One of the most common discussions I see in the simple living and minimalism communities is the debate on whether or not it’s okay to buy nice stuff.
Can you be somebody who is living simply, and still own nice stuff?
It’s a complicated topic no doubt. There is a fine line between enjoying a few luxuries in life and having an unhealthy desire for material possessions.
While I don’t think there is a definitive answer, I’m personally in the camp that is possible to own nice things and still have a simple life. The key though, is that you must own your stuff, it can’t own you. There is nothing simple or healthy about a materialistic mindset. So it’s important your intentions for luxury purchases are in line with your personal values.
5 Tips On Owning Nice Things
If you are somebody who does enjoy owning nice things, and still want to live a simple life, below are some tips on how to make sure you are responsible.
- Don’t Let Your Stuff Define You – An easy way to tell if you are placing too much importance on nice things is how you let them define you. If your house, car, electronics, etc,. are part of your personal identity, it’s time to take a step back. When you feel like you need to own something in order to complete yourself, your relationship with possessions is unhealthy.
- Purchase Relative To Your Finances – Any “nice” thing you purchase should easily fit into your financial situation. Using debt or over-extending your budget to finance nice purchases is a recipe for a life of stress and financial insecurity. Keeping purchases relative to your finances allows you to enjoy nice things, but only if you have saved/invested the cash to do so.
- Focus On Quality – If you are going to spend extra money on something, do the research and make sure what you are buying is extra quality as well. As you know, many luxury brands are not actually higher quality than less expensive options.
- Here Today and Gone Tomorrow – Nothing is permanent. Things break, your priorities change, and life moves forward. Don’t ever purchase something you will cling to, or are not comfortable with the idea of eventually losing.
- Appreciate, Don’t Desire – You should truly appreciate your nice possessions. Be thankful for your ability to own a few nice things, and that your life allows you to do so. Make sure you are not making purchases strictly out of desire for something more.
Sometimes purchasing nicer things helps me to have less. Rather than purchasing time and time again, I focus on buying higher quality items that will last a long time.
Not related to the article, but the community (bulletin board) is gone?
Hey Charles – I pressed paused on the community until I’m able to dedicate more resources to it. We have another child on the way soon, so I’m going to wait a bit until I can give the community the attention it needs.
Mrs G says
Re-fitting our kitchen with a bespoke, handmade real wooden one actually helped get less stuff in there – it has simple, clean lines and I deliberately chose to have less cupboards this time as well. When I emptied it for the refurb I ended up selling/ donating/ throwing out quite a bit and the same again when I went to fill the new cupboards a few weeks later. Nothing is overcrowded and everything in there is useful and/ or beautiful and sparks joy in some way.
My kitchen does not define me (although I spend a lot of time in there!) , but it actually helped me get rid of more stuff (non-kitchen) as the kitchen is so lovely I want the same elsewhere. It is not a high-trend fit, but simple and classic and should last a long time, both for the quality of the materials and the simplicity of the design.
That sounds very nice! As somebody who also spends a lot of time in the kitchen, I totally get it.
Investing in “nice” things where you spend most of your time is the best way to use money to make your life better. And it sounds like you have a healthy mindset regarding the improvement.
Well I decided rencenlty to buy a new phone since I’ve been using the same phone for 3 years now , I saved worked really hard and sold things so that it won’t take up to much of my budget but I still got a tongue lashing about buying the phone . I don’t even know how to feel anymore as if I shouldn’t want something nice once in a while .
If something fits into your budget, it shouldn’t be an issue. So long as you are being intentional with your money, other people’s judgement shouldn’t carry much weight.