Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
You need something. So you go and buy it. It may not be exactly what you wanted, but it was convenient/affordable/on sale/offered to you/a one-off.
You live with this thing for a while. It does its job. But then it starts to annoy you. It really wasn’t what you wanted in the first place. And now that you’ve been living with it for a while, you remember why you wanted your original item.
So you live with it for a little longer, but eventually cave in and buy what you really wanted in the first place. Then you’re stuck with the interim thing as well as the end-thing. Clutter ensues.
Sparky and I used to be people who rushed into buying things. Sometimes we still are. For example, when we first got married and bought a house, we needed a lounge. So we bought one. It was fine, if not a little ugly. We could’ve found a nicer option in our price-range if we had been more persistent. Instead, we went to a big box store, bought a lounge and were done with it.
Now we have a perfectly functional lounge that I’m not willing to get rid of (wastefulness 101) but we don’t really like.
Fast forward. We’ve been in our new (old) house for over a year. We have another living space that needs a lounge. And yet still, we haven’t bought one. Why?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
Where we really used to worry:
- what would people sit on?
- what would people think?
- that we were poor?
Now we understand:
- people will sit at your dining table to chat – it’s hardly the end of the world
- who cares what people think about our lack of lounge? As the saying goes, “Those who matter don’t mind, and those wo mind don’t matter.”
- the mantra of “buy once, buy well” rings very true to us. And we will buy a lounge, when we can afford a good quality piece that will last. And last and last and last.
- currently we’re not prepared to go into debt for something we don’t (truly) need
- there are many benefits to slow decorating – we now understand our style and the flow of our home much more, meaning we’re far less likely to buy something we later regret
There’s so much to be gained by holding off on unnecessary purchases, that what used to feel like a sacrifice now feels like the best way to go about mindfully spending our money. Because we all want to save that where we can.
This idea works perfectly well for other, smaller purchases too:
- Making a complete meal plan and shopping list each week helps
- Having a 30-day purchase list as posted at The Minimalist Mom