It took me a year of mistakes learning in 2014 to get myself to this awe-inspiring position I find myself in. Although inspirational, it has not been easy and I believe that’s what has made it enlightening – 22 days of focus and determination (plus all of 2014 if you want to count that). At the end of it all, I’m hoping to have 50 odd weekly updates similar to this one.
Minimalist Me Taking Longer than Expected
Okay, okay so I’m impatient but minimalist me is taking a bit longer than expected. Or is it? The stuff with the emotional attachment and sentiment is always the hardest to get rid of. I spent more time over the past week and a bit sorting through even more stuff. Some of what I came across this time around was from high school!
I laughed, I cried but in the end I threw away.
Upon finding grade reports, photos, notes from teachers, old assignments and a Sweet Sixteen balloon from my 16th birthday that I kept, I will readily admit I shed a few tears. I looked at it all, took a moment to remember and then TOSSED it. Yep, tossed it all because the memory wasn’t in those things, it was within ME. And ultimately, do I want to cry like a baby every time I look at a crumpled up Sweet 16 foil balloon? Not really.
It was time to let go of it all. So I cried the tears, then an interesting thing happened; I smiled. And the smile got bigger and brighter and I was happy to let it go.
I instinctively knew I would be happier without this excess burden of stuff cluttering up not only my physical space but also my inner mental space.
How Much More Went?
- 2 more bags of garbage
- 1 big box of garbage
- 1 recycling bin full of paper, books, cardboard
- 1 gaming console hopefully sold (no cash in hand yet but a firm commitment)
This is in addition to the 6 boxes just donated, and the many bags of garbage and containers of recycling.
I’m still a ways from my “Fit my life into 8 storage bins” goal but I’m getting there; all but two bins are filled and there’s still more stuff than what will fit in the bins.
Uber Frugal Month
In case you missed my Twitter post the other day, this challenge is going ahmazing! Month to date, I have only forked over $1400 ($1396.97 for the nit pickers) for life and work expenses, with a week left in the month. I have a few month end bills to tack on but figure I’ll finish the month around $2500 – $3000 spent. Not too shabby considering my lowest cost month last year was $3600 and some were topping out at $5 – 6K YOWZERS!
Top 3 Spending Categories MTD:
Food & Dining 26% of spending
Auto 22% of spending
Savings 14% of spending
And drum roll please… Shopping 7% of spending. Not to worry, no clothes! It was for Quicken 2015 for my Mac (purchased on sale with a coupon code) and software to convert my Outlook to Apple Mail. A whopping total of $107 spent. This was part of my tech stuff purge – I got rid of my PC, which was taking up waaaaayyyyy toooooo much spaaaaace. It was a monster and only being used for Outlook and Quicken. I must say I’m loving the 100% MAC life.
Not a dime has gone to any other form of shopping. No clothes, no shoes, no jewellery, no books, no magazines.
Have there been temptations?
OH.HECK.YES. Temptation aplenty has been happening. Although I’ve been keeping my personal computer off more to reduce temptation, there are still moments where I’ll see an ad, or get an email from two clothing retailers I still subscribe to (duh? why?) and it’s been tough. I’ve talked myself out of it by letting myself know this will not help my situation and I don’t need stuff to validate me.
I have been in a mall. Twice. Once with a colleague that I was out for lunch with and another time I decided to stupidly wander in only to wander back out wondering what I was thinking.
It was interesting to tempt myself by walking through a mall and being able to ignore 98% of everything around me. I was pretty much chanting with each step, I have enough, I am enough.
So you can see, I am taking the challenges I’ve set forth for the year VERY seriously and I’m hoping to do the same next month and so on. But I’m trying to remind myself, one month at a time. And a big thing is I’m not focusing on “rewarding” myself at the end. Some of you have suggested I pick a prize at the end but I don’t want to do that or I’ll get fixated on stuff again.