Shouldn’t we reach a point where we don’t need any more stuff?

No More Stuff

Shouldn’t we eventually reach a point in life where we don’t need any more stuff?

Where we just replace broken or worn out items when needed, replenish disposable items such as toothpaste, and maybe buy the occasional technology upgrade, but other than that, there’s no need to keep buying stuff. Right?

Think about it.

Starting Out

When you first leave home and start in the adult world, you don’t have much. Your possessions likely fill just a dorm room or a bedroom in a house with roommates. You probably don’t have much furniture beyond the bedroom, you’re lacking kitchen supplies, and don’t have all the gear that comes with home ownership. You start out with a meager income as you go through college and entry-level jobs.

Growing Into It

Throughout your 20s your income hopefully grows and your living space grows too. You leave the dorm, maybe get your own place instead of living with roommates, or even buy your first house. Now you need the basics to furnish your home and make it functional: furniture, dishes, a toaster, vacuüm cleaner, lawn mower, etc. At some point you’ll also probably need a reliable car. You ideally purchase these things in increments as your income allows, and maybe get much of it from a wedding registry.

But then shouldn’t you hit a point where you’re done? But why do we continue to buy things and… Click To Tweet

But then shouldn’t you hit a point where you’re done?

You have a reliable car, a wardrobe for work and play, all the things needed to run a functional house, and some recreational items like a TV and books.

You’ve got everything you need! You really shouldn’t need to buy more things unless they need replenishing or replacing. The key word is “need.” The lawnmower breaks beyond repair, the shampoo bottle is empty.

But why do we continue to buy things and accumulate stuff?

Lifestyle inflation.

We’re conditioned to believe that more is more. More things, newer things, the latest model, more options! It becomes this cycle where it’s never enough, we’re never content with what we have. Instead of one car we need two, and the latest model! We need a larger TV, a closet full of clothes, and that iPad is so last year! We constantly need to give ourselves and our homes a new look…new dishes, bedding, clothes, hair color. And then we need a bigger house to put it all in. It’s endless.

But you know what “more” is to me?

  • More debt
  • More bills
  • More decisions
  • More things to keep in working order
  • More to clean around
  • More years of work before I can retire
  • More stress
  • More anxiety and worry
  • More time spent browsing, buying, assembling
  • More sacrifice and shoving aside what I really want so that I can conform to what society has trained us to want. (Like feeling like I should have a closet full of clothes, when I’d really rather have a closet converted to a book nook.)
  • More time spent maintaining an image, like at the hair or nail salon.
  • More brain power and energy spent on comparing and desiring
  • More of that feeling of never having enough, which really is more emptiness, loneliness, and feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied. (Funny how now that I have much less, my life feels much more full!)

We spend our early adult years building our lives and gathering the essentials and some additional things we enjoy. We reach a point where we don’t need any more stuff. Yet we don’t stop.

We reach a point where we don’t need any more stuff. Yet we don’t stop. Click To Tweet

It doesn’t have to be this way.

I’m stopping. I have everything I need. Even though I’ve gotten rid of many of my possessions, I still have much more than I need. I’m not going to keep adding to it. Life is so much more simple now and I have more time and energy for the things I really enjoy. Like curling up with a book in my reading nook!

No More Stuff
*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich, Disease Called Debt and Frugality 2 Freedom*

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49 Comments

  1. I’ve started my journey towards a minimalist life this year. As I started to de-cluttering, I never realized just how little we actually NEED! I think we’ve tossed almost half our clothes so far, and discovered we had way too many Happy Meal toys.. The de-cluttering process has been therapeutic, and I keep telling my hubby “I just want to throw everything out!” And then he tells me to go ahead.. Except for that one pair of jeans that are “finally broken in”. (I think maybe the washing machine will eat them up the next wash cycle)

    • Hahaha that’s funny! And I’m so glad to hear decluttering has been a positive experience for you. It’s really simplified my life and made me happier.

  2. Yes! We all seem to fall into this trap of a material society. I’ll be the first to raise my hand. I am guilty. After purging and purging and seeing all the wasted money (yes some were good purchases that were used) I began to really invest in anything that I bought. They last longer and I am bound to use them more.

  3. I totally agree! I’m decades older than you, so its taken me this long to “get it”. I’m also on a tight budget lately due to an uncertain job market in my field, so I’ve given up on some things like salon hair appointments & I now colour my hair at home (to cover some grey & save money) and I haven’t bought any new clothing in at least 8 months & I won’t be shopping for any new clothes for quite some time as I have everything I already need. Thanks so much your blog post!

  4. I’m 26, I have 3 kids, a home, and a car that runs. I’m very happy with what I have and have no desire for more “stuff”. We’ve been living on $28,000 since graduating college and there are some tough times, but for the most part I have come to accept this. I love what we have! 🙂

  5. Yes! I so agree! Right now I am drowning in kid stuff though. And I didn’t buy most of it! But, for my own end, I haven’t bought anything unnecessary for 6 months now! Thanks for this great post!

    • Hehe as a frugal person I liked stocking up when there was a deal and had a hard time getting rid of things I spent money on. But eventually the simplicity of less outweighed the dopamine rush of a deal. So there’s hope!

  6. Really interesting perspective! I totally agree with you sometimes we just have to many junk we don’t need. That’s why it’s important to clean the house an donate what you don’t use every year

  7. I definitely feel this way! My hubby is not on board, though. He always wants the latest and greatest technology, a bigger tv, etc. I truly can’t understand why we’d waste our money when our current TV works great and is already as big as we “need”. So for us there has to be a certain compromise.

  8. What a great article! I’ve thought these same things. I long for the days when in my 20s my finances were so easy and I could be mobile since I just didn’t own a lot of stuff. Somehow with kids things get more complicated, but I do recognize that they don’t have to be. Such a tricky balance. Thank you for writing this – this is a great message to get out into our consumer society.
    Kerry recently posted…6 Things Your 5-Year-Old Should Know About MoneyMy Profile

  9. I agree that we definitely have WAY more than we need and there is something refreshing about having minimal items to worry about – less upkeep, less responsibility, less things that can break on you.

    • I’ve done that too, found that I was “saving” things, but now that I actually wear everything in my closet, it feels really good.

  10. I love this! My husband and I started a journey toward trying to live in a more minimalist way this past year when we found out that our next station with the military will be Hawaii. We figured we would probably be living in a smaller space so it was a great time to start downsizing. We’ve actually enjoyed it! It feels great to have less stuff. We know where everything is, every closet is clean and organized, and we were able to donate tons of stuff to people who could use it more than we could. Thanks for the encouraging post!
    Bree recently posted…Scripture Saturdays: The Armor of GodMy Profile

    • Thanks Bree! I think the downsizing really pays off and moving is a great time to analyze what things we love and need. There will be so much to experience in Hawaii that you won’t need stuff! I’m a veteran too, so please send your husband my thanks for his service, and thank YOU for your support!

  11. Absolutely! And the younger you are when you figure this out, the better off you’ll be. When I was 50, we had to give up our McMansion and more than half of our belongings. Best thing that ever happened to us! Lifted a huge burden off our shoulders that we didn’t even realize was there. Great post 🙂

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