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12 Ways to Buy Less

December 5, 2017
12 ways to buy less
Reading Time: 4 minutes

You probably already have an answer to the “Why to buy less?” question. To save money and time, work less, reduce anxiety or waste, no matter what your reason is there are some useful techniques you can use to make yourself buy less.

Adopting minimalist mindset when it comes to buying things doesn’t have to be a struggle. Minimalism is not about deprivation. It’s about letting go of the desires and cravings. How to do that? Trick your mind to want less!

Every day we are bombarded and artificially stimulated by all the advertisement in the malls, on tv, is social media and even by your friends. You don’t have to “be strong and exercises your willpower” while avoiding buying things like avoiding that delicious cookie when you are on the diet. Rather, learn to eliminate the cookie to reduce seductions by bringing more consciousness to your environments.

12 Ways to Buy Less

1. Switch from TV to internet, there’s much less advertisement especially if you use plugins like adblock.

2. Avoid marketplaces, shopping malls, department stores or outlets – the less you see, the less you want to buy.

3. Stop procrastinating at online shopping sites and social media feeds. Dedicated time for checking social media and stick to it.

4. Don’t go to the shopping mall/visit online stores when you are upset, sad or agree. Many times we are trying to compensate our emotional states with the new shiny things.

5. Use cash instead of a credit card. It’s much easier to spend “virtual” money that you don’t hold in your hands.

6. Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry – you’ll end up buying a lot unplanned and unnecessary things.

7. Avoid impulsive purchases, all those inexpensive snacks at the counter are placed there for a reason.

8. Make a list. Evaluate your wardrobe, makeup collection or food supplies and make a list of things you need to buy. Bring the list with you while shopping so you could stay focused on the .

9. Take a break – when you see something you like but not sure if you need it, give yourself 1-3 days of break before purchasing it. If after a day or two you are still thinking about it – go get it! If not – most likely you don’t need it and/or don’t love it enough to spend money on it.

10. Look for the real value of the item. Start comparing items not based on the price tag but common sense. Ask yourself “How much would a decent pair of jeans cost?” If there is no objective reason for jeans to cost 500$ you understand what the price is there for no other reason than a brand name? If you love brands – decide how much are you ready to overpay purely for the brand.

11. Measure the value of an item using time, not money. Count how many hours of your work week you have to spend to earn enough to purchase this item? When you start thinking in this terms everything changes. Does a cup of Starbucks coffee worth an hour you spend at work? (Example from Malaysia). It might. You have to decide for yourself.

12. Ask yourself if you need it, not if you just like it or want it or just because it’s on sale. The key to buy less is to change your mindset, be less dependent on others opinions and think for yourself. Do you really need this new trendy colourful coat? Would you wear it and if yes, for how long? If it’s only for one season, you might want to reconsider your choice.

The deeper reason of buying less is to train yourself to feel whole and content with that you already have.  So you won’t have to get new things to feel complete. Because this process doesn’t have an end. You will want to buy another new thing tomorrow, and then the next day, and the next. Of course, there will always be something new and trendy to get… After practicing mentioned techniques for awhile, you will become immune to the flashy advertisement or perfect-life social media posts. You will gain clarity and peace of mind. Free up yourself from the modern addictions. Feel complete and whole just the way you are.

What are your strategies to buy less? Comment below!

If you liked this article, learn  How Minimalism Helped Me Let Go of Limiting Beliefs, How to Get Your Life Back with Minimalism or why I believe Consumerism is a Way of Oppression.

Photos by Brooke Lark
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  • Reply Neil Alvin Nicerio December 7, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Great tip! I will keep this in mind. May I also add one…
    Don’t go to the mall with your GF during payday.. 🙂

  • Reply LeeAnn December 7, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    I’m not ready to go complete minimalist but one goal for the coming year to have less. I use many of these tips when shopping to avoid overspending. As a society, we’ve just grown to attached to “stuff” and need to get back to moments and memories.

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