Why I’m Going Spend Free
I watched an inspiring video at the start of the year about someone who decided to go spend free in 2019. This involved forgoing all non-essential spending which means all spending that doesn't relate to living.
Why would someone want to do this? There's many reasons actually.
The theory goes that when we purchase something, we experience a dopamine rush in our brain that leaves us wanting to spend more. And this is a cycle that we never really get out of.
When I first heard this, I thought it was nonsense. I've never been someone that has cared too much about accumulating material possessions and so thought I was immune to this cycle.
But the more I analysed my purchasing decisions the more I realised – I spend a lot of money on things I don't really need.
This is precisely why I'm going spend free. I want to spend less time focusing on things that don't matter and start focusing my time and energy on the things that do.
Below are my main motivations for going spend free and what I'm doing to get there.
To save cash.
Obviously by not spending money on non-essential items, I'll be able to save money. A lot, in fact.
It will also lead me to re-evaluate my purchasing decisions. Do I really need that cup of coffee? What is the purpose?
This is helpful in continuing to cultivate self discipline – the one thing I believe is essential for living a valuable life.
To reduce waste.
I'm someone who is very conscious of my contribution to environmental degradation. However, I've never considered how my purchasing decisions might in fact be a major contributor. But of course it makes sense.
We are killing the earth, but we can save it one step at a time.
I'm extra questioning spending on even essential items if it's going to create waste.
To become a minimalist.
I love the idea of minimalism. How much do I really need to live a worthwhile life? Not a lot, it turns out.
I really do feel much happier when I spend less money. It means the things I do purchase have more meaning to me, even if they are just the bare essentials I need to survive.
I'm also being fussier about what is an essential and trying to buy things that have multiple purposes.
For example, I am a huge fan of coconut oil. One jar gives me oil for cooking as well as can be used as shaving cream, moisturiser and more. It's crazy useful. This is helping me have far less items in my home, spend less and create less waste.
To donate more money to charity.
Naturally I'm going to have more money, and to me the idea of accumulating money isn't interesting. I know I could do far more good with my regular $4 spend on a cup of coffee. For example, I really could feed a child for a day. A real child – just like our own.
Small steps create big changes, and I wont be able to make these changes overnight. I'm going to start small and go from there.
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