Shopping Like a Stingy-Minimalist

If you are here looking for financial advice or money-saving tactics, I am sorry. This piece aims to capture my thoughts as I get myself through the new year shopping spree.

If I call myself a stingy person, it would be a disgrace to all the stingy people out there. The dictionary meaning of stingy goes something like this.

Unwillingness to spend money.

For me, though, I want to spend money on the right things PERIOD. The process of shopping for the right things also involves trying out a bunch of wrong things before settling on that one right thing.

Thinking about all the cosmetics I had to throw out. Sad life.

Let's begin

Now, this might sound a little weird. Every year I plan out and make a list of everything I would need for the next year. There are the usuals like Journal, Color pens. Before you settle for that's reasonable, I also plan out my clothing. Thank god I don't do it for my cheeses or chocolates.

For me, shopping does not begin in amazon or a shop. It begins in my Journal. I create a shopping list page and start listing down all the items.

Since this is a yearly process, the list usually grows more than I imagined and hence begins my road to misery and delight.

The list sits there and grows and shrinks after my strikes and edits. I look at it every day, go through every item ask myself.

  1. Is this necessary?
  2. Can you survive without this?
  3. Will you do justice to it if you buy it now?

For, e.g., Buying another set of art supplies when I already have a bunch unused would do injustice.

So I have this list complete. I wish the process ends there, but it doesn't. Next comes the hard part.

The Shopping

Shopping for the items that you get from a store is relatively easy compared to online. It goes like this.

A Physical store

  • Pick items
  • Add to cart
  • Checkout

An online store

  • Pick item
  • Read reviews
  • Read bad reviews
  • Compare with other products
  • Read other reviews
  • Settle on something
  • Add item to the cart
  • Stare at it for weeks
  • Add/edit/Move to wishlist
  • One eternity later
  • Checkout

and the rest is history

Reflections

You are likely to make some bad shopping choices, and it's okay.

You are going to lose some money while experimenting to find the right products that fit you. Don't think twice before throwing out things that don't work.

Branded clothes have worked wonders for me. A 4k pair of jeans would be so comfortable and feel like floating, whereas 400 bucks jeans make you feel like a snail in a shell. When it comes to clothing, always go for comfort, quality, and confidence. Buying expensive clothes is cheaper in the long run.

I asked around and found out this is a normal shopping pattern for most people. They have been given names as a stingy, close-fisted, indecisive, perfectionist.

In a world where ads constantly bombard us, streamlining your shopping process is one of the healthiest things you can do for your financial well-being.


P.S. A moment of silence for the Ipad I have meant to buy for the last 2 years, all the books and art supplies on my wishlist.




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