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Simple Living

6 months of buying nothing new

 

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6 Months of Buying Nothing New-

STARTS TODAY!

Our society seems to glamorize stuff.  Material goods are a status symbol to show other people how wealthy they are.  It is not just the rich that get caught up in buying things.  For me, when I take a look around our home, I am overwhelmed by how much we have accumulated.  We have only lived in our home for 5 years and we have multiple sets of living room furniture, dressers, rugs, plates, etc.  Most of these items we bought brand new, used for a few months, then saw something that we liked better….something that we just had to have!  I don’t even dare to think about how much money has been wasted on all of our purchases.  I’m not in the mood to cry tonight!

As I started a journey to live a more simple and content life, I realized that I needed to make some changes.  I decided to challenge myself to go 6 months without buying anything new.  ZERO shopping malls this holiday season for me!!

I have everything that I need (and more!) at this very moment to live comfortably.  In fact, most purchases that I have made in the past year have not been out of necessity, but instead, out of want.  I am able to look back on my purchases in the past year from various online stores.  It saddens me to see all of the ‘things’ that I have ordered, received, and then maybe used once before it ended up in a closet or cabinet.

This link from becomingminimalist.com does a great job of expressing many of the benefits of reducing consumerism, but I will summarize some of the reasons for you!

  1. Less debt
  2. Less time spent caring for possessions (fixing things, dusting tons of plastic items on a shelf)
  3. Less desire to upscale lifestyle norms
  4. Less environmental impact
  5. Less need to keep up with evolving trends
  6. Less pressure to impress with material possessions
  7. More generosity
  8. More contentment
  9. Greater ability to see through empty claims
  10. Greater realization that this world is not just material.

‘Excessive consumption promises happiness, but never delivers.’

My husband and I have gone on ‘spend freezes’ before to help reduce expenses, but we have never sustained this as a lifestyle.  My hope is that by trying this for 6 months, it will just become a normal way of life!

As I start this journey, I realize that I need to set some ground rules….and some exceptions to those rules.

  1. There will be no clothes or shoe shopping at retail stores.  I have plenty of clothes, so I really don’t need more.  If I find that I need something, I will plan to search consignment or thrift shops.
  2. Grocery store purchases will include groceries, medications, basic toiletries, and some of the very basic makeup that I wear.
  3. Since the holidays are almost here, gifts will be handmade or purchased from a small local business.  I may have to buy some supplies in order to make some of the gift ideas that I have.  Preferably, I will find some good experience gifts (like tickets to a show or a day at the zoo)!
  4. Any medical costs for family or pets will be taken care of normally.

I’m sure that there will be more rules as certain circumstances come up, but that is all I can think of for now!

Let me know your thoughts!  Would you consider going 6 months, 3 months, or even a week without buying anything new.

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Simple Living

Simple Living- 7 ways get your spouse on the same page

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SIMPLE LIVING-

7 ways get your spouse on the same page

Tell me if this sounds familiar?  You’re overwhelmed with work, bills, house work.  You have no time to enjoy your family or friends.  You stumble across the simple living movement.  A community of people that are starting to say ‘no’ to consumerism.  You already know that stuff doesn’t equal happiness.  In fact, you probably have so much ‘stuff’ in your home that it is overwhelming you, yet you continue to buy more stuff.

You have decided it is time to make a change.  It is time begin living a more simple and meaningful life.

You excitedly run up to your spouse.  You begin rambling about how you want to get rid of all of the clutter, stopping buying so much stuff, and aim for a simple life.  If your significant other is anything like my husband, instead of getting an excited response, he will look at you like you are crazy.

You need to realize that it has taken you your entire life to come to the realization that simple living is better.  How can you expect your loved one to come to the same conclusion at the same time?  Take it easy.

Below are 7 ways that I helped my husband to get on board with my simple living changes.

 

1. Have an open conversation about your goals-  Don’t expect your significant other to start making a big life change for no reason.  Make sure that they know your ‘why’.  For me, I explained to my husband that I was pursuing a more simple life in hopes of being able to reduce some of my stress and to be able to spend more quality time with my family.  At this point, he was still apprehensive, but he was receptive to me starting to make some changes.

2. Make it a game-  Let’s face it, cleaning out the closet to reduce clutter or going a month without eating out isn’t exactly the definition of fun.  But that doesn’t mean it can’t be.  I try my best to make things into a game when I get my spouse involved.  He is super competitive, so this always peaks his interest.

**Example- See who can get rid of the most articles of clothing from the closet.  See who can go longer without stopping at a drive-thru on the way home from work.  Loser will usually get stuck doing the dishes all week.  Winner usually gets to pick the tv show when we sit down to relax.  In the end though, I feel like we both win…even if I am the one stuck doing dishes.

3. Do the heavy lifting- figuratively-  Picture this.  You decide to start living a more simple and frugal lifestyle.  You come home and announce that you are going to start this new lifestyle by cleaning out the boxes in the basement.  You then order your perfectly content husband to get up and start helping you go through boxes.  Yeah…that’s not going to get your spouse exciting about simple living.  You will have to take the initiative and get things started on your own.  This brings me to my next tip.

4. Lead by example-  People are naturally wired to oppose change.  If you want a more simple life, do it.  Start doing things that help you to simplify.  With time, your spouse will notice that you are serious about this new way of life.

5. Start small-  Do not come home one day and just change EVERYTHING.  Your spouse will likely retreat to a corner and cry….hopefully not, but still.  He/she may not be ready for a huge life change.  Start small and work together towards a common goal.

6. Accept that nobody is perfect-  We do not change our ways overnight.  Celebrate the small victories, but understand that there may be set backs.  Don’t give up all of your simple living goals just because you went a little overboard and impulse bought a giant inflatable snowman for the front yard.  Did you need it?…no.  Is it kind of fun?…yes.  Enjoy it and simply vow to get back on track with your goals.

7. Celebrate the small wins- Has your junk drawer stayed de-cluttered for over a month now?  Did your spouse up on buying new shoes because they were on sale?  These are wins!  Celebrate!  This will help keep everyone excited about working towards a goal together.