When my friend did the annual Diwali cleaning ritual, he noticed that the cupboards had more stuff as compared to last year. Another funny thing he noticed was that there were plenty of things that he did not use for quite some time. Why did he buy them in the first place? Many times we end up buying things because there is a good ‘deal’ or discount on them. Sometimes we buy things which we think may be useful to us but then they never are. We even buy things because someone else has it! These habits lead to too many purchases, too many things to store and end up wasting of lot of money.
Here are some ways to STOP buying things that are never used –
- Use cash to make purchases – When you use cash to buy things, you will be aware of the amount you spend. When you use debit cards and credit cards, you do not realise how much money you spent and tend to go overboard with spending. If you see something and feel like buying it, you will think hard when you have to part with cash. (its really “painful” to waste cash)
- Delay the purchase – You see a fancy new phone and want to buy it. You have a car but feel like buying a new one as your neighbour has the latest model. Do not immediately buy. Wait for a day or two. Check your spending for the last 3 months and your current savings and debts. You might realize that you have made many other purchases or come to the conclusion that your car or phone is just fine for now. The purchase feeling was just an impulse which went away when you thought logically.
- Do not make a mall visit every other day – Malls (including online malls) have amazing shops with great products on display. There are various deals offered too. Many shops have discounts when you buy 3 T-shirts. So a person who wanted to buy one ends up buying 3 as it is hard to resist a “good deal”. But most of the time, you do not need most of the stuff displayed there and you did not need the 3 T-shirts. If you avoid malls, you will not buy things that you do not need. You can go to the park, watch a movie at home or chat with your friends if you have free time. Go to the mall only if you really need something. Read – Deals & Discounts – Good or Bad for your finance
- Do not get tempted by advertisements – Advertisements tempt you to find happiness by buying the products advertised. They make you believe that you need to buy products to lead successful and exciting lives. But advertisements are there to market the products and services. They are marketing tools used to increase a company’s revenues and profits. You should keep emotions out when seeing advertisements or else you will end up buying things which you may never use.
- Categorize things into needs and wants – Whenever you are tempted to buy something, ask yourself if it is a need or a want. A “need” is something you cannot do without. A “want” is something you would like to have but you will be fine without it as well. If it is a want, maybe you can skip buying it. For example, you need clothes to wear but does every piece of clothing need to be from an expensive brand? Do you need to buy clothes every month? This kind of thinking and questioning will help you stop buying unnecessary stuff.
- Keep yourself busy – When you are bored, you end up splurging on something that you do not really need. You should use your free time creatively. You can read books, go visit places in the city that you have not been to like museums and parks rather than the new mall that has opened up. You can take up creative hobbies like painting to use your time effectively. A good piece of art done by you will definitely make you feel good. When you spend your time by doing things that you like or getting new experiences, you will have less time to watch T.V. or obsess over things that you do not have and lead a more content life. Read – 15 ways to save money on Holidays
Do take a look around your house and see which are the things that you do not use regularly or would be fine without having them. What led you to buy that thing? Next time, you are tempted to buy something, use the points above to decide if you really need it or can avoid buying it. Your will save a lot of money and have a less cluttered house and life.