As an aspiring minimalist family we still buy things. Shocking I know!
Since adopting the thinking of a minimalist I have become very intentional with what we purchase. For the first year of decluttering and minimizing our processions I rarely went shopping for anything besides necessities. If something broke, instead of running out to replace the item I would see if we could live without it. This is the complete opposite to the way I use to think. I use to go Target and wander the isles seeing if something grabbed my eye, I was still pretty picky because I didn’t want to waste money. Now its not about the money its about not wanting the stuff.
What Has Changed?
Now when I find myself needing something I usually spend a lot of time researching what I want to buy. I am willing to spend more money on a quality item that I know will last and work well. More money does not always equate to better quality, but that is why I try to do some research on the things we need.
By clearing out the stuff we didn’t love and use I can now see what we have more clearly. The other day I was sitting at my computer typing away when my back started to hurt. I was already sitting on a pillow on my computer chair because its so uncomfortable. The question I asked myself was, “why am I sitting on this super uncomfortable chair that is hurting my back when I could go buy a nice comfortable chair?” I spend about 4 hours a day sitting in my chair working at my computer, that is a lot of time to spend being uncomfortable. So I did it! I went out and got a comfortable office chair.
Simplifying our lives has led me to ask the question “is there a better way? is this item I am thinking of buying going to improve my everyday life and is it in our budget?”. If the answer is yes then that is when I do my research and make my purchase.
Watch: What Do We Buy As a Minimalist Family?
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Click Here : 20 Questions to ask yourself before shopping!
Changes That Help Us to Shop Less
I am surprised how much influence TV had on our shopping habits! We stopped our cable a year ago (you can read more here) and now we only get the basic free channels. These channels are horrible and not really worth watching so we mostly watch Netflix now. Without the influence of TV ads I don’t feel like I need to go shopping. This stood out to me when we went to my parents house and we were watching regular TV. The kids were watching the Disney channel and every 5 minutes there was an ad that Emmett would comment on. He was convinced he needed a blanket that looked like a shark tail!
Another habit I changed that cut down on buying unnecessary things is only grocery shopping once a week. I try to make a list and go shopping one time a week. If I find I need something that can’t be bought at the grocery store then I write a list and wait until I have quite a few items before heading to Target. I also stick to my list like glue! This is essential because you will see cute things.