How owning less will save you money
I really like to save money, and my guess is that since you are here, you do too! There are definitely ways that I like to save money and ways that I don’t. Going through stacks of coupons each week is not my jam. I would rather spend my time reading a book, spending time with my family, or cleaning. Over the past few years, I have become more and more focused on purchasing less as a way to save money. One thing I know for sure (that is a shout out to Oprah, btw), is that owning less will save money.
While I am not a minimalist, I do see how this way of purchasing (or not) is a good way to live. Granted, I do strive to be more minimalistic in my purchases and my everyday life, but it has been difficult to get to the place that I see in magazines. You know what I am talking about, clean floors, empty storage spaces, no unnecessary piles around the house *excuse me while I day dream*. With a kid, pets, and a hubby who loves all things golfing (and fishing, and tools) and myself who loves all things office supplies (and books) we have had a longer go at simplifying than I had hoped. We have gotten really good at buying and owning less and it definitely is saving us some cash!
Buying less frequently
We have had the envelope system for savings for the entire time we have been married. That is commitment…to the envelopes. I absolutely envision that we will be using the envelope system for the rest of our lives. It is practical, easy, and actually rewarding. What I have noticed over the past 2 years is that we are definitely getting by with less envelope savings. Mostly, this is due to the fact that our income level has shifted, but when we downsized, we just needed less.
When we do buy something, we try to really consider whether or not it is necessary. Some things just are needed while others are simply a luxury item that we don’t need. Most items can be used in many ways and the convenience of some items is just not worth the clutter. I am constantly looking at items and determining whether or it can be used in place of something else. Gadgets are not really my style anymore. They just clutter up the house and if they are not truly necessary, I just get rid of them.
For example, while I know that the insta-pot is a huge thing right now, I just don’t want to add it to my leaned out kitchen. I have a crock pot and I plan for meals. If I forget (which I actually did the day I wrote this post ? ) I just make a new plan. Before going to buy the next cool tool or device, really get honest with yourself. Will you use it? Will it be worth your money? Is this just going to end up as clutter or in the resale pile?
You get what you pay for
Time and time again I get reminded why I am in fact in the “buy better not more” camp. Just the other day, Mr. Hubster bought a pair of $9 earphones. He doesn’t like the standard Apple earphones so he is relegated to buying different ones. A few days later (and several thousand miles due to a couple of long flights) the earphones were falling apart. They were tossed of course which meant he had to buy another pair. Unfortunately, he ended up purchasing while at the airport so they cost more anyway, but he bought a more expensive pair. $9 is hard to beat, but if they only last for a week then it is just money thrown in the pot anyway.
You get what you pay for. This concept truly can work towards just about anything.
$5 shirts at Target may be incredibly enticing especially if you must have #alltheprettycolors, but the quality is very poor and will likely be thrown out or donated within a season. This type of wasteful purchases are not good for your wallet, the environment, and not to mention the conditions under which these clothes were probably made. Buy one shirt of better quality and you will probably keep it for longer and it will be much nicer I am sure.
My Apple computer, on the other hand, may have been a bit pricier than I like to spend on an appliance, but it will last a loooooong time. Our first one (which is now Mr. Hubster’s personal laptop) is going on 7 years old. Prior to that purchase, we owned 3 other laptops in 5 years. I know it seems like a big hit at first, but it is better over the long term.
Sell your old stuff
Last month we went on a selling spree. Mr. Hubster went under contract with another golf brand and so all of his other branded golf clothes and clubs had to go. Luckily, he could sell them for cash. Me, I just finally decided that I needed to be honest with myself about my intentions of using some items in the future. That Rosetta Stone that I purchased to learn Gaelic? Yeah, it had to go. Sad as it was, it was just not something that I truly wanted to pursue any more (plus, we already went to Ireland, so why would I need it?). Now, Spanish, that is absolutely something I still want to pursue so if you want to teach me and my little man some Spanish, let me know ?.
We ended up selling just over $700 worth of items. It was super easy to do too. Primarily we used Ebay this go around. I am impressed with how many people will buy clothes on Ebay. With that money, we bought a couple of items that we needed to complete our entryway bench and organization, a dog kennel, and saved the rest.
Next time you are thinking that you need to make a purchase, look around to see if there is anything that you can get rid of first. Clearing out the old clutter is good for your mind space AND for your pocket book. Check out this series of posts from Money Saving Mom about earning extra cash. It is extensive and definitely full of money making secrets.
While I strive for an organized and clutter free home, my main focus is to be really intentional about what I bring into my home in the first place. Everything that I purchase gets plenty of thought and consideration. Owning less will save money, there is no doubt there. Getting to the point of owning less and purchasing less is a long process, but so worth it.
What about you? What are your goals with your “stuff” and your purchases?
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