Less Is More.
A neo-soul songstress once said...
Bag lady you gon' hurt your back
Dragging all them bags like that
I guess nobody ever told you
All you must hold onto, is you, is you, is you......
Listening to my Badu playlist got me thinking, WHY do so many of us feel the need to purchase and hang on to so much stuff? Bags, belts, shoes, clothes, the latest electronic trinkets. The list goes on and on. It's safe to say that excessive consumerism is a problem. Often times I've been caught up in this weird cycle of purchasing stuff just because. Because it's what everybody else is doing. Because I felt badly saying no. Because I thought this thing or that would make me feel better. Because I was too careless to check and see if I already had the item at home before swiping my card. Because I thought material gifts would more adequately express my love. Because I was bored and wanted entertainment. Never mind the many kindle books I've already downloaded and have yet to finish, the coloring book that's collecting dust on my bookshelf or the vintage Gameboy I bought but haven't played with in over two years...Just seemed like a nice ode to my childhood.
There are a million reasons. But, none of them are okay when you are working towards a better version of yourself and are trying to stop bleeding cash. I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that emotions are not always a strong indicator of the truth. That being said, in order to be my happiest and reach my goals I have to live life on a plan despite what anybody else is doing and not allow my emotions to rule my decisions.
I'm less than two weeks away from paying my final car lease payment. But, up until recently, I was still wrestling with whether or not to pay for the rest of the car in cash as planned so I could walk away an owner or just upgrade and finance all over again. I saw somebody whipping by in a shiny Mercedes one day and almost lost my entire mind. This decision would have set me way back in my debt free journey. So, I've had to get super comfortable saying NO. No to other people and no to myself. No is a complete sentence.
Simplifying your life is a process, but its one that I'm committed to. The disposable flip flops from my trip to the spa in Budapest had to go along with all of those random t-shirts I collected over the years and a ton of other items. That stuff you think you might need some day? 9.5 times out of 10 you won't. Someday usually never comes. I'm the queen of donating /throwing things out at this point and I no longer bring anything new into my home without thinking long and hard. I use to feel a little strange because I don't own any designer bags, am pretty much down to a capsule-ish wardrobe and don't buy anything unless YNAB tells me I have the cash available in that specific budget category. Cash, not credit. I'm cool with that though. There's nothing wrong with having nice things. But I don't want my life to be defined by the stuff I own, don't need my apartment cluttered with useless items anymore, and surely don't want to exhaust myself keeping up with the facade of glitz and glamour on Instagram. I'm worthy even without the "stuff" society makes us think we should have and you are too. Hint: most of the images you see online are heavily curated and the average American is drowning in payments.
Trying to emulate what you see others doing and living impulsively will keep you BROKE. So, let's just not. Deal?