Do You Have Too Much Stuff?
Most people today have too much stuff. We all know that it takes up space in our homes, but we don't often consider how much money it costs us as well. There are many hidden costs associated with the accumulation of items. Most obviously are storage costs. Since 1970, the size of the average American house has increased nearly 40 percent--not because of increasing family size, but because of an increase in household goods. Not only does this require a larger house payment, but also results in higher taxes, higher heating bills, larger cooling bills, and increased upkeep costs.
So how do you break the cycle of too much stuff? It takes a reality check and some determined self-examination. Many of us purchase things because of what we see around us--our neighbors, family, and friends are buying new things, renovating their kitchens, purchasing a boat--and this leads to a desire to do the same. We may also be attracted to convenience or be prone to impulse shopping.
To curb these buying habits, it is important to think ahead. Before venturing out to shop, make a list of exactly those items you need to purchase. Ask yourself if each one is a need or a want. If it is a want, try to delay it until you absolutely need it, or until you've saved up the funds to buy it without using credit. You may also try shopping with a set amount of cash, keeping this limit in mind to help prevent impulse buying. During the month, keep track of your spending, so that you know how much you've spent on non-necessities. A budget made ahead of each month can also help curb these types of purchases. Most importantly, consider each purchase carefully. By stopping and evaluating your purchases before you make them, you will often find that you could forgo a purchase and still be content with what you have.
At West Oaks Apartments in San Antonio, Texas, we love sharing lifestyle-enhancing tips with our residents. We hope you find these tips helpful.