Thriftstyle Decisions: Just a comment about things you do and don’t need.

This post is ENTIRELY my own opinion. Take from it what you will. But its something that needs to be said, especially when people are trying to live a lower-cost lifestyle.

My main point in this post is:


These things are different for everyone. I’m not saying in any way that the things I don’t need are the things you should be getting rid of. Some women NEED to buy and wear expensive makeup. Some dudes NEED to buy and play video games. Some people NEED their morning Starbucks grande bla bla bla fancy crap bla bla bla latte (I know close to nothing about coffee that isn’t just straight up coffee that shows up free and hot in the kitchen at work).

I know there are things you “need.” And that’s fine. Happiness and comfort in life are important and I’m not telling you to give  up everything. But you should be able to really take a close look at your life and decide what you absolutely, positively CANNOT live without…and what you could probably stop buying or using and hardly even notice its gone.

First things first: All that heroin. You definitely don’t need that.

But seriously.

This post isn’t about ME telling you what you do and don’t need. You probably already know. You just haven’t been honest with yourself about it. I’ve had to get honest with myself a lot.

I don’t really need a bunch of clothes. But I do need to start wearing what I already own (or give it away).

I don’t need to buy fancy coffee every morning.

I don’t really need to go out to lunch every afternoon.

I don’t need makeup or fancy hair products. (And guess what, ladies: you probably don’t either.)

I don’t need a ton of furniture. And I don’t need a ton of decorative crap in my living space.

I don’t need to buy books when I live in a city with a great library system (and have lots of friends who like to share).

And believe me, this isn’t just about cutting costs. Its about simplifying your morning routine so you can sleep more. Its about downsizing the amount of crap you own so you’re not constantly wading through clutter and finding a small army of people to help when you move. Its about donating the things you’re not using so they’re not taking up space. Its about using your car less so you can walk more and spend less money – and time – on parking. Its about finally quitting that bad habit so you’re not wasting time and money on it (and possibly risking your health). Its about maximizing happiness and minimizing work and stress.

Trust me, you’ll feel better after downsizing your life (and making it cost less in the process).

Still think you need all your “stuff”? Get some inspiration from this great article from my favorite site LearnVest about a woman who downsized her life completely.

My favorite parts of that article – and the message I try to live my life by: “But then we started defining our values and reprioritizing. I started reading a lot about living simply. We realized that the life we had fallen into wasn’t what we really wanted. I asked myself: Why was I spending time stuck in traffic to earn the money for our rent when I could be building my relationships or volunteering, for the things that were most important to me?” and ” When it comes down to it, Logan and I aren’t really about austerity, but we want to spend on experiences rather than things. We save a lot, but are also able to spend extra income on going out to eat, biking, camping and traveling. I’m much more aware of my community and my environment–I notice the seasons change and participate in my community more. Not to mention with biking, walking and eating right, I feel so much healthier.”

So set aside an hour or two in the coming week to sit down in front of a pad of paper and really think about all the things you do and don’t need. Think about how getting rid of the things you don’t need will simplify your life (and your finances) and possibly make you happier than you think you are with them. Its a worthwhile exercise.


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