Buying in Bulk
These days I buy my staples in bulk, whether it’s tea, rice, toilet paper or cat food. Buying in bulk not only saves you money but reduces packaging and transportation, making it a much greener option. I know some minimalists who refuse to carry or store more than they immediately need, but I disagree with this for several reasons. Not only is bulk more sustainable but it serves a practical purpose. My city has strongly advised citizens to keep 10 days of food and water in their home at all times because that is the amount of time they have forecasted it will take to restore order after a natural or man-made disaster. Simple preparation can save you a lot of stress if you live in an area that may be at risk of earthquakes, flooding etc.
Minimalism has given me more time to read and more money to support the authors I love. Currently my Amazon wishlist – which used to be full of clothing, handbags, and gadgets – contains only Kindle books. A good book adds tremendous value to my life, but the same could be said about video games or movies. I happen to be a minimalist that is passionate about books, but you could be a minimalist that is passionate about indie games or anime or photography. Minimalism helps you focus in on the thing(s) that give you real happiness.
In my old life, my paycheck was used up buying clothing or ‘stuff’ that I could show off. There was very little left to spend on practical things. Now I invest better in my home, the most recent example being high-quality blinds for my windows. They help regulate temperature, keeping us cool in the summer and warm in the winter! It might be a bit boring to talk about blinds, but they really make my home a more comfortable place to live, which contributes a lot more to my overall happiness than a new pair of shoes!
I remember the days when I had a new outfit in my closet, but no money to go out and show it off! Now I have less clothing but I go out every week and visit museums, parks, and restaurants. Studies have shown that it is human nature to compare our material possessions with others, but experience can not be so easily compared. For this reason, experiences bring us more long term satisfaction than a material purchase.
Setting up our new home is almost done, so by September I will be able to start putting a good chunk of money away each month towards my long term goal of buying a boat and spending my (early) retirement sailing around the world.
Check out my previous post The Things I Stopped Buying