Minimalist Living & It’s Economic Properties

Let me just quickly insert a disclaimer that this post is in no way bashing a lavish lifestyle. You should spend your money whichever way you please but if you’re interested in learning how to cut out unnecessary things from your life, please proceed.

When I first started working at eighteen, I had no responsibilities like I have today so I bought a lot of wants and not needs. Pretty soon my life was a clutter of products that would sometimes expire before I even opened it. Sometimes I believe our culture conditions us to convince ourselves we need something when we really don’t. For instance, you may not purchase a top for $15 but if you were to save $3 on the top, you’d purchase it for $12 despite having ten tops at home. That sale doesn’t make you save $3, it makes you lose $12.

As women, we often fall in love with little knick knacks such as perfumes, lotions, accessories etc. and it’s very easy to hoard them every time you step out of the house. As I get older I’ve seen where I could really live without a lot of things and still have quality of life.

One of the first items I stopped purchasing was make-up. I’m no make-up guru and I wear minimal make-up to look presentable when I need to so I now purchase just the basics and try to use them until they’re empty. Other items you can stop hoarding are clothing, shoes, handbags, other beauty products.  I have use one purse, and a very minimal amount of shoes just for their functionality. I use one boot and one snow boot when needed. And I’m recycling my sneakers from two and three years ago this summer. You really one need one or a few of these things to survive.

I used to do seasonal decorating for the kids and it makes no difference to them, so I stopped and every season that’s money I’m left with. Going overboard with the house decorations and scented candles is another want and not need. If you have the extras, make a credit payment on a bill.

Your kitchen also doesn’t need twenty coffee mugs, and thirty pots and pans. I bought one pot set a few years back, with a frying pan included and we still use that set. After my first child I did go crazy toy shopping and I can tell you, it’s not worth it. She’d prefer the box that it came in. That fifty dollar toy in Target will only be attractive in the store…as soon as it comes home, there is no love for it anymore. So learn to say no and leave the presents for birthdays or Christmas if you celebrate that. I’ll probably make another post about cheap entertainment for kids.

Another thing that we don’t so often is outtings. It’s costly to take your kids to kiddie related places all of the time. There are pricey admissions, and then accomodations if you’re going on a trip. It all adds up. I’m not saying don’t ever take your child somewhere extravagant but not as frequently as you would like. We substitute a lot of weekends just going to the same old park, with side walk chalk and blowing bubbles.

To sum it up, focus on your needs and necessities and not your wants. It’s easy to become a material person in this material world but is it really worth it? Living minimalist doesn’t take from the quality of life. There are many ways to enjoy with your friends and family without going into debt. Set realistic expenses for you and your family and watch yourself pay off that credit or save money in one year. Personally since becoming a minimalist, I’ve experienced a new level of freedom from sales gimmicks, and competing with others.

XO

How We Live On One Income

“Simple living is smart living.”

When my husband and I decided that it was better for me to become a stay-at-home mom, we were definitely aware of the pros and the cons. One of the main cons being that we were about to survive on one income. My husband is not a surgeon or anything so we had to put a lot of thinking and planning into how this was going to work. It’s been a little over four years that we’ve been living on just one income which fluctuates because of the nature of his job and it’s been a roller coaster ride. Managing finances when you don’t have a lot of extras is a challenging task. Here’s some pointers that we’ve been implementing so far:-

Budgeting. Control how you spend you money by creating a budget chart. List all of your expenses such as food shopping, clothing, bills and miscellaneous activities along with your projected savings amount. When you subtract the total from your income and have a little left, it means you’re well within your budget.

Spend money that you have. Try your best not to use too much credit, only in cases of emergencies and when you know you can pay it off.

Spend wisely. Focus on your needs and not your wants. A purse from Target works just as well as those three hundred dollar purses.

Cook at home. Of course we still eat out but we save money by eating at home more often than not. Sometimes we cook a large meal that lasts us two days as we’re not big eaters and it helps the food budget.

Sales and coupons. Always look for bargains. I rarely ever pay full price for an item. I shop sales, and whenever I get coupons in the mail or in a store, I take advantage of that.

Recycle toys and clothes. A little trick that I do is rotate toys. What this means is I put some in storage and I leave some out. When my kids get bored of the ones they play with all the time, I swap them out. Also when you have multiple kids, let them use their siblings’ hand me down clothes and toys.

Buy things in advance. When you have small children, you usually have to do a clothing haul a few times a year because they’re growing very rapidly. Instead of waiting at the last minute to dish out three or four hundred dollars, buy in small quantities whenever there’s a sale and save it up for when they need it. I even buy clearance and keep it until the next season.

Live without. You’d be surprised at the things you can give up. Unnecessary things and outtings that you don’t have to have or do. Don’t look at someone else’s life and think you need to live it. Live within your means and stick to your budget.

xo Coffee Doll