This is the age of consumerism or, at least, it has been for a while now. It is so easy to buy. Of course, malls can be found everywhere and many times, when we’re bored or even just need to get the kids out of the house, we head to enormous shopping centres. And inevitably we buy. Ecommerce is an enormous contributor to our economy too and many young entrepreneurs have started online stores to sell their goods. This means that buying is even easier now and you don’t need an excuse. It’s anonymous, it’s quick and it feels like Christmas morning when your purchase suddenly arrives at the front door or in the office.
But buying everything all the time means our lives are cluttered
And this has nothing to do with being tidy or not. We might pack our cupboards neatly and clean up daily but that doesn’t mean that our space is not filled with so much that’s unused and unnecessary. It’s a scary thing to do, but if you sit with all the things in your house that you don’t need or use and add up their monetary value you’ll be astounded. And not in a good way. Because we’re all guilty of buying things on a whim to satisfy a completely different need to what you actually require.
Nowadays, being serious about spending or even frugal with your money is rare and the norm is to spend until we’re in debt. But there’s a lot of talk about downsizing. Scaling down all aspects of your life and living within your means is gaining traction in popular culture. But where to begin? This is not an easy process.
Giving up on materialism and nice things will challenge you
But, of course, there’s more to life than stuff and when you live simply you might find yourself actually doing the things you never thought possible. For instance, trading in your 3 series BMW for a second hand Ford will feel painful. But the money you save in car repayments, filling up on fuel and maintenance is a large chunk of change. Now, nowhere does it suggest that you should be living an awful life. So, don’t head out and purchase a 1987 Volkswagen Beetle because it will be slow, it will need maintenance and care more frequently than you might expect and it is in no way a comfort drive. But a second hand Ford Fiesta, Figo or Focus can offer your a comfortable drive with all the necessities that you will require but at a more affordable price. What’s more, Ford is known to be an easy-to-maintain car. The services won’t cost a third of your salary and your annual maintenance won’t break the bank, even if you need parts replaced and so on.
This feels like a big and bold step, so start small
Starting to downsize your life by trading in your car might feel like a bold step to take. So, you can start small. This means start your own personal charity drive and spend some time cleaning out your cupboards. Put together clothes, shoes, linen and even kitchenware that you don’t use and find somewhere to donate the items to. The common rule when it comes to clothing is, if you haven’t worn it in six months then give it away. You have definitely heard this tip before but it’s actually the best way to start simplifying your life. Once you’ve hit your closet (as well as the rest of your family’s cupboards) and your kitchen, continue this purge with your books, CDs and DVDs, furniture, sporting equipment, trinkets and sentimental things that you’re simply storing. You need to hold onto the sentiment of giving up what you have in order to acquire what you want. But don’t replace stuff with stuff. You’re wasting money and time on things that bring you fleeting moments of happiness. But the money you will save by downsizing can be used in a far better way than filling up your home.
Because you are used to spending your money, considering settling on the amount you think you spend each month on things that you don’t really need and put it in a savings account. As this grows you will find yourself sitting with a surplus of cash that you could use to tick off some bucket list adventures.