Well, the short answer is that buying fewer stuff will bring you more time. It means fewer time spent on searching and comparing, consequently giving you more time to invest in other activities which truly passionate you: chilling out, working
Apart from the time, which I personally consider the No 1 asset, there are also several other aspects to be taken into consideration. I found an interesting idea in the book ‘Freedom from our addictions’: all of us have insecurities, we don’t feel confident in ourselves when it comes to specific topics.
Many people believe that buying things they will mask their insecurities.
For instance, a new luxury watch or a nice hoodie will increase their confidence by masking their internal insecurities. Now, just try and think about yourself and answer the question: ‘Do I have internal insecurities which I am trying to hide using the goods I buy?’! I think it is a huge mistake to buy useless stuff and this is something you should really consider.
I want to share my way of buying stuff because it might give you a new sense of how you should do it. I have 3 main principles:
1. I want to buy as few things as possible, meaning I buy just those I am sure I will need. For instance, if I go on holiday and I enter a souvenir shop, I will buy just a magnet, not the typical mugs, key rings or T-shirts. I am aware of the fact that the magnet will stay on the fridge, hence reminding me of a great holiday, whereas the key ring will remain at the bottom of a hidden box and will never be used. Another example is that I have identical pairs of jeans, so that I don’t get to decide which model of jeans I like more. I don’t need more stuff and maybe you don’t need too!
2. I only buy things which I genuinely like. I don’t buy things I don’t like. For example, I wanted some headphones a year ago. Back then, I bought these Sony headphones which cost about 15$. They were fine, but didn’t like them so much, the only reason for buying them being the price. I didn’t enjoy using them because deep in my mind I kept thinking about a pair of Bose headphones: higher quality, higher price, higher satisfaction. I had to make a choice: either I buy something that is intermediate between these two headphones (but I knew I won’t genuinely enjoy them, so I will use them only for a short period of time), or I wait until I have the resources to buy the Bose headphones. Here we are, one year later, with my favourite headphones here. I don’t need more than one pair of headphones and I won’t feel like buying an updated version of them because I am super happy with this one. So basically, choose something you really want and you won’t think of buying a better version!
3. I like to buy durable goods, meaning I will use and keep them for a long period of time. For instance, will you better buy a nice 20$-T-shirt made out of high-quality materials or two T-shirts at 10$? You might say that the latter is better because you can use them alternatively, but their poor quality and decreased durability should make you consider the first option. A good example is computers: instead of buying a 300$ computer you can use for as long as 2 years because it gets old, you better buy a slightly more expensive one which is more performant and you will keep it for a longer period of time. This way, you have a better product and fewer decisions to take.
There is a saying which basically claims that the rich people save money by buying expensive stuff, while poor people consume more money by buying low-quality goods. The first ones buy one thing which satisfies their needs and keep it for a long time, whereas the poor ones keep buying things which will be outdated for their needs the next morning.
Here’s the full episode:
Now, it’s your time to think if you buy too many things that you don’t actually need. Do you actually do that?