Friday, May 24, 2013

Discouragement in the Journey Toward Minimalism

I'm getting very discouraged in my journey toward minimalism.  I purge a room and get it all cleaned up and no more than 2 weeks later, it looks horrible again.  I decide I am not buying anything else and then I make an impulse buy on something totally unnecessary.  I prepare for a big yard sale and it storms, so I only sell 1/12 of what I hoped.  It seems hopeless.

But then I look at my living room and realize how much quicker we can straighten up, now.  I look in my basement and see the empty space left by my yard sale failure-turned Goodwill donation.  I find myself looking at things at the store and telling myself, "I don't need that."  I realize, it's working.

It's just taking longer than I wished it would.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Simple Girl's Guide to Budgeting

I like detail.  I like the nitty gritty.  I like down to the minute planning.  But sometimes, I tend to over think it.  I've racked my brain trying to figure out a budget that would work for us.  I tried the Dave Ramsey style of budgeting every penny.  I've tried setting aside money each month for long term needs (car repairs, taxes, vacation).  I crunched the numbers and I crunched them again.  I just couldn't get things to add up.  My head would spin trying to figure out how I was ever going to keep track of all of these running numbers without 45 envelopes of cash floating around my home.
Somehow, I just couldn't grasp the intricacies of this type of budgeting.  So...I decided to make it simple, and this is what I came up with.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Minimalism: Some of My Money Lessons, So Far.

I'm still feeling sort of lost when it comes to my budgeting task, this month.  Have you ever felt like you have cut everything you could possibly cut and still aren't where you want to be?  While I know I have stuff I CAN cut, I don't think it is the best plan to do so in certain cases.

But, I have learned a few things, already.  Well, to be honest, I started this last month, so technically, I learned it before my May goal began, but who cares?

Look at your expenses.  I mean really really look at them.  Brandon and I sat down and wrote out how much we spend, in a year, on lots of different things.  I was shocked at how much I spent on certain things and how little I spent on others.  It is impossible to know where to save, if you don't know, for sure, where you are overspending.

Think about what you buy.  I am a REALLY bad impulse buyer.  REALLY REALLY bad.  When you want to buy something....think about it.  Many times you do not need or even really want the item.  This will save you money and reduce your clutter.  In order to keep my impulse buys at bay, I unsubscribed from notifications on great deals.  For example, Zulily and Pick Your Plum might have great stuff, but I don't need it.  If I don't know there is a great deal out there for something, I won't know what a great deal I'm missing out on.  Problem solved (somewhat).

Keep tuned for the other lessons I learn this month.

P.S.  I have some crafts that I really want to share.  I've just been too busy to edit the photos and write the posts for you.  Hopefully I can get them to you soon!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day

I hope everyone had a good Mother's Day, yesterday.  I sure did.  My boys let me enjoy a day doing what I wanted.  I watched Netflix, we went to the local farmer's market (one of my favorite things to do, and almost torture for poor Brandon, but he took me because he loves me), and toured our local St. Jude Dream Home.  I got lots of hugs from my little man.  Now that's a good day.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Healthy Home: Financial Health

This month's Healthy Home post was written by Nick and Michaela Peterson from Livin' Lightly.  It goes right along with my May goal of minimizing financial stress.  I am really impressed with Nick and Michaela's courage to take big steps in order to reach their goals.  I hope you benefit from their advice on financial health.    Here's what they have to say!

7 Steps to Livin’ Lightly with your Finances

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Minimalism: April Wrap Up and May Goals

April Goals

Focus Area 1:  Clothes and Project 333

I did end up getting rid of some clothes (see my post on Impromptu Clothes Purge), but most of my clothing focus has been with Project 333.  I taylored it a little, to meet my personal clothing goals (retrain my thinking about clothes), but I am really loving it so far.  I found it hard to pare down to 33 things, but once I got started, I actually had items I wasn't using, so I swapped them out with things I realized I was missing.  This is proof that it is working.  We (or is it just me?) tend to think that we need things we don't, or we like things that we actually don't even wear.  Discovering these truths will really help me minimize my wardrobe.