1. Ask yourself if you need the item or if you desire the item. If it's a desire, do not buy it.
2. If you need an item considering borrowing it, buying it used, or making it before buying it new.
3. If you want to buy something try waiting a week or more and see how you feel about it after that time. I find that once I think about buying something over a week instead of impulsively getting it that I not only save money, but also unnecessary purchases.
4. Stay off Internet shopping sites. I know these are tempting to visit when we are bored, but it only leads to desires of things we do not need.
5. Clothing: The media is constantly telling us that we need to buy new clothes because we are not in fashion, the clothes we have are too old or they make us look fat, or that we would be happier if we looked like the models and bought their clothes. Although clothing is certainly a necessity, in our culture it has become a symbol of opulence and status.
Do we really need 7 or more pairs of jeans or 20 t-shirts? Instead of trying to buy things that fit in with the latest fad, considering investing in pieces that will last you years. Not buying the latest trends will not only save you money, but it will also prevent you from buying items that in a few years or less you will no longer wear. Focus instead of maintaing a few key items that will last for years.
Question the clothes crammed into your closet and drawers. In the Zero Waste Home Bea only keeps 6 pairs of shoes, 7 tops, 7 pants, and 2 skirts. The boys of the house have 3 pairs of shoes, 7 casual tops, 4 bottoms, and 1 dress shirt. Could you live with less?
Challenge yourself to resists the latest fashions that will quickly go out of style. Stay away from malls and browsing online to keep you from being tempted by things you do not need. Go through your closet and consider all of the staple items that will last you for years. When considering a purchase, question how long it will last you, how often you will wear it, and if you really need it or if you already have something that will do the job just as well.
It takes time to get used to not wanting and buying all of the things we see on TV, in magazines, in ads, and what other people have, but once we break out this cycle it can be freeing.
Come back soon for a post on how to pare down your unnecessary possessions and get some freedom and simplicity back into your life.