Summer has ended; it’s hard not to notice the cold breeze in the morning and late afternoon.
With less than four months before the year conclude, I thought it is a perfect moment to assess how far I’ve gone as a minimalist (not that it is a race).
Things that I Don’t Buy Anymore
It’s time to think of the things that I stopped buying while giving away stuff that I don’t or rarely use. In the word of Marie Kondo, these things didn’t “spark joy.”
1. Scarf, Mittens, and Beanie
I had three scarves that is either gifted to me or I bought using a gift card (which I should have sold instead).
Although scarf isn’t necessary because I have a reliable fall/spring/winter coat, I keep one scarf for a “just in case I need it” situation.
Even the light pretty scarf that is meant to adorn my neck had a new home.
Tip: You don’t need a scarf if you have a high-quality coat which doesn’t have to be expensive. Buy it on sale or in a thrift store. Staying warm is a priority.
As for mittens, I have a pair I use for a trip in winter. For commuting in the city, I conveniently put my hands inside my coat’s pocket.
My hands stay warm. I rarely have winter cuts (common for newcomers) which is painful and bloody. And don’t forget to use hand creams like O’Keeffe’s Working Hands.
I rarely use my beanie (or toque) to keep my head warm.
As long as I am wearing my winter coat or hoodie, I can use its hood to cover my head. A hood can also protect ears so an earmuff isn’t necessary yet I still have keep one and give the other. Why did I have two earmuffs anyway?
2. Salad Dressing
Who doesn’t love salad. I eat it at home and at work or in a fast food with no vegan options.
My fondness prompted me to start making my home-made salad dressing. My favourite salad dressing is simple.
- Olive oil/sesame oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Brown sugar
Mix everything. Add mixed nuts or raisins and croutons. There you have it, a quick way to prepare salad dressing.
I’m trying other dressings thought by Erwan Heussaff which was recommended on my YouTube feed. My favourite is yoghurt with tahini and olive oil.
3. Body Wash
I used to pack body wash on balikbayan boxes and thought of trying it myself like many others such as sardines with olive oil can be on my meal plan (do I have one?) once a month.
Yes. Body wash smells great. After a shower, I smell good in a few minutes. That was it. Nowadays, I stick to unscented Dove as my face and body soap. Nothing complicated.
4. Shaving Cream
The EOS shaving cream is amazing in practice and not only because I found it on the reduced-price-item shelf.
But after one bottle, I don’t see why I should keep on spending with shaving cream. Soap will do just fine.
Having a sensitive skin has an upside. I have simple facial routine and tend to use natural product.
At night I use rosehip oil on my cleaned face. In the morning, I put sunscreen if I’m going out. Once a week I put clay mask with charcoal on face.
That’s it. I think it is best to spend more time choosing and eating healthy food than putting a lot of unnatural facial products. Our skin will be thankful for kind treatment.
I’m still on the process of giving my books away which includes my dear personal finance book. It’s a tall order but I’ll keep The Walden by Henry David Thoreau, the pioneer of minimalism for me.
If I have to spend on a book again, it’s either as a gift for others or myself (why not).
Ironically the more I gave away my clothes, the less I need to buy new clothes.
When I had a vacation in the Philippines, I gave away my jeans, fitness and black pants.
This is the first time that I am “jeans less” in my whole life. I’ll need a corduroy pants for winter; for other seasons my old khaki pants will do.
My sibling lent me her shorts which I used in our 5-day trip in Cambodia.
As a minimalist, I’ll buy clothes whenever necessary, that is, as a replacement or a requirement.
In fact, I’m saving up for Everlane black T-shirt which is recommended by Jenny of The Simplicity Diaries. She is my fav minimalist blogger from Germany.
It will become my uniform which reminds me of Matt D’Avella video The Benefits of a Simple Wardrobe. It suits his lifestyle as a content creator who wants to focus and use energy on creative projects.
Lessons I Learned in Using What I Have
My journey as a minimalist has only begun. It’s a continuous process.
I’ll still buy things but I am more intentional of what I bring into my life and that includes people as well.
The process of not buying new things has thought me many lessons:
1. Getting rid of things has an impact to others and the environment.
2. Spending can become investing and vice versa. I should prioritize one or the other based on the situation. Right now my goal is to increase my emergency fund and pay house debt.
3. Focusing on what needs to be deal with has kept me from unnecessary spending as a way of distraction. I have to face the music. Or listen to uplifting podcast to calm my emotions and clear my thoughts.
4. Appreciating what I have is the biggest advantage of intentional spending.
I am more grateful than ever before. My old iPhone (here’s how you can send it to the Philippines) still works and so is my almost a decade old laptop. Thank you for my hearty oatmeal with fruits for breakfast or whenever I feel like having one.
I didn’t plan to stop buying things; such habit has become a by product of living a simple life.
Later, I’ll probably stop buying more things, but I’ll buy more sustainable items that is useful and not harmful for the environment.
As a consumer, what are the things that you don’t consider necessary?