Is it possible to live a minimalist lifestyle when you enjoy shopping? In this post, we will highlight some tips and tricks to live a minimalist life even if you have a habit of shopping…
How do you define happiness? Is it based on your personal belongings or does it come from a different place? In today’s consumer society, we are often taught that more means better, more means abundance, and most of all more means greater happiness.
However, many people are starting to find that their idea of happiness may not come from actually owning more things but may actually come from their personal experiences like vacations and spending good time with family.
Ultimately, this shift in mindset has brought a resurgence to the term minimalism. Minimalism is nothing new as a practice but has now become a lot more popular in today’s world due to the negative effects of excess and consumer culture.
But how exactly can one live a minimalist lifestyle when consumerism is thrown in your face 24/7? In this post, we will explore the ways that you can live a minimalist lifestyle even if you still enjoy shopping. (Yes it’s possible).
Just a side note, this is coming from an amazon addict’s perspective so I understand the urges haha.
Can You Live A Minimalist Lifestyle When You Enjoy Shopping?
Yes! Absolutely, you can live a minimalist lifestyle even if you enjoy shopping…
As I just mentioned above. Yes, I am a recovering amazon addict. After months of rehab, I’m indeed finally ready to return as a productive member of society.
All jokes aside, I was completely abusing my Amazon prime capabilities. At one point I had a package arriving at my residence pretty much every week!
Sometimes a few days a week (Facepalm). For some, this may sound familiar, but it was absolutely true for me. Don’t get me wrong, I still use and love Amazon, but I have definitely toned down the buying and focused more on minimizing my belongings little by little.
I just want to mention this because I understand the allure of spending all the time and want to show that it’s possible to live minimally and still enjoy “shopping” even if it means you aren’t necessarily “buying”.
Remember Your Ideal Minimalist Lifestyle
Now one of the most important things to remember is that depending on your minimalist lifestyle you will be able to shop more or less. I believe a balance is good.
If you are living a minimalist lifestyle that only involves the bare minimum, then extra shopping may not be something that will be possible for you.
Ultimately, just remember the minimalist lifestyle that best suits your needs and then see if you can adjust your shopping habits accordingly.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.
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1. Develop Your Minimalist Mindset
This tip is probably the most important part of your minimalist journey. Especially if you are trying to limit your shopping and keep yourself from acquiring more and more junk.
Developing your minimalist mindset is about changing the way that you view your possessions and finding ways of living that give you fulfillment. When it comes to shopping, it means turning off your “shopper mode” and putting a limit on your impulses of buying things for the sake of buying.
Minimalist Mindset In Practice:
This mindset requires that you start thinking about purchasing items you need and start finding contentment in what you already have.
When you’re in the shopper mindset, you’re set on acquiring and adding things, whereas the change in mindset is all about letting go and getting rid of clutter in your life.
It’s a subtle change but it pays dividends in your journey to simplify your life. As far as the shopping aspect, I’ll explain more later in the post about how you can practically manage your shopping habits and still keep up with this lifestyle.
For me, this means shifting yourself away from the idea that these possessions are what’s going to bring you happiness and fulfillment.
The whole purpose of you becoming interested in this lifestyle is because a fundamental shift in your thinking has already taken place.
This means that you have already begun the thought process that says maybe these things that I own aren’t what brings me the most fulfillment in life.
2. Choose A Minimalist Lifestyle That Suits You
As mentioned above it’s important to choose a minimalist lifestyle that suits your needs. Luckily for you, there are a variety of minimalist lifestyles that can fit right into your ideal lifestyle.
Here are a few different examples of minimalist lifestyles to choose from:
- Nomad minimalist
- Extreme minimalism
- Modest minimalism
Once you have your minimalist mindset and have chosen the type of minimalist lifestyle that you want, you will now be able to decide what degree of shopping will be appropriate for your lifestyle needs in order to stay minimal.
Definitely don’t forget this step because your desired lifestyle will influence your future shopping habits. Again if you choose the nomad life and are able to sustain it, you won’t really be able to purchase much unless it can fit into your suitcase and personal bag.
On the other hand, if you pick a minimalist lifestyle that is modest you may have more liberty to indulge in shopping depending on your needs and wants.
3. Replace Old Items or Clothes
Here is one of my favorites. If you really have that shoppers itch, you can use this opportunity to replace old items that you no longer need or want. For me (and for a lot of people), this meant getting rid of a lot of clothes and going out and buying new ones.
As a shopper, this will allow you to declutter your closet and any other personal possessions that have no use and upgrade them with new and better “items”.
In this way, you are removing old items and replacing them with these new and higher-quality items that will last you longer. Now you will be decluttering and shopping without having to add more junk into your life.
This can and will be your ultimate strategy as a natural shopper to sustain your minimal living because some things don’t last forever and some clothes go out of style. This is your opportunity to shop. And it will prevent you from adding more junk into your life.
4. Wait Before Making a Purchase
This is a HUGE strategy to use not just for minimalists, but for anyone looking to take more control of their finances. As time goes on and things change, we as people also change.
This is such a big factor when it comes to buying certain items. This can help to eliminate impulse buying and let you sit with your decision for a longer period of time.
If you want to purchase stuff from a physical store, you can make a list of the items you may want to buy in the future. That way these items are jotted down and not forgotten.
This would be similar to a “cart” when online shopping. Make a list, maybe even visit the store and look at the items you may want to buy, but don’t buy anything yet, and give it some time.
My Amazon Strategy:
Since I love Amazon so much, one of my favorite ways to put this idea into practice is to save my items in my “cart” or “save them for later” on my prime account.
