Let me just quickly insert a disclaimer that this post is in no way bashing a lavish lifestyle. You should spend your money whichever way you please but if you’re interested in learning how to cut out unnecessary things from your life, please proceed.
When I first started working at eighteen, I had no responsibilities like I have today so I bought a lot of wants and not needs. Pretty soon my life was a clutter of products that would sometimes expire before I even opened it. Sometimes I believe our culture conditions us to convince ourselves we need something when we really don’t. For instance, you may not purchase a top for $15 but if you were to save $3 on the top, you’d purchase it for $12 despite having ten tops at home. That sale doesn’t make you save $3, it makes you lose $12.
As women, we often fall in love with little knick knacks such as perfumes, lotions, accessories etc. and it’s very easy to hoard them every time you step out of the house. As I get older I’ve seen where I could really live without a lot of things and still have quality of life.
One of the first items I stopped purchasing was make-up. I’m no make-up guru and I wear minimal make-up to look presentable when I need to so I now purchase just the basics and try to use them until they’re empty. Other items you can stop hoarding are clothing, shoes, handbags, other beauty products. I have use one purse, and a very minimal amount of shoes just for their functionality. I use one boot and one snow boot when needed. And I’m recycling my sneakers from two and three years ago this summer. You really one need one or a few of these things to survive.
I used to do seasonal decorating for the kids and it makes no difference to them, so I stopped and every season that’s money I’m left with. Going overboard with the house decorations and scented candles is another want and not need. If you have the extras, make a credit payment on a bill.
Your kitchen also doesn’t need twenty coffee mugs, and thirty pots and pans. I bought one pot set a few years back, with a frying pan included and we still use that set. After my first child I did go crazy toy shopping and I can tell you, it’s not worth it. She’d prefer the box that it came in. That fifty dollar toy in Target will only be attractive in the store…as soon as it comes home, there is no love for it anymore. So learn to say no and leave the presents for birthdays or Christmas if you celebrate that. I’ll probably make another post about cheap entertainment for kids.
Another thing that we don’t so often is outtings. It’s costly to take your kids to kiddie related places all of the time. There are pricey admissions, and then accomodations if you’re going on a trip. It all adds up. I’m not saying don’t ever take your child somewhere extravagant but not as frequently as you would like. We substitute a lot of weekends just going to the same old park, with side walk chalk and blowing bubbles.
To sum it up, focus on your needs and necessities and not your wants. It’s easy to become a material person in this material world but is it really worth it? Living minimalist doesn’t take from the quality of life. There are many ways to enjoy with your friends and family without going into debt. Set realistic expenses for you and your family and watch yourself pay off that credit or save money in one year. Personally since becoming a minimalist, I’ve experienced a new level of freedom from sales gimmicks, and competing with others.