5 Things I'm Not Buying in 2023 & Regret Buying in 2022

Ana Goldberg
by Ana Goldberg

I’m a striving minimalist and I make mistakes. I am going to share five categories of things I won’t buy this year, because I bought them last year and deeply regret purchasing them! Here are the things I don’t buy as a minimalist anymore.

Fake leather shoes

1. Fake leather shoes

My pair of fake leather shoes was a spontaneous purchase because I needed warmer shoes. At the time I only had one pair of shoes, which were Birkenstocks, and they had leather uppers.

I found sneakers and I liked the design, but I ignored two facts that I usually pay attention to. I usually prefer leather and low-top designs on shoes. I usually wear canvas or real leather shoes until they fall apart, just like my beloved sneakers did last year.

I don’t hate these fake leather sneakers, but they are not my favorite, either. Faux leather does not age well, and my feet are still cold! The only advantage of faux leather is that it’s water-resistant. But I don’t think I’ll ever buy fake leather shoes again.

Things I don't buy as a minimalist

2. Sweatpants

Sweatpants never look great on me. But I wanted a pair of soft, cozy sweatpants to wear casually. I bought wide-legged sweatpants that I hate right now because they look bulky and the fabric stretches too much. It makes me look and feel terrible.

It’s not that I need to look elegant, but these sweatpants don’t make me feel like myself. The minimalist part of me whispers “Wear them, come on, you spent the money on them.” So, I wear them a couple of times a week while I sit at my desk working at home, but I still hate them.

I am boldly proclaiming that I will never ever buy a pair of sweatpants again.

Using skincare

3. Great-value-for-money-one-size-fits-all skincare

Skincare is one of my indulgences. I use one brand now that I like, but I did buy one accident. I’ve seen a lot of great reviews for this one lotion that is supposed to be a good value. I got caught in the marketing trap.

I bought the lotion even though I saw that it contained two ingredients that would not be a good fit for my skin. I believed in the product’s marketing, but I’ll never do it again because it caused my skin to become dry and irritated. 

Zero-waste natural self-care

4. Zero-waste natural self-care that doesn’t work for me

I bought some zero-waste natural self-care for the sake of it being zero-waste and natural. Skincare is my weak point. I love natural skincare though it doesn’t always work for me. I stopped with the natural deodorant–I had to wash my clothing every day because of the residue.

I bought a lovely zero-waste deodorant product that was like a balm stick with coconut. It promised everything, but it didn’t work. It's a pain to apply without greasiness, and it has a particular fragrance that I don’t like.

Anything coconut or vanilla also has an ingredient that doesn’t agree with me, and it’s called cinnamal, but it wasn’t mentioned in the ingredient on the label.

E-books on sale

5. E-books on sale

It’s a minimalist rule not to buy anything on sale, especially clothes or other material items. Yes, e-books are cheaper than actual books, don’t take up space, and are considered “intelligent” self-care. I went overboard last year, though.

I bought quite a lot of e-books on sale from two of my favorite sellers. I haven’t read or didn’t like almost half of the e-books I bought. I am a picky reader and never finish a book if I’m not in love with it. I still have about two dozen new books sitting in my e-reader, which is a lot of clutter. I’m not buying any new e-books this year. 

Some may think I’m making a big deal out of small issues, but failed purchases are a waste of money and all those receipts add up. It’s also a waste of time and energy.

Here’s my advice for minimalists who don’t want to make more purchasing mistakes: Think twice and don’t get caught up in the marketing. Know yourself and stick to what works for you, not for anyone else. 

Things I don't buy in 2023

It was a stressful year and I resorted to shopping to make my home feel cozy and to buying books in my native language to fight off the homesickness. I hope you found my experience helpful.

Please let me know in the comments what shopping regrets you have made, what you won’t buy again, and what have these mistakes helped you learn about yourself.

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