Today I wanted to take the time to talk about materialism vs. minimalism, and just write about my thoughts on the topic.
There are so many instances in life when I think, “Wow, it would be so cool to own a shirt like that” or “Ooh, those shoes are so cute” or “If only I had that eyeshadow or makeup brand” and “My room would look so cute if I had these decorations.” But then after these thoughts cross my mind, I check myself. I think, do I really need those things?
And you know what the answer is most of the time? I don’t.
Sure, there are times when I am out shopping and I see a new shirt that I do not own, and it is an affordable price, and so I buy it. Or maybe I want to “treat myself” and get a bit of makeup from Sephora. But most of the time when I make these purchases, it is when 1) I have enough money to do so so that I will not be broke afterward or I will still have enough money to get my basic living necessities; and 2) I truly have gone a long while since actually shopping and I want to get myself a treat.
Wanting to treat yourself to buying something new is perfectly fine! I am not saying it isn’t. But what I believe is not okay is living beyond your means and buying things that you simply do not need or that you are only buying because you think it will make you feel a certain way or you are shopping as a catharsis. I have always been told to never go shopping hungry — and that applies to more than just buying food, it is also about buying absolutely anything. If you are so hungry for more more more and you go shopping, then your heart may be happy for a bit, but your wallet will be unhappy until the next paycheck.
I feel so fortunate to have grown up in a household with parents who always taught me the value of money and the importance of not blowing all your money by spending unnecessarily. And something that I truly appreciate and that I have learned from my upbringing is that what makes “treating yourself” a “treat” is doing it once in a while. If you go shopping every week — or even couple weeks or every month, for that matter — it won’t feel like a treat. It will probably just become routine, and sooner or later your closet is filled with things that you hardly use or are just tired of, or maybe you only wear a few select pieces before you just want to “treat yourself” again and buy even more.
While I think that treats are fantastic — hey, I treated myself last weekend — I also think there is a lot more value in rewarding ourselves with experiences rather than with material goods. Going for a walk on a Saturday morning, having a relaxing night of pampering yourself and no homework or distractions, and even deciding to spend an entire day to yourself are all ways you can treat yourself without breaking the bank. And without creating unnecessarily clutter in your closet or your home!
And before I go shopping, I always try to make a habit of going through my closet first and assessing the items that I want to buy vs. what I already have and what I actually need. I love going through my clothes and finding things that I can donate or sell or give to a friend — because I do this often, my wardrobe is smaller than average, but I wear almost everything very regularly. And I love this! It makes me so happy to know that I actually use and wear my items rather than owning way more than I need to.
So those are my thoughts. What are yours? I would love to know!