While most people would not say that they are easily influenced, the marketing industry is so huge that one can only conclude that it must be successful. Simply take a look around you and see how much ‘stuff’ you have, then think about how much of it is really essential. We live in a consumer society and are bombarded with images that offer us a glimpse of lifestyles that we too could lead if only we possessed particular items. We are influenced without even realising it, as a seed is planted of something that we must have even if we didn’t know we had a need for it before.
Sometimes it is a good idea to take a step back from it all to question your values and also think about your wallet. By looking to get back to basics and live a more frugal life you can de-clutter your home and your life. To help you get started here are some ideas.
A Disposable Lifestyle
People often go for the quickest and easiest option without really thinking about the cost, particularly when it comes to smaller purchases. These smaller items add up, however and before long a lot of our disposable income has disappeared on disposable items.
Take bottled water, for example. Think about how many bottles you buy over the course of a week or month or even a year. At an average cost of £1.00 a bottle, you could find that you spend hundreds of pounds a year on something that falls out of the sky for free. Why not buy a reusable flask instead and simply fill it with tap water before you leave home? Or if you don’t like the taste of tap water you could invest in a water filter.
Lunch is another area where many of us opt to pick up a sandwich from the nearest supermarket or deli when we have a moment in our busy schedule. This can easily cost £3 or £4 a day or in the region of £800 a year. When you’ve realised this, making your own sandwiches can start to seem much more appealing.
How Did People Cope Before?
As well as thinking more about the things that you buy solely because they are convenient, it is worth also considering the items and objects that you feel you simply cannot do without and thinking of an alternative.
What happened, for example, when people got ill and couldn’t get hold of a branded medicine that came in a capsule, was geared specifically towards the area of pain in question and promised powerful relief at a cost of £5 a packet? We suspect that they probably took something such as own-brand paracetamol that cost as little as 20p a packet and coped fine.
Or think about how many DVDs you own. How many have you watched more than once? Even with bargain DVDs costing as little as £3, you could still pay less if you hired them from your local rental store rather than buying. And you wouldn’t have to worry about storage.
It seems that we rarely take time to think about our purchasing habits in any detail. If you do, however, you will probably want to make some changes and spend your money more wisely in future.
This guest post was written by Francesca on behalf of SO Switch (visit their site to check out the deals for insurance). You can Tweet her your thoughts on this piece @franki_blogs.