As I look back on our finances and our goals for Becoming a Minimalist Family, I see that there was too much money spent on incidentals and impulse buying. This happens when I go into a store for something I need and come out with two grocery bags full.
Stores are actually set up to entice you to buy more. They line the entrance and exit with those quick items that are colorful, quick to eat, fun entertainment, and eye-catching. When you go into the personal care sections you see glimmering displays for makeup, hair products, and even deodorant. For the Christmas shopping season it gets even more tempting with all of the pretty gift baskets that are put together and the special edition everything that won’t be there for long. It’s rare that someone goes in and buys just exactly what they were looking for and walks out with only what was on their list. It’s called consumer marketing. It’s crafty.
As I analyzed our bank statement for the last year, I put together a plan to beat the marketing and my temptation to buy more than we need. The first step was to always remind myself of our goals of minimalism.
If you don’t need it,
don’t buy it.
The second step in my plan to avoid the marketing traps and my weakness to buy is to stock up on what I need and simply not walk into stores as much. So, I stocked makeup, skin care, clothes, and household items. The only thing I will be buying for the next 9 months is groceries. My limits on groceries are to follow my 2018 weekly grocery list and limit my spending there too. If we want something special we’ll have to plan ahead so that it’s not impulse buying. At the end of 2018, I will be following the same procedure of stocking up and using a buying plan. During 2018 I’ll be making a master list of what we will need to replace in our house as well as what we need for the following year. It’s a straightforward approach that I like.