This has been so profound for me because:
- It stopped me from wasting money on stuff I didn’t need
- It made me realize that most of the stuff that I had sitting there in my cart, I eventually removed, didn’t buy, or just replaced with another item I thought was better.
So the moral of this practice is that I would have bought certain items during that time only to find out that I wanted something else instead.
So basically it revealed the useless spending in my shopping habits because when I bought certain things, it turned out that I wasn’t even gonna use them! Or that I was destined to be unhappy with my purchase maybe a few days after.
How dumb does that sound?!
So to all you shoppers out there trying to live a minimalist life, all I’m saying is to wait before buying and allow that excitement and impulse to wear off for a bit. After a week or a month see if you still want that item. You may be incredibly surprised…
5. Save Items for later on Your Amazon App
This obviously goes with the tip from above and is my favorite way to track new potential purchases. This also allows you to keep in mind items you may like but simply don’t want to spend money on right away. If you want to live a minimalist lifestyle and enjoy shopping, this tactic may be one of your best ways to limit your spending and prevent you from buying new things with no self-control.
Again, this is more specific to Amazon and people living in the United States but can be utilized on any online shopping site. I personally use Amazon almost exclusively so this is what has worked for me.
This trick has helped me to keep a list of the things I may potentially buy, but after waiting for a while it turns out I found something better or just plain didn’t want the item anymore. This type of thing can happen if you wait.
6. Delete Your Amazon App
This is extreme if you’re an amazon prime member like me. But if you are really having trouble with buying too many things, this can be an effective way to limit your spending, but it may not work for everyone.
I personally tried this but it didn’t really work. I’d rather just save items for later and just browse if I feel like it.
Try this if you feel you need to!
I personally wouldn’t do this but it can help if you just need to change a habit for a few months and redownload it at another time.
Update: Not only have I deleted my Amazon app, I’ve actually really enjoyed not having such easy access to it!
I now make sure to use my laptop or actually search amazon on Google on my phone when making Amazon purchases.
But the best part is that I’ve saved tons of money by being much smarter saving those amazon purchases for holidays or in situations where I really need something!
7. Remember It’s Okay To Shop
You shouldn’t feel guilty if you want to shop with a minimalist lifestyle. It’s your life after all. Living a minimalist lifestyle when you enjoy shopping is completely okay and is something that the majority of people making this transition will be accustomed to.
If shopping is something that you enjoy then by all means continue. However, use the mindful shopping tactics in this post along with your minimalist mindset to stay far away from meaningless impulse purchases.
Just remember to be very mindful of what items you purchase so that you’re not decluttering all over again.
Purge Your Wardrobe
Take time to declutter your old and unused clothes (seriously it’s worth it!). After decluttering your wardrobe assess your fashion and how you’d like to improve it.
Once you know what “look” you’re going for, take some time to separate your entire wardrobe into a few different categories:
Once you have your trash bags or bins ready, start your decluttering process. Ask yourself the following questions when decluttering your wardrobe:
- Do I need this piece of clothing?
- Have I worn this recently or will I?
- Does this piece of clothing bring me value or joy?
- Do I even like this piece of clothing anymore?
After asking yourself these questions it will be easier to let go of some of those “hard to get rid of” pieces that may not fit anymore but you really love from the past.
After some time, you’ll have a minimal wardrobe to work with. Once you’re at the stage where you think you have the right amount of clothes, you now have an excuse to “remake” your wardrobe and buy new and better clothes that reflect your new style and appeal.
What could be better as a natural shopper?
8. Be Smart With Your Finances
Whether you have debt like I do from school or need to save more, use your minimalist mindset from above to add to the realm of your finances.
Keep the mindset of saving at the forefront of your mind. Create separate savings accounts and make automatic deposits from your checking account into these accounts.
This way you will be saving money every month instead of spending this leftover money on useless shopping. This is a method my mom taught me and I wish I had started sooner.
This way the money in these savings accounts is separate and the temptation of spending is removed because you won’t be able to “see” these accounts when you log into your regular checking account.
Ultimately, try to save more than you buy.
Apply this minimalist mentality to your finances and you will be in good shape with your shopping habits.
9. Allow Yourself To Look (But Don’t Touch)
Finally, if you are a natural shopper and just can’t help yourself, don’t worry. I think it’s good to just allow yourself to look and enjoy the act of shopping as a lot of shoppers do.
This brings many people relaxation and peace. I definitely wouldn’t wanna take this away from people. If so do this, whether online or in the store. Just make sure to remember and implement everything above…
Online, if you see something you like, just remember to save it for later or in a cart and wait at least a week (preferably a month).
When in a store, maybe preplan and make a list of what you are looking for and be aware that you may be swayed to an impulse buy of something you may find.
But just keep in mind your ideal minimalist lifestyle and your list. Maybe you want to look without a list and this is fine too.
Just remember to be conscious of your money and how much you are willing to spend because you know deep down you will see something you like that will be expensive somewhere somehow.
Here’s my summary roundup/takeaways from this post:
- Develop the mindset of letting go and stop looking to add more useless “things” into your life
- It’s okay to shop when living a minimalist lifestyle but just be smart and avoid buying junk.
- Be smart with your shopping habits
- Wait before buying
- Save potential purchases in a “cart” when online shopping
- Be smart with your finances when shopping
- Research other strategies to implement to save money and keep yourself from acquiring clutter all over again
- It is possible to live a minimalist lifestyle when you enjoy shopping
- It just requires a firm mindset and a little discipline
As someone whos wasted a lot of money on “stuff”, I can definitely understand the feeling of buying new things and wanting more.
I completely understand!!!
I know the challenge, but ultimately if you can focus on decluttering and then shop for things that you actually need, you will reach your minimalist lifestyle goals.