Have you ever emptied your bank account on an expensive handbag that you didn’t wear afterwards?
Did you ever book a holiday on your credit card that you couldn’t actually afford?
Do you happen to clean up your home and wonder: “How the heck did I end up with all this stuff?”
That was me!
A few years ago.
There was time in my life when I used to spend half of my salary on designer clothes that I couldn’t really afford, and more importantly, didn’t really need!
Back then, I was the type of person who was very likely to spend her last money on dining at a Michelin star restaurant.
I thought that souvenirs and other knickknacks were a suitable decoration for a room and made me an interesting person.
Before I embraced minimalism and learned how to shop like a minimalist…
In this post, I am going to give you some practical tips on how to shop like a minimalist and become intentional about your purchases.
I would tell you about the tricks that I use that may change the way you think about shopping.
You may be thinking that learning how to” shop like a minimalist”is an oxymoron.
But let me tell you, dear-minimalist-to-be, there are different approaches towards minimalism.
I consider myself a moderate minimalist and I strongly believe that minimalism is about balance.
Minimalism is not about deprivation, it’s about learning how to focus on what really matters and filtering all the noise around yourself.
Let’s get to the practical tips that can totally change your shopping habits and help you learn how to shop like a minimalist:
1| Wait out 3 days before buying
I have made a simple rule that I always follow: if something costs more than €30, I never buy it immediately.
I wait out a few days and if after that I still want it, and more importantly need it, I buy it.
This way, I avoid making purchases, such as that killer cocktail dress that costs €200, that I will wear once and have hanging in my wardrobe forever.
2| Understand this, you are not saving money on sales, you are still spending!
I used to get an adrenaline rush if I grab a pair of designer shoes discounted for €200 (with a price tag €600).
I was feeling very smug about it, like I have just saved €400!
When in fact, I just spend €200 on a pair of shoes that I didn’t really need; money that could have gone to my savings account.
It took me some time to shift my mindset and stop confusing saving with spending.
There is a giant marketing industry using psychology to compel you to buy all kinds of stuff.
Think about it next time you are about to buy the latest designer perfume; wait out 3 days and then decide if you really need it.
3| Develop a personal “Should I buy this?” test
So many times before, I had bought things I thought I need to only ditch them in some cupboard later.
I am sure that you can relate.
Try this, next time when you are about to make a purchase, ask yourself the following questions:
- Can I get by without it?
- Is not buying this item going to affect my quality of life?
- Do I already have a similar item that fulfills the same purpose?
- Will I still love this item in 5 years from today?
- Is this a planned purchase?
Sometimes it can be really difficult to see the difference between need and want.
It take some practice of minimalism to be able to see it clearly.
Be honest with yourself and build a test that you can run through your mind every time you consider buying something.
4| Unsubscribe from store emails (and from any other temptations)
Strip away any temptations, offers, discount codes, special promos, etc.
It can be hard to resist the temptation to buy unnecessary stuff, when you are bombarded with Black Friday offers, discount codes, limited time sales.
You are much more likely to shop with intention, shop like a minimalist when you seek out the purchase yourself.
5| Research beforehand
Do you go to a store and aimlessly wonder until you find something you like?
This might end up in buying tons of random shit you didn’t need.
Making the habit of researching online prior to buying will help you figure out if you really want this item.
Researching is time consuming, yes, but will ultimately save you money and teach you how to shop intentionally.
6| Focus on experiences than things
Try to avoid building up more clutter by choosing to buy experiences.
When you want to buy a gift, to someone else or yourself, try to find experiences instead of physical things.
You can seek out something that the person will ultimately enjoy, such as a museum pass, a concert ticket for their favorite band, a voucher for a day at the spa or a yoga class.
It is also much more thoughtful and personal and won’t add clutter to their lives.
7| Practice the “one in – two out” rule
Whenever you bring something new into your home, get rid of two other items.
This is a great way to shop like a minimalist and it will not only keep clutter at bay but also significantly reduce it over time.
I hope that this post offered some insight into shopping like a minimalist.
Everyone will have their own way of doing it and that’s fine.
The main point is to learn to focus on what really matters and brings value to your life.
It can be hard to do that in a life where excess is praised.
But embracing the journey towards minimalism and learning how to shop like a minimalist is so REWARDING!
Finally, do you wonder if you are secretly a minimalist and to what extent?
Read about what makes you a minimalist and take The Minimalist Quiz to find out exactly how minimalist are you?!