For the minimalist just beginning the journey to less, there is one word that can be the greatest obstacle to progress: sale.
We have been conditioned almost since birth to identify a sale as our opportunity to get what we don’t actually need just because it becomes available at what have been told is an affordable price.
But, at the end of the day, we are still spending money. We are spending money we could otherwise save. And we are spending it for temporary satisfaction, rather than making deliberate choices about our long-term fulfillment.
Landfills are overflowing, donation centers are packed to capacity and factory workers face inhumane conditions because we thoughtlessly purchase things because they are well-advertised, not because we have taken time to consider what items will best serve our current and future goals or how our consumption affects the larger world community.
Buying something cheap today can actually cost us more tomorrow. Maybe the function is good, but the quality is poor, and we will have to buy a replacement after only a few uses. Or maybe the quality is decent, but the overall design or function of the item doesn’t work with our lifestyle, so we’ll end up looking for something else and spending again.
We become a part of an unethical consumer cycle. We perpetuate corporate greed and labor force abuses.
When we shop with purpose, we let our life determine our purchase habits. We bring home only what serves us. And even if it costs a little more, we invest in classic, well-made items we can use for many years, or a lifetime.
We also consider the companies we purchase from and put our money in the hands of those who value human dignity over profit.