Marie Kondo was right. In one of her chapters, she talks about how sometimes the purpose of something is to teach us that it’s not meant for us. I definitely learned that when I was getting rid of stuff. I also felt this pang at having wasted money, and the strengthening resolve not to buy things willy-nilly.
This is how I’ve changing my spending habits:
I no longer buy clothes online (and cut down on online spending in general), unless I’m familiar with the brand and know exactly what I’m getting. Yes, shopping in Australia is expensive. Yes, items are much cheaper online. But I’ve bought so many things online that ended up not fitting well or falling apart after a few uses. And they may have been relatively cheap (e.g. a $20 dress) but all those little things do add up. I now go to stores to fit clothing, to make sure that what I’m buying looks good on me. (Unless it’s things like tights or socks. I’m not fussy with tights or socks.)
I no longer go for the cheapest price. I mean, yes, if I know the exact model of an item, I will canvass several stores to see where it’s being sold for cheaper. But when it comes to things where I don’t have a specific model in mind yet, I’ve learned to spend a little bit more. For example, I had to replace my clothes airer recently — I could get cheap and flimsy ones at Big W or something, but instead I went for a sturdier one at around three times the price.
I no longer go for quantity. I had to buy a pair of jeans recently… and there was a promo: two pairs of jeans for $109, or one really good pair of jeans for $80? I went for the $80 pair, because it was exactly what I had been looking for. I’m proud to say that during Boxing Day sales last year, I wasn’t as affected by the sales promos as I used to be.
I buy things that make me happy. Sometimes, in the quest to buy something that is functional, I will go for the cheapest functional thing. But (also as a result of reading Marie Kondo’s book) I’ve learned to seek things that will make me happy, too.
I purchased a teapot recently. I know that I could have gotten a random teapot for cheaper, but the beautiful yellow teapot I ended up buying makes me feel happy, and has helped me with my new “enjoy tea by the balcony” routine I’ve started for myself.