When you look around, you probably see ads everywhere. Whether on the street, or on your computer, TV and phone, you are constantly triggered to look at advertising that wants to push you to buy this and that product. For instance, makeup. The time when all you needed was a simple black mascara and some lip gloss is over according to a lot of makeup brands. They now have eyebrow gel, shine for your eyes, cheek blush, lip liner and more and more. This is in every color, and of course you should really get each one of them. If you have enough money, you can buy it all. But most of us are living on a budget, and buying everything is simply not an option. So how to decide what you really need, and only buy what you need, in a way so you don’t miss a thing, always look great, have no worries, and are definitely not in debt?“Consume Less, Live More” is the quote I live by and share with people. We consume too much in our society, and most of it is not essential for survival in life. Let me explain what I mean.Shopping can take over your life. There are even people with shopping addictions, which is not so weird if you think of the constant soliciting from companies. With all these commercials saying you can’t live without their product, and people telling you to do more, more, more, it is sometimes hard to distinguish what you really need, and what you really want. Let’s figure out how to deal with it—it is really a psychological thing. So you can easily change your life by changing your mindset. Here are my five thoughts on this:
1. You don’t need all that.First of all, know that you don’t need much to live. Most of your purchases and daily actions are about wanting more. What you really need each day is good health, water to drink, food to eat and a place to sleep at night. In essence, you don’t need much more. That cute dress you saw on sale is not really a basic necessity, even though you feel like it is at the moment of purchase. That big apartment you want to buy, even your big career. You don’t really need it. You want it. So what is an easy way to financial freedom? Not wanting to have it all, because wanting things comes with a price, whether via a purchase, loan or debt. Or it comes with a physical and/or mental price. Is it worth it?
2. Know your financial situation.You can’t go shopping and plan purchases if you don’t take a long, hard, honest look at your bank account. And this means taking all your debt into consideration. And no, credit card maximum limits are not part of your budget. Even though it feels like free money, in the end you are paying for it, and mostly with interest added onto it. Only buy things you can pay for right away, or absolutely need to live. Even if it looks like a great deal, and you can pay in terms, in the end you have paid much more than if you had bought it right away for the full price. There will always be that next sale, and that great outfit, or other amazing product for you to buy. You are not missing out on anything if you can’t buy it right now. It actually can give you a goal to save money for something that you really want. And in the meantime while saving you can rethink if you really need it. And maybe you don’t want to have it all anymore once you can actually pay it. That’s why I love something I call “pre-shopping.” I go shopping one day and look at everything. Then I go to sleep at night and think it over. The next day I go back to the things I couldn’t stop thinking about and buy them. This way I rarely have to return something. And it protects me from buying things I don’t need.
3. Owning stuff can enslave you.Owning too many things can also make you a slave to your stuff, because all the things you own need time to upkeep. The bigger your apartment is, the more there is to clean. It is also likely more expensive to live in each month. And if you have too much stuff, you need to probably rent storage space. Besides that, if you own expensive things, you worry that they might get damaged, or that you will lose them, or that someone steals them. And insuring things costs a lot of money. So owning something costs money just owning it. Also, think about how much time it costs you every week or so to clean out your closet. If you have less stuff in it, you save a lot of time.
4. Shopping can be an addiction.Shopping gives you a rush each time you go. It is the same feeling of when you fall in love, or meet your celebrity crush. Your heart beats faster. But this feeling can also come to you in other situations that cost less money. Helping out at a shelter, for instance. Donating unwanted clothes to someone who really loves or needs them also gives you a feeling of happiness. If you find other ways to get that same happy feeling, ones that are free, it will help you realize you don’t need to go shopping at all. And I am sure most girls can go shopping in their own closet and they will find a few items they’ve never worn. You can wear them or resell them so you have money to buy other things! And if you really want to go shopping, make sure you buy goods of the best quality that’ll last a lifetime and are always in fashion. They will usually be a bit more expensive, but will save you money in the long run, and they will always look great. Also, make it a challenge to find recycled objects. Like vintage fashion, or go to a thrift shop to find a gem for not much money. It is very hip right now to go thrift shopping and vintage hunting. You will find amazing items that you can’t believe you can buy for prices as low as 99 cents. Even Macklemore loves it.
5. Society makes you want more, more, more!We are taught that the bigger job, car, home, and more expensive clothes and handbags you have, the better your life is. The governments and banks around the world have made it very easy to borrow money and get major loans. Student loan, home loan, car loan, all made possible for you to get even more. Even if you can’t really pay for it. But do you really in essence want all that, considering the risks and responsibility to pay it back that it comes with? Do you really need that bigger car, or that amazing handbag, only to show off to the neighbor or your friends? What are your real dreams and goals in life, where is your heart, really?Funny thing is that for a lot of people what they want most in life are priceless things, like being healthy, having a lot of free time, being with the ones they love, and doing something that they are passionate about. Being worry-free and debt-free. But you can’t have any of that if you constantly buy things you don’t need. To me it comes across as a bit weird. Why do people work so hard then, and not see their family much, and not have much free time to do things they like to do? Just because they want that career and to make that much money? Because that’s what people do, and what other people expect them to do. Because the bigger career and success in life, the more money people seem to make, and that is considered better. Money that they need to pay the bills of the things they buy when they make more money, but which they wouldn’t buy if they made less money. It is a vicious cycle.If you realize you need less and have enough already, you are more likely to be happy with what you have right now. You probably have more time for yourself than you realize. And you are more likely to live in the moment and enjoy it fully, and do things in your daily routine that are more emotionally fulfilling. Needing and wanting less gives you less debt and fewer worries. So if you can make your mind realize that you don’t need all that, you can save yourself a lot of stress, time and money!