We have too much stuff. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to have things, but we need to be aware of where our buying habits are headed. The problem is that we don’t always know what is unnecessary and what is necessary. So here are some quick tips on figuring out what you really need and don’t need in your life:
You’re already paying for a lot of things that you don’t need. So why pay extra for something you won’t even use? It sounds counterintuitive, but paper towels are expensive, and they don’t last very long. It’s nice to have a stack on hand when something spills or you drop food on the floor, but beyond that there is no need for them in your kitchen.
Avoid getting stuck in the routine of buying paper towels by replacing them with other options instead:
- Cloth rags
- Old towels
More than one credit card
The truth is that you don’t need more than one credit card. You can get a card with a low limit and use it to build up your credit score, check out different cards to see which ones offer the best deals, or even start making recurring payments on an existing card (like your cell phone bill).
That’s right: if you’ve got one credit card in your wallet, you should be good! Lets go one step further and say that you probably don’t even need one credit card… Credit is bad, m’kay.
A “fancy” car
You don’t need a fancy car to be successful.
I know what you’re thinking: “But if I have a nice car, people will respect me!” And while that may be true in your teen years when everyone thinks they can become famous on YouTube and has no idea how difficult it is to get there, as an adult you should have learned by now that life isn’t fair.
You don’t need a fancy car to be successful. A new coat of paint doesn’t make your home more valuable or give you better grades in school—you do those things yourself with hard work, perseverance, and maybe some good luck sprinkled on top (though not as much luck as we’d all like). And if having a shiny new ride really would help anyone take you seriously? Well then go ahead and splurge on one—just remember that nothing lasts forever; when times were tough for me after college graduation I sold my BMW because I needed money more than status symbols at the time (and didn’t even miss it!).
To own a home
We all know that owning a home is a dream for many of us. You can have your own yard, pick out the colors of your walls and floors, or have some crazy garden features. But beyond the purchase price, do you know how much it costs to own property? There are maintenance costs to cover and insurance premiums to consider as well. When all is said and done, owning a house will cost you thousands per year in addition to the price tag of buying it in the first place.
The good news is that renting isn’t nearly as costly. In fact, if you’re renting with roommates or friends (and splitting utilities), there’s no reason not to rent a house for less than what it would cost for each person who lives there under the same roof if they were all homeowners!
Your entire wardrobe
The old adage “clothes make the man” is only half true. Clothes don’t make you happy, they’re a burden and a distraction. They cost money and time to maintain and they can be used as a form of identity or competition.
Crazy stat for you – the majority of Brits don’t even wear half of the clothes in their wardrobe!
When you get down to it, clothes are just pieces of fabric that don’t add much value to your life except in the sense that they can be useful in some situations—but even then, dressing appropriately is usually easier than struggling with whether something looks good on you or not!
Clothes aren’t wrong per se; in fact many people do find comfort in putting on an outfit every day that makes them feel confident and capable—but if this is all clothes have been able to do for someone who has been doing it their whole life without seemingly realizing there was an alternative until now (like me), then maybe we should try something else!
A landline phone
Did you know that landline phones are not needed anymore? Did you know they’re expensive to maintain and use a lot of electricity, which is bad for the environment? Did you know they take up space in your home?
Unfortunately, if your mom refuses to give up her landline phone (and she probably will), there isn’t much else we can do except try to be respectful when she calls while we’re trying to watch a movie or get ready for work. But otherwise, it might be worth asking ourselves why this old fashioned technology is still around in the 21st century.
OK, yes we all love a bit of Netflix or Amazon Prime. But… It’s a waste of time. It’s a waste of money. It takes up space, energy and makes you fat.
Sure, there are some good shows on Netflix (Mad Men and The Walking Dead come to mind) but the reality is that you can get your TV fix from terrestrial on demand such as All4 or the BBC iPlayer. Or if you really want, YouTube…
Dryer sheets: I think it’s time we stopped this charade. Are dryer sheets really necessary? No, they’re not. They do not get your clothes cleaner and they don’t make them smell better either. Dryer sheets are expensive, but more importantly they are superfluous (and toxic).
You can easily make your own fabric softener by mixing vinegar with baking soda in a jar or bowl. Just add how much you want to use per load of washing and give it a good shake before tossing into the load of laundry. Baking soda is an effective natural deodorizer so you’ll also be able to kill any unwanted odors while keeping things soft. Cool huh?
The latest gadgets
It’s the very best of times, it’s the worst of times. You’re young and carefree, you’ve got time to kill and money to burn. It feels like there’s nothing you can’t have or do; you’re unstoppable!
Then one day your eyes are opened by some sage who points out that all these shiny things in front of you aren’t really worth having after all. The world is full of gadgets, but they don’t really make life any better—they only distract us from what matters most: family, friends and good health (not necessarily in that order). And while technology may seem like a good thing on its surface—I mean how could something so amazing be bad?—it isn’t always as beneficial as we would like it to be.
In fact, our addiction to technology has led many people down paths filled with anxiety and stress; sometimes even depression when they are unable to get their fix from their favorite gadget or app for too long
We have too much stuff.
We all have too much stuff. You know it, I know it, and so do the people who are standing in line at the store behind you while you wait to buy a stupid DVD of an old TV show that appeared on Channel 5 for a year before being canceled due to low ratings and replaced with another show about lawyers who solve problems by yelling at each other.
We’re all guilty of buying things we don’t need; some of us just do it more than others. The problem isn’t limited to physical items like clothes or books—it can apply to anything that takes up space in our homes: furniture, linens, kitchenware (we’ve been using this spatula since 2009? Is there even food left on its surface?), etc. You might be thinking “But what about me?” Well let me tell ya somethin’…
So, the next time you find yourself about to buy something, ask yourself if it’s really worth the money. You might be surprised at how much stuff you can get by without.