say, ‘yesssss’ pulling down my fist like Kip from Napoleon Dynamite. I may not want to start my shift sometimes, but at least I like to put my shoes on for it 😉 They look great, feel great and aren’t close to falling apart four months later. They were three times the price, but so worth the investment and will last much longer then those Payless ones ever have or will. Sometime higher quality purchases like this can actually save you money (and time really) in the long run.
- Will I want to bring this with me if/when I move someday? Right now, I’m in a transitional period in my life. I know I will be moving within the next year so I ask myself, ‘do I really want this to be one of the items I drag on a U-Haul to my new destination?’ Even if you don’t plan on moving, would it be something you would want to bring along if you did?
Obviously, these questions don’t work for everything and may not be for everyone, buy they may be useful when you find yourself in a predicament deciding what to spend your money on. I keep them in a note on my phone for reference when I’m out and about 🙂
Have a beautiful day!!