Since I started adopting a minimalist lifestyle, it’s helped me focus on what’s important and be more mindful of my spending habits. As a consequence, there are a lot of things I don’t buy as a minimalist and far from feeling like I’m missing out, it’s actually liberating because now I can use my money for things that matter most to me.

Please bear in mind that these things are personal to me, I’m not saying that you have to stop buying these things but hopefully, you’ll find some helpful ideas in this post.

1. Nail treatments

I’ve never really been a “nail person” but I’ve had my nails done in the past as a bit of a “treat”.

There were a couple of things that, ultimately, made me decide not to continue with them. I found it a lot of effort to return to the salon and have the polish removed and reapplied if I wanted it to. Also, when I did my weight training, I was concerned about chipping my nails; so much so that it took away my enjoyment of weight training!

In the end, it felt like too much effort and worry so I stopped, and I don’t miss it. If I do ever fancy painting my nails I can always do it myself. I know it won’t be as good as a professional doing it and I’m okay with that!

2. Make-up

When I was younger, I was into make-up and felt good wearing it. Over the years my interest waned and then I got back into it a few years ago when I was buying new makeup and watching tutorials on YouTube. However, after a few months I decided it wasn’t “me” and I didn’t want to spend my time and money on it anymore.

There will be makeup items I’ll replace when I run out, which are tinted moisturizer, blush, and eye brow gel (because those things have a life of their own!). However, I use these products so little that they last me a long time.

As I’ve gotten older, I feel more comfortable without make-up and I’m less worried about what other people think as well.

3. Disposable make-up pads

I no longer buy cotton wool balls or disposable face wipes. Instead, I use reusable ones that I purchased from Etsy. The great thing is that you can put them in the washing machine when they need cleaning and they come out looking great.

4. Disposable razors

I bought a safety razor a few years ago, and I’ve only used two blades in all that time.

It takes a small amount of time to maintain the razor. I need to take it apart after every use and dry it to prevent it from rusting. Also, I do tend to nick myself more than with the disposable razors but I’m not bothered about that. I know it will last me a long time and that’s what I want.

5. Journals

I used to love buying multiple notepads and journals. However, I wouldn’t like writing in them and “ruining” them, which is very wasteful!

Now, I have just one journal that I use each day. I love it because it’s a nice way to record my precious memories and also plan for any appointments I need to keep.

6. New clothes

If I need to purchase an item of clothing, my go-to website is eBay for used items.

There are times when I’ve bought new items because of getting the right sizing right and needing to have the option of returning something if it doesn’t fit. However, when I buy used clothing I try to buy the same brand because I can usually tell by the size and cut whether the item will fit.

7. Excess home decor

After our major declutter, I seemed to become more sensitive to having items on surfaces. I became less tolerant to clutter.

Previously, I used to love looking around shops and buying decorative items for the home but I realised that all they do is end up cluttering the space. Here in the UK, one phrase we use for items that are cluttering a space is “tut”, with the “u” sounding as “oo”.

I don’t know if it’s a regional word (I grew up in Essex) but when I was younger I remember people saying things like “Look at all this tut” when referring to clutter.

Do you have an equivalent word or phrase where you come from? Let me know in the comments!

8. Expensive beauty appointments

I’ve never had my eyebrows or eyelashes done but I used to get my hair dyed professionally, which was an expensive and time-consuming process. I didn’t like being in the hairdresser for so long (roughly three hours) and I didn’t like the cost either, so I switched to box hair dyes for a while.

In my late thirties I wanted to improve my hair’s condition so I stopped dying it altogether. Subsequently, I discovered I was going grey! I didn’t want to start dying it again so I decided to grow grey “gracefully” and since then I’ve let my hair do its thing.

Currently, I get my hair cut roughly every six weeks but I may reduce the frequency because I don’t think I need to get it cut that often.

9. High maintenance items

For me, high-maintenance items could be clothing or pieces of furniture.

If an item of clothing is likely to need ironing or dry cleaning, I won’t buy it. If a piece of furniture has lots of ridges that could trap dirt and dust, I’d rather choose something with smooth surfaces that’s easier to keep clean.

If it takes a lot of extra effort to maintain it, I’d rather avoid it!

10. Trendy accessories or clothes

I don’t think I could ever be mistaken for a fashion guru! When I was younger I used to follow clothing trends for a short time, but I’d always revert back to things I felt comfortable in.

These days I’m happy to buy what I like and feel good in, rather than because it’s popular.

11. Seasonal decorations

When we did our major declutter, we got rid of our Christmas tree and most of the tinsel and baubles.

We did keep about three or four Christmas ornaments that we like, along with a few strings of tinsel. These take a matter of minutes to put up and take down. We’ve never bought other seasonal decorations such as for Easter or Halloween but we like the few items we now have.

12. Buying items because they’re on sale

I’ve fallen victim to buying items because they’re on sale, rather than because I actually need them. Over time, I’ve become aware of my trigger-points to buying stuff I don’t need and when I see the “sale” sign I tread carefully!

If it’s an item I already buy and it would save money to buy more, then I will. However, if it’s something I’ve never bought before I’ll mentally step back and question why I want it.

13. New indoor plants

I love the indoor plants we have but they are enough work to take care of. I’ve decided that if we do lose a plant due to it coming to the end of its natural life, I won’t replace it. I really enjoy having a bit of nature in my hone but at the same time, I don’t want my space to be crammed full of them!

Let me know in the comments about the things you don’t buy as a minimalist. I’d love to hear from you!