Lose the lust for new things

Over the years I have come up with a bunch of ways to lose that lust for new items.

Not all of them work, sometimes I just (happily) succumb, but it’s still rewarding to go through the exercise so that my need or want in the end is truly justified, and not on some impulsive whim.

3 things that help you avoid lusting after new things

  1. Try to avoid paying attention to advertisements. This one is difficult, but without a TV set, it’s easier.
  2. Don’t sign up for those email reminders about the great new sale on at J. Crew or any other online shop.
  3. Don’t go to the mall or any of your favourite shops just to “browse”. (Uh huh. Browsing leads to impulse shopping)

Reconsider whether you NEED it

Another whisk? Another hammer? Really? Why?

Challenge yourself to be honest in your purchases.

You could be using the money for something else you need or want — think about it.

Make it

You’d be surprised what you can make out of what you have.

I know it’s a silly example, but I make pita bread now.

Instead of eating and buying pita bread holed up in sad little plastic bags for $3, with a little bit of dry yeast, flour, salt, sugar and water I can have them fresh, soft and homemade.

And just for PENNIES.

Go without it

I use this one a lot on myself.

I tell myself:

You’ve gone SO LONG without this item.

Do you really need it right this second? Right now?

Are you going to regret it later?

Perhaps buy that more expensive version you really wanted, when you should just save up your money and wait?

Is it worth the money?

This seems to work a lot more now that I am being more conscious about my life and posessions.

It didn’t work so much in the beginning. But it does now.

Consider cost-per-use

Are you going to use it once? Twice? Daily?

Depending on the price, it may be totally justified and worth it.

3 Items I’ve purchased that I have consider justified for their price:

  • GPS system — Lifesaver for someone as directionally challenged as I am.
  • External Hard Drives — Naturally. Data is precious to me. Like little puppies and kittens.
  • Bose Headphones — I love them for airplane trips or when I want to retreat into my own world. The cheap headsets have never done it for me, to drown out that nauseating hum of the engines.

Beg, Borrow or Steal

Okay, cross out the last one. Don’t steal anything!

Don’t buy a tool you are only going to use once.

Ask around if someone has the handsaw you need, and give it back in perfectly cleaned condition, with an offer to take them out to coffee or do something nice for them in return.

Why do we really need to own every single piece of machinery when we can just borrow it from others and let others do the same with our things?


When I was in business school, I lent a very nice grey mohair suit (which I do NOT fit into any longer *sigh*) to a friend who was a size smaller and needed it for one posh interview. She returned it perfectly dry cleaned, on time and with nary a scratch.

Buy secondhand or use Free-cycle or Craig’s List

Craig’s list is a goldmine for free things, even for free washers and dryers!!

Buying secondhand means you can potentially grab items for a fraction of their original cost.

About the Author

I'm a 20-something year old girl who lived out of a single suitcase in 2007, and now I'm living with less, but only with the best. You don't have to get rid of everything to become a minimalist! Minimalism can help simplify and organize your life, career, & physical surroundings. You can read more about me as a minimalist. Or come and visit my other blog Fabulously Broke in the City where I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months, earning $65,000 gross/year.