mnmlist: buying is not the solution

Often when we want to solve a problem or make some kind of change in our lives, we’ll go out and buy something:

  • We want to get organized, we’ll buy containers or folders or closet organizers.
  • We want to lose weight, we’ll buy diet food or an exercise machine or a gym membership.
  • We want to help the environment, we buy green products.
  • To get out of debt, we’ll hire a financial planner or new financial software.
  • We want to save gas, we buy a gas-efficient car (perhaps a hybrid).
  • We want to start new hobby, we’ll buy new materials or equipment.
  • We want to do almost anything, we’ll buy new clothes for it (workout clothes, work clothes, yoga clothes, dressy clothes, hip clothes)
  • We want to make our house look better, we’ll buy new furniture or decorations.
  • We want to be cooler, we’ll buy new gadgets. Or cool T-shirts.
  • We want to improve our lives, we buy new books on different topics.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

But buying is not the solution. Or at least, it rarely rarely is.

Instead, buy less. Stop yourself before going out to buy things. See what you already have that you can use. See if someone else has it that you can borrow or trade or barter for. See if you can solve the problem without anything new.

Just a few examples:

  • To help the environment, consume less. Live simply.
  • To lose weight, eat less. Eat mostly whole foods, lots of plants.
  • To get in great shape, try a minimalist workout by just walking or running or swimming or doing bodyweight exercises.
  • To get out of debt, spend less, save money, pay off debts.
  • To make your house look better, declutter.
  • To save gas, drive less.
  • To get organized, declutter.
  • To improve your life, read free stuff online, or just start making small changes over time.

You get the idea. Sometimes you’ll need stuff to solve problems, but again, see what you already have, what you can borrow from or trade with others, or as a last resort, what you can buy used.