08 August 2012

Notes from a packrat with minimalist desires: Letting go of half price

I recently left a job at a bookstore with an enviable employee discount.  As it crept toward my last day, I found myself looking more attentively at the objects passing my view, and seeking out objects I might like to purchase.  I found myself looking at things, judging my rightness to have each, telling myself I might need this, or I could use that.  Might and could. Detrimental words to a work in progress minimalist.

A friend recently quoted to me: A bargain is something you don't need at a price you cannot resist.  What would possess someone to buy something they do not need even if the price is good?  Answer a) We think we might need it in the future, and if we are going to need it, well, then we might as well get it now and save the money later (side note: this post could also be called Letting go of the just-in-case); or b) we like it, and that is good enough reason to have it; or answer c) we do not think about whether or not we need and/or plain want the damn thing and we just cannot stop ourselves.  The latter is called an impulse buy.

I reason with myself over purchases, even good ones.  If I am buying something that I think I might need in the future, I have to reason that the cheaper price does not give me just cause to buy something I do not need now (or to accept something when it is given for free).  If I do need it later, the money spent at the time of need will be well worth it; and if I end up not needing it, then I save myself the money I would have spent at the cheaper price.  I have to let go of acquiring just in case.