Before I figured this out, I used to spend a lot of money buying everything that I thought I needed. Normally, when we go shopping, we shop to buy stuff that we need to have. However, if we keep buying everything without carefully planning, then we may end up buying a lot of things that are not really necessary. The more you shop, the more you feel like you need something. I have been through this so I am sure over buying is very common for most people.
When I first moved out, I had to set up everything in my new place. At first, I did not think that I needed a plan on what to buy, because I did not know what I really wanted or needed. While I was still in my parents’ house, I never really need to think about buying anything other than my own desk and the computer. I believe my experience is similar to a lot of other people. When we live together with our parents, they are the ones who buy things. From the beds, sofa, tables, chairs, and so on. Since our parents are the ones who plan and put the plan to work, we often do not see the real struggle. I still remember seeing my parents do some research online to find the prices on what they are about to buy, and I just ignored them.
After I moved out, without carefully planning ahead, I moved into my new place with a desk, a computer, three boxes of clothes, and some other miscellaneous things. Though my parents did give me some suggestions on what I should have, I still did not know what else I needed. Within the first month, I bought a microwave and a conventional toaster oven. I used my old mattress so everything seemed to be enough. However, the place always felt empty because I did not have enough stuff around. Sometimes I felt like I needed an extension cord, or a coffee maker, or a table lamp, and I spent lots of time driving back and forth buying random things.
As time went by, I gradually developed the habit of buying things as soon as I feel like I need them. I started to love the feeling of buying brand things from the stores or unboxing an Amazon box or two at random times. Though this seemed like fun at first, later on, I slowly realized that I was burning my savings. Instead of buying things I really need, I bought things I felt like I needed. This means a lot of things I bought were just random things that should never be there. Because of my impulsive buying habits, I always found myself struggling to manage to last till the end of every month.
To fix this problem, I started to learn how to plan carefully on what I really need. It was not easy at first, because I did not know what I may need until I needed it. However, I managed to make a plan to categorize the importance of things I wanted to buy. For instance, since I drink a lot of coffee, I better invest in a coffee maker. I bought a Keurig because I could make both coffee and hot water for tea. Instead of buying plastic bags to use as trash bags, I save bags from my shopping trips and reuse them. I also asked my friends if they have bags that they don’t use. By focusing on only buying what I really need, I was able to limit my spending on random things.
The best way to both save money and protect the environment is to use reusable bags. Start planning carefully on what you need to buy today.