Yesterday, I was looking at the caliper laying on my kitchen table, and it got me to wonder: WTF is going on in my life? What is happening to me?! A caliper? What other weird thinks have I bought recently?
So I thought it was time to check my accounts, to recap how I spent my money!
Am I a minimalist?
Yes, I think or at least I do like to think so. Kind of. At least more and more…
My home isn’t empty of things, but the things that are there are mostly useful or they do ‘spark joy’ as it is required nowadays!
To start with, I was never a shopaholic, even if I had times where buying a new hand bag was a way to handle my stress! These days are gone thought and most of the bags as well.
I never really collected nail polish, make up related items, or a variety of bath salts. When I buy a cosmetic product, it’s because the previous one is used up.
I’ve stopped a long time ago shopping for crappy cheap things that won’t last and seasonal decoration items aren’t really my thing. I do have Christmas decorations from a long time ago and that’s pretty much it.
Plus I’ve always liked old objects so it has been easy to avoid regular shops. I got some pretty neat antique findings in recent years. Most of them as travel souvenirs because bringing back a drill from the 1920’s, from a trip to Berlin, is fun! 😉
In terms of clothes, as you may have read before, this year, I decided to stop buying clothes entirely. It’s been 7 months now and I’m still doing great. You can read my no shopping 3 months report and my 6 months report on how I manage things.
To not end the year naked, I thought I would start sewing my own clothes on my vintage Singer sewing machine. Learning to sew is a skill I’m still not mastering yet, but I’m not giving up!
So I guess I can say I’m kind of a minimalist. Can I? I know opinions vary greatly on what it truly means.
What I used to buy?
Let’s see what I used to buy to compare with this year:
Electronics: Cameras, lenses, lights, caps, filters… I used to have quite a budget for those. Not overly excessive but significant because these things aren’t cheap, at least for good quality.
Clothes: I used to buy some of course. Last year’s budget showed me I bought far more than I thought actually. And shoes have always been costly for me considering the vegan brands I like.
Jewelry: antique jewelry! Oh maybe that is something I collect actually! It’s not always expensive but always so unique!
Books: Ebooks and regular books. I love castles, cathedrals and traveling as you can see on my other little corner of the web: www.RoadTripsaroundtheWorld.com and when visiting a new place, a lot of the times, I will buy a book about such place. I still do that whenever I can!
Art supplies: I draw quite a bit and have been wanting to experience with other mediums. Copics, oil paint, acrylic paint… to name just a few. It hasn’t been conclusive but it has been costly!
Camping gear: In recent years, I’ve regained my love for camping and invested in new gear. Quite a few items were however gifted to me as Christmas or Birthday presents! You can find a camping list here.
Plants: outdoor and indoor plants, pretty pots, soil, flowers to brighten my days… it adds up.
Some random stupid/useless/unnecessary things I bought in recent years: a jade roller I used one week, polka dotted cutlery, a few books I didn’t read, lenses for my iPhone, the dresses I only wore once, the one I wore twice, pins that were too cute to resist, cheap iPhone cords that don’t work, a travel pillow that wasn’t even comfortable, another lamp for my bike that I don’t use (the lamp not the bike), too many cute note books, more paint brushes…
Don’t get me wrong, I bought some things I love too, like the new pillows I got for my sofa or the pretty Japanese bowls I use all the time. I do not regret getting a red light therapy lamp either!
So what did I buy this year?
This year is being so different.
My main expenses are related to the restoration project of my dad’s vintage motorcycle! I’ve told you about it before, especially in my depth year post.
The caliper on my kitchen table is mainly for this project, but is also proving to be useful, in other areas!
What else did I buy apart from motorcycle parts?
Polishing tools of all sorts, a lot of sanding paper, nickel and coper plates, a paint spray gun set, paint, protections, hundreds of latex gloves, a torch wrench 😲, body filler and spatulas, lightbulbs and too many other smaller tools to recall!
In addition to the bike restoration, and as mentioned above and before, I started sewing my own clothes. So this year I also bought a button holler attachment and recently a brillant zigzagger. Those are more expensive than the actual sewing machine! The zigzagger shall be my last acquisition in terms of attachment. Later I will probably get a front cover plate to make my machine looks like a million bucks!
I did get some fabric to start with but now I’m thinking of repurposing vintage clothes into new ones. I have to see if this can work for me.
In other areas of my life, I bought some memory cards for my camera and some additional block-out curtains to survive the heatwave. In terms of books I have been reasonable! I did replenish my stock of essential oils.
And finally I bought a water flosser and me, my teeth and my gums just love it!
This is my weird shopping list! It’s not weird considering what I’m doing and when items are taken individually. However when put together, it’s kind of funny. Well at least I think so!
Why am I telling you all this?!
Maybe to tell you that it is possible to change your consumption habits. It is possible to buy less, to buy better.
One maybe easy way is to shift priorities. Maybe by doing a depth year and setting clear priorities.
When you shift priorities, there are a lot of different areas of your life that will be affected. This year, I bought a lot of things that relates to the renovation project of my dad’s vintage motorcycle which is one of my main priorities.
It’s kind of like when you get a baby: you suddenly stop buying things for yourself and invest all your money in your baby’s need and wellness. I don’t really know, I’m child free, but I suppose that for most, that’s how it goes.
To me, this year, my dad’s Indian has been (and still is) my baby, my priority or in other words my main expenses area!
Shift in priorities are good! They show that you don’t really need all the things you thought you needed. I’m certainly really glad to get the opportunity to explore my true needs. I’ve stopped buying just by convenience and instead started putting more thoughts to what I actually need.
If this is a process, it clearly isn’t an easy one at first. It is truly challenging. Being forced to prioritize, when you never really had to, can be frustrating at the beginning.
But soon it becomes second nature. Temptations simply disappear and truly life becomes easier! It’s beautiful!
Try it! Or share your own tips.
What has helped you be mindful about your spendings? How did you change you consumption habits?
Do you want to see those in action? Fear not, I’ll show you… soonish!