5 things I have (mostly) stopped buying and why
Updated: Jul 26, 2020
First new post of the month. If you haven't yet, see the sum up from last month.
Hello fellow Protagonists,
Taking on a new approach to use enjoyment as a currency will change our opinions on what we are buying, or how much we are willing to spend on those things.
Here are 5 things that, I have stopped, or drastically reduced buying due to the trade off of cost to enjoyment.
1. New books
Once upon a time I used to buy all of my books brand new. They look neater, cleaner and many have that new book smell. I would now say that around 90-95% of my books are now bought second hand.
The thing is that minus a few creases and maybe a coffee stain or two, they are exactly the same book and will give me exactly the same experience. Maybe some authors release new editions of the same title but with a little further digging you could find those as well.
I also mentioned on a previous post that second hand books can have underlining and comments added from previous owners, which may add to the entertainment factor and help you pick out key points.
Recently I bought a collection of 9 second hand books, probably averaging £3.50 per book. I can look on the back at the RRP and see a range of prices from £7.99 - £10.99.
As most books we buy we will only read through once, we can then look at selling or donating that book without feeling like we lost out. If someone can buy it for £3.50 then I have had the experience of that book for free!
Libraries are also a good shout. Personally I am not a member of a library but considering this when it re-opens.
2. Games on release
The prices of some games completely amazes me. We can regularly see something new going for £50+ (and that can be just for the basic version).
Eventually most games will go on sale at some point. I am a PC gamer and mostly use Steam. I simply add games that interest me to my wishlist, and sometime, by some divine miracle, I will soon get an email notification that the game is on offer.
If you think about the pace at which most new games come out, interest shifts quickly, and many new releases will start dropping in price after a couple of months. Just like a book, the experience can be identical once we are actually playing it.
Sometimes it is great to go old-school to bag a cheap game. I recently bought Civilization 3 on offer for 50p; nostalgia at its greatest.
3. Protein powder
In a nutshell, I never really noticed the difference between getting my protein from a protein shake, as opposed to just eating food. Some foods are rammed with protein, such as chicken, tinned tuna and eggs.
Protein shakes are definitely convenient and wont offend the nostrils of co-workers like a hard boiled egg might, though has anyone smelt a protein shaker that has been left on the kitchen counter for a while? It is brutal.
I am basing decisions on enjoyment, not arguing nutritional advice for weight lifting. Do I get an increased level of enjoyment from drinking a protein shake, compared to scrambling a few eggs? No.
Some people just love the smell of egg
I am not sure if this is due to the ever increasing amount of information available on the internet or something else. As a teenager I loved Kerrang magazines and up until only a year ago I was still buying magazines like Men's Health and Esquire. This could be down to the fact that I find books more enjoyable to read. A lot of these businesses also have online platforms anyway. It might help us to stop comparing ourselves to the pristine specimens of "real men" as well.
5. An expensive gym membership
Around 6 months ago I moved from a more expensive gym to my local leisure centre. I feel exactly the same working out in the leisure centre. A 10kg dumbbell is a 10kg dumbbell and always will be a 10kg dumbbell. Another reason for the move is that I can walk to my leisure centre in 10 minutes. This means I don't have to get into my car, it acts as a mini warm up and cooldown and means that I don't have to worry if I haven't done any cardio at the gym, as I have at least done 20 mins low intensity.
Adding these 5 components together has saved me around £100 a month on average and has either kept or increased my overall happiness in the process.
Once we focus on enjoyment and realise that paying more for something does not automatically make us happier, we can start saving more without any additional negative repercussion.
What have you stopped buying and didn't notice the difference? What has this post left you thinking about reducing or stopping?