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Consumption Rules for Sustainable Living: Embracing Minimalism and Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

A fact about me: I was addicted to shopping. It sounds a bit exaggerated but it's true. I spent my teenage years in fashion stores running after the latest trends and constantly buying things I didn't need. My past version of me had a wardrobe full of clothes, but still nothing to wear.

"If outside validation is your only source of nourishment you will hunger for the rest of your life."

This quote hit differently. I was, in fact, dependent on instant gratification. Buying new stuff made me happy, but not for long. Deeply, I knew I need to find satisfaction within myself. Today, I own little. To be precise, only five boxes of stuff. These boxes contain all my possessions. But to be honest, I never felt freer than today.

Perhaps, you feel the same as I did and would like to change your consumption behavior as well. In this blog post, I want to outline the principles that helped me in managing four aspects:

  • Suppressing my impulsive buying choices

  • Adopting a minimalistic lifestyle

  • Living a sustainable life

  • Being more mindful of what I have and what I need

Looking forward to adapting a minimalist lifestyle to your life? Here are the rules that have helped me.

Tables Of Content:

One-In-One-Out Rule

This one is by far one of my favorite rules and is very easy to apply. As the name already reveals, whenever you want to buy something, something existing has to go.

With the help of this rule, you can wage the importance of a new item and need to reflect on your current possessions. Is the new thing worth exchanging? What don't you need any more?

Minimalism: Reduce Consumption

Needs vs. Wants

Before purchasing a new item, ask yourself if it is a need or just a want. A need is an essential thing for a living, such as water, shelter, clothes, and medications.

Whenever I'd like to buy something, I ask myself the following questions:

  • Do I already have something similar?

  • Can I afford it?

  • Do I want this item based on genuine needs or is it an impulsive decision?

  • Will it benefit my life?

  • Can I delay the purchase to determine my desire?

  • What would happen if I didn't buy this item?

  • Is there a more sustainable and eco-friendly alternative?

30-Day Rule

Have you ever thought about buying a new camera, a fancy gadget, or a trendy pair of shoes? At the very moment, you had an urge to buy it, you maybe watched YouTube videos about it, read articles, or you were already comparing the prices.

The 30-Day Rule is perfect for bigger purchases. It gives you room to think about it thoughtfully. Most of the time, I find myself refraining from it.

Search Result: 30-Day Rule

One-Month Shopping Ban

Shopping can be a habit such as drinking coffee in the morning. People tend to spend their time in shopping malls, doing nothing but consuming. A one-month shopping ban could help to break the habit. For one-month you're not allowed to buy anything materialistic. No clothes or shoes, no beauty products, no gadgets for your kitchen. In short: nothing you don't need for surviving.

It is recommended to journal about your experiences while going through this detox. After one month read through all your notions. How was it for you? And what did you figure out about yourself?

Here are some journal attempts for reflecting on your shopping behavior:

Journal Sheet: Minimalism

The One-Month Shopping Ban is a good start. However, as James Clear (the author of the fantastic book 'Atomic Habits') once said:

"Breaking a habit takes forever."

Waitlist Rule

This one functions quite similarly to the 30-Day Rule. It's a rule where you stop buying things impulsively and wait until an occasion come across to treat yourself, such as your birthday. Go on your mobile phone, grab your journal, or whatever tool you use, and create a page with the title 'Waitlist'.

On every special day (or when you've achieved something) open the page and reward yourself. It's also a great opportunity to share with friends and family and makes their life easier too.

Budget and Purchase Rule

For those who can't completely give up on shopping this one is for you.

The budget and purchase rule is perfect to set yourself a guideline and not exaggerating your budget.

First, you need to calculate your monthly budget. For that, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What's your monthly income?

  • What fixed expenses do you have?

  • How much would you like to save per month?

  • Set aside a little bit of cash for emergency cases.

By figuring out how much you have left at the end of the month, you know exactly how much you can spend on non-essentials. I've created a budget planner for you, where you can easily plan your budget:

Budget Planner


These were my favorite rules/tips for minimizing my consumption and suppressing my desire to buy something new. I'm sure, that applying the few tips above will help you to be mindful about your shopping decisions.

Perhaps, there's another consumption rule you know and would like to share with others. Feel free to share it in the comments down below.

Thank you for reading and until next week,


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