all photos by Rebecca Claire, libfemblog.com (CANON EOS 700D) // all rights reserved
On the path to minimalism, there is a lot of things to learn about your lifestyle and why you live the way you do. You begin to notice that advertisements are everywhere and that sometimes no matter how hard you try, you fall into the trap of wanting something because of the lifestyle that this said thing has been advertised to give you.
One we’re done decluttering and minimalising our lives, it’s very very easy to slip back into old habits and buy things that fill up all the nice new productive space you’ve created. Here are 10 questions you can ask yourself to determine whether or not a purchase fits in with your new minimal lifestyle….
#1 HAVE I BEEN MADE TO WANT THIS ITEM?
Adverts are literally everywhere. They are all around us when we walk down the street, they are on our social media feeds, they are between our TV shows. I try to avoid them as much as possible by paying for subscriptions that are ad-free but I still consume social media and as much as we like to think it doesn’t, our feeds are littered with other people advertising products to us. Sometimes it’s intentional but often it could just be a friend or fellow blogger sharing a beloved product.
#2 IS THIS PRODUCT GOING TO BE FINANCIALLY WORTHWHILE?
Some things can seem attractive to us at first but once we’ve bought them they require constant maintenance, new batteries, upgrades and add ons. Consider when buying things whether or not they will require further financial input and whether that input be worthwhile.
#3 WOULD THIS PURCHASE REALLY BRING ME JOY?
Really look at the thing you are considering buying. Does it bring you happiness? A new belonging should bring you joy, not just in that moment but for years to come. If the item is superficial and emotionally worthless then it doesn’t deserve your hard earned cash. It is important you touch and try out things before purchasing too as you cannot answer this question without knowing if the glove fits.
#4 DOES IT ADD VALUE TO MY LIFE?
Being a minimalist is about living with intention and purpose. Consider whether this new purchase would have a set purpose and if you already own something with the same capabilities and then consider if you’d swap your old one out for this.
#5 DO I HAVE SOMEWHERE TO KEEP THIS ITEM?
Once beloved belongings quickly become clutter in our homes. The novelty wears off and they become just another worthless thing you’ve accumulated. Think carefully about whether or not this possession would have a place in your home and whether it will still be proudly on display in years to come.
#6 DO I HAVE TO BUY THIS ITEM NOW?
I wanted a Cluse watch for approximately 12 months before I asked for one for Christmas last year and when I got it I couldn’t stop staring at it because I had been yearning for one for so long. I could have given in and bought one for myself but actually waiting for something you want and finally being gifted it is a million times more satisfying.
#7 IF I DONT BUY THIS ITEM, WILL I STILL WANT TO BUY IT IN 12 MONTHS TIME?
The answer is more often No than Yes. I can think of a lot of things that I really really wanted momentarily but actually didn’t want or need at all. I’ve made stupid drunken online purchases and I’ve made stupid sober online purchases. It’s wired into our brains to want want want but if we are careful and considerate about what we spend our money on, we can unwire this wanting.
#8 AM I TRYING TO JUSTIFY MY WANT FOR THIS ITEM WITH A MADE UP RATIONALE?
I have tried to justify the silliest purchase with even sillier rationales. There are some occasions where it’s okay to just really really lust after a product for no other reason than that you like it. It’s okay to have some irrational and first world wants. I recently bought some dark blue lipstick simply because I wanted to. But before I bought it, I considered some of the other questions on this list like numbers 9 and 7. If you can negate all your own rationales then don’t make the purchase.
#9 IS THIS THE BEST VERSION OF THIS ITEM THAT MY BUDGET CAN BUY?
It’s so easy in the digital age to come across something you like and simply click to buy it straight away at whatever price tag is there. But in the past I’ve made purchases and later seen an identical product for half the price elsewhere. Once you’ve decided that the product is really worth your money then make sure you’re getting the best quality you can for the money you’ve got.
#10 IS THIS PURCHASE ETHICAL?
Even when making conscious and meaningful purchases, we can still make unethical decisions. Make sure you are buying the most ethical version of something you can. Could you buy it second hand? Is it tested on animals? Where/how was it manufactured? Leave consumer guilt behind by making purchases that feel good for you and for the person who made it. I like to choose smaller business over big cooperations whenever I can!
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