Conscious Spending: Trying To Be A Minimalist Consumer

TLDR:TMI
Before the year 2021 ended, I saw a lot of stories and posts of their spending at Shopee. Some were even shocked that they had spent xxx,xxx amount on useless things (or budol as we call it). Since I became a mom, any “thing” that needs to be maintained will only be left to collect with dust.

In a truthful sense, I am not much of a “branded” person (luxury or obvious brand names). Well okay, there are things that needs to be branded (in quality sense) like appliances, shoes, sunglasses and skincare. The first luxury bag I got here is Karl Lagerfeld which I won from a giveaway. I consider this as my first as the ones I have is a hand-me-down from mom. Many people I know haven’t heard of the brand (so yay!) and it’s in black color (double yay!) with no obvious branding (unless you’re a fan btw). I stopped drooling over common coveted bags in my age group like Coach, MK, LV, Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade and Tory Burch (most of these brands have so-called high quality copies πŸ™„). I don’t know — I just don’t like what’s currently popular (rule breaker πŸ˜‚)

So back to the social media stories, it made me reflect on the things that I have bought last year (except for constant — diapers, homeschool materials, inventory).

The convenient shop
In the UAE, online retail rise 56% compared to the pre-pandemic retail market value. And as an Amazon seller myself, the dropshipping method isn’t recommended (unless you have your own site). The consumers’ behavior here is similar to the US. They want it fast and easy to pay. With the updated Amazon terms, the self-shipping sellers are given a timeframe of 1-2days to deliver the items. I didn’t choose as an FBA seller since I am selling also at Desertcart. Everything is possible at the palm of our hands here. Of course, it is far from the PH logistics situation with our geographical formation and daily traffic dilemma.

Noon

I don’t have the intention to buy but the husband insisted (I find it hassle to connect Bluetooth thingamajig). Frequency of use: 1x-2x a month as I have a wireless headset (bought 2020) — more of a PC person. Quite useful at times and sturdy built (not necessary to buy the expensive ones ifykwim).

My reliable Hama tripod of six years was broken and destroyed by my son. Because I wanted a steady shot of unboxing videos on the mobile, this generic and cheap tripod didn’t even last a week. — just don’t buy this πŸ™ƒ

Shein

If I had not won a giveaway from Shein last 2020, probably I wouldn’t sign up. The next purchase I had is the following year where I had to upgrade summer clothes for my son, then winter accessories for last December’s trip.

The Minimalist Process
In our financial situation, my husband is working full time, and I as homemaker does freelancing on the side. We know what it feels like tiptoeing to a monthly budget. But I have to brag that as an OFW we don’t have any loans or obligations (since we got married). If there is something we wanted, we saved up for it. We always believe if we cannot pay it using cash/debit then we cannot afford it. I am thankful to the Lord, that I marry someone who is careful with finances and without vices (lang, I know you are reading this *finger heart*).

I was worried when I was pregnant on where to get money to buy major baby items: e.g. car seat and stroller. It was the time when we have barely enough yet not comfortable to have decent monthly savings. We feel uneasy if we don’t save. This reminds me of Psalm 34:10 verse, “Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing”. We never settle to any debts or financial entanglement situations. God showed his provision to us, I won a giveaway for the car seat and a travel stroller (is that like Yoyo?! *in a cabin crew’s voice*).

I have learned to restrain and always think of my husband’s hard work. For example, I had many instances where I almost gave in buying Pandora. But my rational self is battling not to buy accessories that don’t have a worth (I’d prefer jewelry) πŸ™ˆπŸ˜› It even got to point where the husband is forcing me to ask anything from him. “Well… nothing” I replied, ‘but for our anniversary I would love to go to a sushi restaurant.’

My younger self is such a food spender. Up until now πŸ™ˆ the only difference is I can get it for free through collaboration and assessments. When my husband gave me money to spend as a birthday gift, around 85% of it was bought for brunch and dinner deals πŸ˜‹πŸ½οΈ

The DICT Digital Jobs PH opened our eyes that there is an income generating opportunity online (not networking, only skills required). It was at the most needed time few months after the pandemic. The freelance work I have is an extra income but mostly it goes to the monthly insurance bill. When I got a big break at December 2020, I could finally afford the things (appliances) that I wanted to buy for so long.

Airfry+Nutricook
Totally not an impulsive decision. God knows how many months/years I have heard about the product but don’t have any extra money to purchase.

Naturally, girls/women are easily enticed with pretty shiny things. I don’t know about you, but when I became a mother, the years of listening to The Minimalists really lived up. Though our house is cluttered because it is designed by a toddler πŸ˜‚

Kindle
This order was delayed more than a week and I had to cancel it. Despite that, I was eyeing it for a long time, and now 2022, I still wonder if I should really buy it…. or not. Because buying something isn’t made for it to sit at the corner. I’m not sure if I had the time to read…

Wardrobe
Mothers face a thousand decisions in a day, and thinking of what to wear is the last thing I’d like to do. Bought pre-loved clothes from JS Collections last March. Found good deals that aligns to my style and color requirements at Splash. In a year, I only bought twice for a closet update. It is important for me to stick to a particular hues: neutrals, grey, black, blue and red. I barely go out (once a week) and repeating clothes isn’t a big deal for me, as long it is comfortable and doesn’t give me mental stress.

A friend of mine asked, “Why don’t you buy branded things, you can afford them.” I answered, “Because I don’t want to maintain a specific lifestyle. And besides, my parents told me to save as we don’t know what will happen in the future.”

I have nothing against people who wears one brand from head to toe. What I would like to imply is not to force or pretend what we are not. As the saying goes, “Stop buying things you don’t need, to impress people you don’t even like”.

P.S. If you’ll catch me wearing brands or so, probably it’s something I won from a giveaway.

Side story: I wore this Chanel necklace at a Christmas party on my part-time as a mystery shopper/assessor. A lady in the same group commented, “Oh you love Chanel. I love Chanel too, it’s my favorite.” I didn’t know what to say because I never had Chanel in my life until recently. It gave a different high impression which makes me uncomfortable. If you know about me, I tend to be more discreet.

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