We all have different criteria for what we think deserves our money. If your goal is to save any money at all, however, one rule can always help: if it's going to end up in a junk drawer or cupboard, just don't buy it.
Photo by Dave Matos
This advice is on par with "Don't go to bed angry" in terms of easy to say, hard to do. Most of us have a pile of junk that we're hanging on to "just in case". Or worse, we'll buy something on the off-chance we need it some day.
The "nice to haves" don't just cost money, though. They cost space. They cost time. The more crap you have, the more expensive your life as a whole is. As personal finance blog Life Optimization explains:
To me, minimalism is the philosophy of owning what you use on a regular basis and not much else. In a consumerist society where we're constantly bombarded with advertisements to buy stuff we don't need, we've become people who end up becoming overburdened by these very possessions. You may get a temporary moment of happiness every time you buy something, but the feeling soon goes away.
What counts as "using" an item can vary, of course. Buying things you like to help your home feel cosy, or luxury purchases that make you more satisfied with your life can be OK in moderation. But buying bread maker because some day you might want to make bread only wastes money, takes up space, and makes you annoyed with your past self when it comes time to move.
$US500K net worth: How minimalism and investing helped me get there [Life Optimization via Rockstar Finance]