Maybe it is because I am getting a smidge older but these days I don’t have the urge to go out and buy the latest smartphone, make up palette or gadget. What is the point of having all of this ‘stuff’ when I hardly use it? It just fills up space in my home and costs money – lots of money!
In recent months I have made a solid effort when it comes to getting on top of my finances, and using products I already have, like make up, before running out to the shops on a Saturday morning to stock up on items for the sake of doing so.
My Saturday morning trips at first were fun. I would hit a local café and have a big breakfast ($30) whilst reading a couple of trashy gossip magazines ($10 each). I would then grab a coffee ($5) and hit the make up stores like Priceline, Sephora or Mecca ($200+) then purchase latest blockbuster Blu-Ray ($100+) from JB Hi Fi or Sanity. By lunchtime I was stocked up on meaningless crap and then had to buy lunch. Another $20 easily! By the end of my pay cycle I would find myself using a credit card to pay bills that arrived or I was hitting my travel fund. Huge downer with credit cards? You pay for items twice. Once in the shop and again when that bill arrives. A $30 breakfast felt like it cost me $60! I was like a hamster on a wheel just running and not getting anywhere.
So I stopped cold turkey. Mo more breakfasts out, coffee is brewed at home and my Saturday morning shopping ritual came to a halt. I decided to Use it or Lose it before I went on another weekend spree. All magazines I had piled up I started to read cover to cover. These magazines no longer inspired me so I successfully stopped buying them altogether and they became useful for lining my cat’s litter tray! I cleaned out all my makeup. This honestly took me 3 hours to get it all together and break up into 3 categories. No wonder I was strapped for cash. Opened and expired make up was tossed, unopened makeup was set aside and opened make up was front and centre to be used before I got anything new. I found 6 foundations all similar shades. Unless you are a professional MUA, who needs that much really?! To me that is a lot, but each to their own.
If I felt the urge to buy something I would add it to my ‘wish list’ and research pricing, then add to budget to buy after bills were paid. I learned that most times I didn’t need the ‘stuff’ because it added no value to my life. I would remove it from wishlist. If I were on my deathbed I wouldn’t lay there talking about how awesome Tarte’s latest eye shadow palette was at the time of its release but rather the epic adventures I had at Camp Mars and all the friends I met, or watching the Isle of Man TT race from the Creg-Ny-Baa pub balcony.
It takes some practise to form new habits but the minimalist lifestyle is quite freeing for me. Minimalism is not an overnight success and it takes time to find what works for you. Sometime ago I used the Kon Mari method to declutter my home (link below). This has been very helpful and everything has a place. I also try to not store too many things but put them on display. Use it or lose it! Any pictures, wall hangings, fairy lights and more have a space and are not tucked away collecting dust. What I no longer use I donate or discard. Unfortunately these days people have storage sheds full of stuff. Unless the items are seasonal like Christmas decorations, do you need it? No point in keeping it for sake of doing so.