Don’t Buy Before You Know You Need It

I’ve recently moved into a new apartment. It’s a small one bedroom ground floor flat. It was unfurnished when I moved in, with only a small wardrobe in the bedroom. Before I actually moved in and started to get to stuff to fill the space, I had several grandiose ideas about what to get: coffee table, sofa, bookshelf, desk, a whole lot of stuff.

In the end I’ve bought a bed, a table and four chairs, and some kitchen utensils (although I do make my own).

After a month of living here I find that’s all I really need. I’ve also found that this applies to many more areas than home furnishings. Another example would be travel. The clearest example I’ve seen of this are the stalls that can be found on Khao San, the backpacking street in Bangkok. There are dozens of these places that’ll buy your unwanted stuff to sell on. A great deal of the stuff on sale are items people obvious thought they needed by clearly didn’t. Common items included sleeping bags, mosquito nets and tents.

There are countless items out there that are nice to have, but not necessary. I’ve found myself getting these nice to have items before knowing whether or not I’ll actually use it. Often I’ll use it for a bit, then it’ll fall to the wayside. An example of this would be my heart-rate monitor. I got it while I was big into triathlon during university. Sure, it was fun to know my heart-rate and the calories that I was burning, but I never got so seriously involved in training as to actually start using that data. Now and again I’ll use it for a run, but mainly is just sits on my shelf.

For many of life’s activities you can do them with stuff you’ve already got. You can go for a run wearing pretty much anything, or nothing. While certain activities do require specialist kit, try borrowing what you need so you can get an idea for what is necessary.

If you have any tips on avoiding unnecessary purchases, please share in the comments section.