There are so many things you can live without that you probably never thought about. We live in a time of affluence and decades of influence of the media have led us to believe many things are essential in our lives. However, in reality, most of them are a luxury and living without these things is completely fine. At times, it can even increase your health and happiness, as well as help to save money.
To ensure Monethalia remains free of charge, this post contains affiliate links.
6 things you can live without in your bathroom
Did you know that you can brush your teeth perfectly fine without toothpaste? Nobody ever tells you this because there is no benefit attached to it.
Companies like people being reliant on their products. Dentists prefer their patients to use toothpaste for two reasons. Firstly, the pleasant flavour of the toothpaste makes it more likely that people will brush their teeth. Secondly, the fluoride in toothpaste strengthens your enamel.
Do we really need a tasty flavour to brush or teeth? One can argue that people who are aware of the importance of brushing will brush their teeth regardless of flavour. Fluoridation does play an important role in preventing caries. However, a much easier way to prevent caries is to brush regularly and limit sugar intake.
If going cold turkey is totally unimaginable to you, you can still safely reduce your toothpaste consumption. Whatever amount you currently put on your toothbrush, you can easily halve the amount without any detrimental effects.
I have done the experiment for you and I can tell you, not using toothpaste feels absolutely disgusting at first. My brain associates the fresh taste of toothpaste with cleanliness and in its absence, it feels like I could never brush enough. However, after a few weeks, this feeling improved and I felt fine going without toothpaste.
After the six-week trial period, I re-introduced toothpaste again but I am now using only a tiny amount. I also do not need a fancy flavour to feel clean.
There is a whole movement formed by people who have abandoned hair shampoo. If you google “no poo”, you will find a myriad of success stories of people achieving clean and shiny hair with just water. Others wash their hair with baking soda or apple cider vinegar instead of just water.
Does your hair really become clean with just using water? Looking back at the evolutionary timeline, human hair did not evolve to be washed with shampoo. In fact, daily shampooing only became normal during the 1970s. Before that, people had perfectly fine hair without shampoo. Plus, it is important to keep in mind that no poo washing is not the same as not washing at all.
My hair gets greasy really quickly and I used to wash my hair daily or at least every two days. When I stopped using shampoo, I expected the worst and, needless to say, I was not disappointed. My hair became a greasy mess on day 3 and it stayed a greasy mess for the entire six-month trial period.
Though, to be honest, the whole experience was less extreme than I make it sound. I had medium long hair at that time so I tied it back and managed to look somewhat decent. Or at least well enough that nobody seemed to notice as people were generally surprised when I told them I had not used shampoo in six months.
The benefits of not using shampoo only became apparent when I re-started using shampoo. Instead of having to wash daily, I now need to wash only every four days. Sadly, I still have to use shampoo but at least I now use much less.
Note that for most people, the scalp will adjust within two weeks to four weeks so you should not have to suffer for as long as I did. I think for me, living in an area with hard water hindered my progress.
Yes, you can also live without deodorant. As with shampoo, people lived for a long time without deodorant and were completely fine. Natural body odour was not regarded as something bad, rather it was normal.
However, people naturally want to fit in and are afraid to stand out. So when some genius invented a deodorant and the media told us that body odour was bad, people became self-aware about their smell. It is a strong natural drive for people to want to stay part of a group as in stone age time, standing out increased the danger of being excluded from the group. And being excluded meant certain death.
Luckily, we do not live in that time anymore. Yet we all now use deodorant mindlessly just because we have been conditioned to think that body odour is bad. I fail to understand why it is wrong to smell like a human.
I stopped using deodorant and continued to live without for an entire year. To be honest, after a while, I just forgot that deodorant used to be part of my morning routine. My life was not any different and for most of it, I did not feel smelly. During winter, there were hardly any issues. During summer, I felt mostly OK. I always wore a shirt underneath my normal clothes that absorbed any sweat and washed twice daily.
Nobody noticed any difference (at least that is what I think). I asked a few people whether they think I smell but everyone denied this. The only issue for me was that my self-confidence was negatively affected. It is probably unreasonable of me but sometimes it is just the fear of smell that held me back.
Thus, in the end, I reverted back to using deodorant. However, at least now I am using far less than I used to and still feel amazing.
How often should we shower? I know many people who reply to this with “daily”. However, showering every day is totally unnecessary for most and a waste of time and money. Naturally, if you work out every day or have certain conditions, you may want to keep your showering habits.
Everyone else should consider that showering every day can lead to dry skin and that even dermatologist recommend not to shower more often than every two to four days.
For the sake of this post, I had to put daily showering to the test. For two weeks, I showered every day and for the following two weeks, I showered every three days. The result was surprisingly uninteresting: I hardly felt any difference. Obviously, I still washed the important bits on days I was not showering so I still felt clean. I guess the only difference was a minor time saving plus reduced water and shower gel use.
For many anti-ageing products, scientific evidence is lacking. Hence, you may as well throw your money out of your window.
The most important question is, why is it wrong to look old when you are old? Why are we so obsessed with looking young? It is undeniable that we all age and putting a mask on does not change your true age. Perhaps the obsession comes from the fear of dying. If that is the case, then accepting that we all are going to die at some point is a better solution than skin cream.
I have never used anti-ageing products. I bet I will look the same as everyone else at my age when I am 80. Even if not, I will probably have dementia and forget that I care about my looks. Or I will be dead already. Either way, it is unlikely that I will worry about wrinkles.
Body lotion is another thing you can live without. Your skin is able to regulate its hydration level without the help of creams and lotions. Dermatologists actually say that nobody requires moisturisers for their skin. In fact, body lotion can make your skin look older and dull. The exception from this are people with medical conditions that should, by all means, continue to use their moisturiser.
Note that if you have been regularly using body lotions or moisturisers, stopping will make your skin feel dry and hard. This is natural as your body has become addicted to external moisturising. Although it may feel uncomfortable in the beginning, your skin will adjust itself within a week or two.
Again, my experience is pretty uninteresting. I never used body lotion and I do not have dry skin.
6 THINGS YOU CAN LIVE WITHOUT summary
There are many things we think we need that are totally unnecessary for our life and happiness. However, we are so conditioned that it is hard to realise and wake up from mindless consumerism.
I do not expect anyone reading this post to suddenly stop all the things I mentioned. Rather, I hope you will start to think about your behaviour and consumption of the mentioned products. Whether we are talking about shampoo or deodorant, you will probably just fine with using half the amount you currently do.
If you like this post, help Monethalia grow by sharing it on social media using the buttons below. You can also sign-up to my newsletter by entering your name and email address into the top bar.
You may also like
Learn how to save money on groceries every month without hassle. In our busy lives we often do not have a lot of time to spend on grocery shoppin...
To eat out on a budget can be a real challenge, so much that many frugalists totally refrain from it. Personal finance blogger Valentina from Bes...
Receipt cashback apps are an underestimated way to save money on grocery shopping. They are easy to use and take little time. But many people fro...
Should I buy it or not? We all have asked us this question at least once, or more commonly, ask ourselves weekly. This is why I developed an easy...
Did you know that you can both live frugally and be happy? According to the dictionary, the term "frugal" is defined as "sparing or economical as...
There are so many ways you can save money that it can be confusing to find a starting point. This is the counterpart to my post about 100 ways yo...
Bad money habits creep into our lives without us knowing. We are blissfully unaware of how our habits burn money like there is an endless supply....
It is easier than you think to save money on travel. And spending less money means you can travel more often. Everyone likes going on holidays bu...