I try and live a stripped back, simple life. I say try, because it’s not always easy – particularly when you have kids. Sometimes I lose my way and then have to pull back a little.
Life seems to have a way of pushing you towards accumulating stuff and commitments by default. It’s easier to buy stuff, than it is to resist compulsions to buy. It’s easier to agree to commitments, than it is to say no.
If you don’t consciously fight against these things, they build up. And then you end up with too much stuff, and too many things to do. Life gets overwhelming.
And that leads me to ‘buying less and buying the best’.
One of the ways I try and keep life simple is to have less things in my life. It feels awesome. There’s less stuff around you. And less stuff to go wrong and maintain.
My main strategy to do that, is to notice when I start to have feelings of wanting to buy something. That’s half the battle. If you do that, you can put them aside and start to think about the real reasons you might want or need something.
Simply noticing and being aware of what’s happening, stops you buying most things. You realise that it’s just an impulse and you’re telling yourself a fake story as to why you want or need it.
After a few days, if I still think I want or need something, I tend to wait for about 30 days before pulling the trigger. Quite a lot of the time, the desire to buy goes away. It becomes an easy decision to forget about it and choose not to buy.
If after 30 days I still feel strongly about buying it, I do my research and go all in. I don’t skimp and buy the best (within reason).
I spent £1,000 on a fancy hybrid bike. It makes me want to cycle more. And when I do, I love taking it out.
I spent the best part of £1,000 on 3 Sonos speakers around the house. They’re on for a few hours a day and the Sonos app is a joy to use. I love them. It makes my day better, every day.
I wanted a nice watch for a long time. I waited for longer than 30 days on that one – in fact, a couple of years. I eventually bought one and never regretted it. I’ll probably own that forever and love putting it on.
We’re doing some house improvements soon. We’re going to spend a reasonable amount on the open plan and kitchen area. That’s because we particularly value having a nice place to cook and entertain.
I bought a skipping rope a few months back. I’ve had a few people comment that it’s nice and how much did I pay for it? When I say £50, they always act surprised, as if that’s ludicrous. But, it’s so light and nice to use. It’s really helping me get better at double-unders.
I also spent £500 on a vitamix blender. I ended up selling that after a few months because I didn’t use it enough. So, it doesn’t always work out as per above ;-).
If the above sounds braggy, I don’t mean it to be. Remember, I have less things than most people, so it allows me to to go all in on stuff I do value.
For example, we have one car in our family and it’s a 2006 Renault Clio. Most of our friends have more than one car. We have the oldest and crappiest car amongst our friends. But that’s OK. Right now, a fancy car isn’t what’s most important to us.
I tend have a very light wardrobe and I prefer to wear simple, cheap clothing nowadays – mostly Jack & Jones and Zara. I’m just not really interested in spending big money on designer brands anymore.
I didn’t used to be like this. But I’ve found having fewer, really nice things to be a better way to live life. Part of it, is the uncluttered nature of it. And the other part, is how it feels to have some really nice things in your life.
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