Monday, April 23, 2012

I wish I was a minimalist...

I spent most of the weekend moving boxes and some furniture and getting it organized and things put away.  Moving is probably about half done at this point... and I'm sore.

I tend not to buy a lot of things.  Clothing, shoes, accessories... I feel like I've more or less stopped shopping for the past few years unless I was replacing clothing that had worn out.  But after moving a chunk of my stuff over to the new apartment it certainly seems like I own way to much stuff.

I think one of the first things I learned from the PF blogging community was to separate needs from wants.  You need food but you don't need to go out for dinner.  You need appropriate clothing to wear to the office or in public, but you don't need to be buying clothing every week.  As I've become more interested in personal finance over the past few years I've cut down drastically on my wants in order to save money.  This means that I haven't accumulated more stuff, but I also haven't gone through the things I already owned.

I bought my couch off of craigslist.  All of my furniture was purchased used.  My mattress (which is something I generally feel strongly about buying new) came from my sibling who had been using it for their guest bedroom. (When I moved back to southern California they were downsizing in preparation for moving across the country.)  However, I don't think I've spent more than $2000 on furnishings, pots, pans, dishes, clothing, or other possessions since the days when everything I owned fit in my old sedan.  How is it possible that I've accumulated so mush?

We definitely live in a society of consumerism.  I hate to admit it but I used to be much more of a consumer than I am now.  Even after a couple years of not shopping I still feel as though I own too much.  It's amazing to me how much of a shift I've gone through from where I was constantly thinking about all of the things that I wanted to buy to where I am now surrounded by much more stuff than I'm comfortable owning!  I'm not sure when exactly that shift took place but when bloggers who are more advanced in their frugal ways discuss cutting back on spending it seems so obvious.  I guess it just means that I've finally escaped the days when cash was burning a hole through my pocket.

I think that when you have truly separated your needs from wants, it becomes clear how wealthy all of us living in the first word really are.  What do you think?  Do you own too much stuff as well?

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