So, here’s something I minimalised recently – loyalty cards.
They take up very little physical space – but whoa, the mental energy they take up far outweighs their tiny footprint.
I used to have to rummage through my purse to find my debit card amidst the many loyalty cards I had. The amount of times I tried to pay for something with a supermarket loyalty card! I had so many. And I used to inwardly tut-tut when the person in front of me in the queue hunted for ages for their loyalty card, only for me to do the same seconds later.
And I had major fear-of-missing-out. Missing out of extra points, special offers, freebies … This was my logic – I was spending the money anyway, so I may as well spend it and get the money off or the freebie. Hmmmm …..
One day, I found myself in a supermarket spending almost £40 extra on things I didn’t need to gain £5. Yes, you read that correctly. I received a supermarket voucher offering £5 off, if I spent more than £40. I had popped in to get a few things for dinner and then realised I had the voucher. How ridiculous, I thought, if I only spent £38 or £39. So, I used the opportunity to get a few other bits and pieces that I ‘needed’. And I was so anxious to spend the full £40 that I lost track and over-spent massively. And before I knew where I was, I was at the till, looking at the register ringing up £78.82!
And all for £5.
Now, I’m not the sharpest tool in the box when it comes to maths but even I can see the miscalculation going on here.
That day, I went home and cut up every, single one of my loyalty cards. And instead of feeling anxious about missing out, I felt freedom. I shopped where I liked from that point. I didn’t go into one specific shop to get the extra points on offer that week. I shopped where it suited me. I didn’t get sucked in to buying things I didn’t want or need. Supermarkets stopped sending me vouchers and offers of money off new products (of course, once I tried them, I continued to buy – and all because I got about 30p off the original product). Oh, these clever marketing people!
I learned the difference between value and cost. When I go shopping now, shop assistants sometimes do a bit of a double-take when I say I don’t have a card or refuse the offer of rectifying that awful mistake by signing up for one there and then. They can’t understand when I refuse something that is ‘free’. But the freedom I have lasts a lot longer than a ‘free’ bag of crisps with a meal deal. And I’m spending a lot less money!
Have a great week 😊