12 Things I No Longer Buy as a Financial Minimalist

Hello Richful Thinkers!

When I became a financial minimalist I began to cut a lot out of my budget. It really began when I had to move 3 houses in one year, all the packing up and unpacking really took a toll. After that, I began to sell, donate, and throw out items. By the time my 4th move happened I was moving internationally, so all I had was a suitcase with some personal effects.

It was after the 2nd move and I was settling into the 3rd place that I decided I could not do this anymore and only began to keep things that I liked. This was all before the KonMari method became mainstream and essentially I was applying the basics of it. If an item was no longer used, no longer fit, or just was not part of my style anymore it was removed from my collection of stuff. No longer was I collecting items to just ‘try it.’ I made sure an item was finished before I bought a new product.

What is a 'Financial Minimalist'?

It is the act of simplifying your finances, you are only buying or putting money towards things you need. This also prevents you from having a mishap with forgotten subscription services. 

Finally, in the name of saving money and time packing for another move, I have created my list of things that I no longer buy. 

1. Brand name groceries

Unless it is on sale and cheaper than the generic but for the most part I only buy the generic groceries. They are essentially the same product but with different packaging. No reason to pay a premium on packaging.

2. Fast Fashion

Anything that will not either stand the test of time in quality or style is no longer in my closet. I no longer replace those items anymore either. My wardrobe is now only items that are of a ‘classic’ style. In terms of quality I pay attention to certain materials , essentially I try to stay away from synthetics.

3. Expensive rent in a luxury apartment

I downgraded from a nice apartment in downtown Stockholm for a corridor room a little further out but still within the city limits. I pay less but I get to experience more which is important to me. 

4. Soda at restaurants

This item has the biggest mark-up at the restaurants, this is where they make their money. Back in 2008 I was working at a restaurant, and I was told to make sure to either sell or upsell drinks because that is where the profit was. These items cost the restaurant between $0.05 and $0.20 per serving, and they are charging $2.50 per drink. This is why they can afford to do free refills. You would have to drink between 15 and 50 times per cup in order for the restaurant to lose their money on serving you a drink. 


5. Cable or satellite TV

This is kind of a given, since many people have moved away from both of these  services. The last time I paid for TV was back in 2013 but that was also the first time I paid for it. That lasted for a year.

6. Expensive phone contracts

I had never had a phone contract until I moved to Sweden, which was only 199 SEK a month, or about 20 USD. I only used pay-as-you-go plans, which ranged from 15-60 USD. When I was living in the U.S. I remember hearing people talk about how much their monthly phone bills were and they were absolutely astronomical. So, I just kept my little go-phone-non-contract and went about my life. 

7. Cheap touristy trinkets

I no longer buy souvenirs. They are useless, they take up valuable space and they [usually] do not add anything special to my life. Now, if I am going to buy a momento, I make sure that it is meaningful and it is something I would proudly display. 

Additionally, the less clutter means less stress. I do not have to create a home for it, and I do not have to worry about packing it for moving. 

8. Art from Big Box stores

There is a sort of loss of identity when you see someone else have the same set of paintings in their house as you. Now, this might sound pretentious but I only decorate using my own art or that of a local artist. 

9. Manicures and Pedicures

I used to go in quite a bit to have a mani/pedi. Then one day I realized that I watched them use improperly sterilized items, and they were going to use them on me! So, I told them to stop and walked out. I have not walked into another salon since then. After I realized how much money I was saving by not going anymore, you could not convince me to waste another penny on it. 

10.Books for leisure reading.

This is not really because of the cost of a book but because it is the most annoying item to pack for an international move. Especially when you are only trying to put things into a suitcase and fill up a couple of boxes. These items can be heavy! So, I no longer buy them. I either borrow it from the library or read it online. Although, I do miss the book smell sometimes.

11. Single use items

I switched to reusable items and I have eliminated most single-use items in my home. This means I had one cost up front. 

I use both cloth pads and a cup for my monthly cycle. I have saved so much money by doing that. It was unbelievable. Additionally, I do not have to run to the store because I ran out. I just clean it according to its instructions and I am good to go.

However, I still buy toilet paper. I am not about that family cloth life, no offense to anyone who is.

12. Travel sized items

One, I get so many of these free from the various hotels I have stayed at. So, once I use it up and I fill it up with my own products. 

Two, they tend to be more expensive if you consider cost per gram.

And that is really it!

What do you no longer buy?

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