We all love new beginnings – I certainly do. I love a new course which I celebrate with a blank notebook and new spiffy pens. A new week – “I’ll start on Monday.” And yes, a new year. Yet, studies show that the vast majority of New Year’s resolutions fail by February! Hence, I am not a fan of such resolutions.
That being said, for the past months, I have been working on a decluttering/budgeting/living-minimally trifecta which I am enjoying. And with the advent of this blog, I will be sharing aspects of this effort.
Today I want to share my personal challenge of zero spending. I haven’t gone daft. I don’t mean tossing out my bank account, and foraging for nuts and berries, dumpster diving, eating bugs and the like – although I am not passing judgment on those activities either. What I mean by the term “zero spending” is actually the concept of zero of reduced discretionary spending.
Why even do this?
What I did was to set a baseline of relatively fixed, necessary expenditures such as:
Food is a necessity but has lots of room for zero spending fixes. No drive-thru purchases, no Starbucks, no ordering out for lunches; limit alcohol, restaurants, and delivery meals like PIZZA. Sad, I know. But each month I challenge myself to see how well I can eat on minimal expenditures.
Most of us can live with the clothes we already own. A fun challenge is to revamp one’s wardrobe and come up with new combinations, new ways to wear something, resulting in breathing new life into our formerly boring clothes selections.
I am amazed by how much of a habit mindless spending was for me. I once told a my business coach (when I co-owned the Creating Calm Broadcast Network) that I was going to kill some time by walking around Target to see if I needed anything. I was stunned by the truth of his reply: “Ann, if you needed something, you would know before you left the house.” Sadly, until that moment, I never thought about it that way, but this one sentence has changed my shopping M.O. drastically.
Confess – isn’t Target one of those stores where you go in for toilet paper and come out with your basket piled high with things you “needed” – even a complete bedroom makeover which you didn’t know you even wanted until you saw their display.
Some of my current practices for my goal of living minimally and spending mindfully:
Cut my own hair—I use a FlowBee – someday I may do a vlog post and show you how this works
Trim the dogs’ hair. Necessary spending: their toenails – we all freak out when I try this at home.
Bring my own food and beverages for the day
Eat food I already have in the pantry – a creative cookery challenge!
Revamp my existing wardrobe
Throughout the year, I will discuss this challenge of decluttering/budgeting/living-minimally. I’d love to hear your ideas of ways you may have succeeded in this area. Leave comments below.
Ann is a modern day Erma Bombeck - enjoying the foibles of her own life and that of living with 7 dogs and 2 hens.