I was a self-acclaimed shopaholic and I called “shopping” (or buying) my hobby.
Thank goodness I knew my problem before I found minimalism as an answer. I knew I wasn’t living intentionally, sustainably, or frugal. I knew my spending habit was impacting not only my wallet but more importantly my environment and people.
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There were few things I did almost immediately after I’d decided to embrace minimalism as my lifestyle.
1) Don’t shop when I’m sad or hungry (or during SALE).
Because it will be higher chances of you purchasing something you don’t really need or love. My favourite stress-reliever was ‘retail therapy’, though most of the time my intention was to window-shop. But being able to purchase something that I like at-that-time, makes me happier, temporarily. That stuff which I thought could bring me happiness soon becomes just another ‘stuff’. One thing I’ve learned is not to exchange your virtue and standard for an instant temporal gratification.
Now I destress with other ways such as go for a run, talk to a good friend or hitting the dance floor! (I recently love to dance in my office whenever I get overwhelmed with my work) It’s healthier and no money needed 😉
And when you only buy things that you need ‘soon’, it will prevent you from having stuff accumulating in your house:)
2) Unsubscribe emails.
This step is a huge game-changer for me. Ever since I unsubscribed a huge portion of emails, that sends me updates on their products and ‘amazing’ offers, I have a cleaner uncluttered email inbox and I have less temptation to purchase stuff. That constant ‘ding’ sound of email notification reduced tremendously. Less distraction, more productive and more peace.
3) Buy versatile pieces, not trendy.
I love fashion and I will experiment with all kinds of style if I could. But that, my friend, requires a lot of clothing and “ka-ching” $$$! Buying less doesn’t mean I’m less fashionable. I’ve just learned how to dress classy and define my personal style, rather than letting my style dictated by the current trends. Versatile pieces make less waste and being creative in those few versatile clothing are a true mark of a fashionista.
4) Quality over Quantity.
This is another rule besides buying versatile pieces. If I have to shop, I go for better quality. One that I’ll use for a longer period of time and this also teaches me to appreciate the things I own.
5) Go paperless.
Besides abstaining from buying newspapers and magazines, go e-billing. Less fuss, less time wasted and more environmental loving. What say you?
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I used to spend almost RM1500 every month, and I tried to reduce it to 1200 when I decided to be more frugal. But since I live a minimalist lifestyle, I spend only about RM900 per month now (if I did not go on holidays or shop for clothing). How awesome is that! And I did not become less happy.