Last month I listened to The Year of Less by Cait Flanders. I found myself inspired by her book and her experiment to see if she could really live on less (and ultimately save more.) Right now, thinking about money makes my stomach turn to knots. I don’t want to have this relationship with money, I don’t want to be worried about it all the time. But that means that something needs to change. Our spending habits need to change as well as our saving habits. Which is why I’ve decided to do my own year of less.
I’ve had the feeling to do something like this for a few months now, but I kept putting it off because there were books and other things that I wanted to buy. Once I read The Year of Less though, I knew it was time to take the leap and really see what I (we) could do to changer ou financial situation for good.
What my own year of less will look like.
- First I’ll be completing the Ruthless Declutter Challenge that Emily Ley hosted last week, so far I’ve done our pantry (pictures to come soon) but I’m going to finish the rest of the apartment throughout the next month. This means I’ll be going through our apartment and I’ll be touching every single thing I own, and then decide what to keep and what to donate or toss. Essentially this is my way of Tidying Up, but I’ll be keeping only what’s best, my (our) favorites, and what’s necessary. After I go through everything I’ll have a better idea of what we actually have and what we actually need and hopefully I’ll also appreciate what we have more.
- I’m going to have a spend free year. Now. This may sound a little funny because I’ll still be spending money. We’ll obviously need to eat and pay rent. We’ll be going spending free on the things that we want (mainly books for me and leather for Griffin) but I’m also going to rework our budget so that we are able to pay off our debt faster and save more in the process.
Why I want to do this for a year.
Thinking about doing this for a year *slightly* stresses me out. I keep thinking about all the new books I want to buy and the cute decorations that would make our apartment better and well.. all the things I could spend money on. I want to do this for a year though, I really want to dig deep into myself and change my spending habits. Doing this for just a few months seems too short, which is why I decided to do it for a year. Plus, I realize that it’s going to take time for me to change and to recognize the changes. I’m starting now, at almost the end of March because I realized, if I keep putting it off or saying I’ll start next month, I’m never going to start.
I’m just going to start now.
Okay…. now, some rules. (I got this idea from Cait’s book, and you can see her rules on her blog here.) I am making one list of things we’ll be allowed to shop for/the approved shopping list as well as a list of things we won’t be able to shop for.
What we’ll be allowed to shop for:
- Toiletries, cosmetics, and cleaning products (as needed)
- Gifts for others (but we will have a budget for this)
- Diapers + wipes
- A Simplified Planner (in September)
- Flats for me because I threw out my only pair. (They were falling apart and fairly useless)
- Boots for Griffin, because Persephone also decided she wanted to eat those
- We can also replace anything that breaks/wears out that needs replacing.
What we are NOT allowed to shop for:
- Books + notebooks
- Toys for Von (except for Christmas + birthday which will have an approved budget)
- Toys for Persephone
- Clothes, shoes, accessories
Giving up shopping for some of these things is going to be tough (like the books… ahh), but last time I counted I had more than 50 books that I own but haven’t read.
I really want to be better about what we bring into our home though. I want to take a better look at where our money is going and how we can use it in a way that helps us more. Instead of a way that makes me feel anxious when I think about it. I want to talk about what we’re doing because I want to show that I realize that buying things doesn’t always make me happy and that we can live on less. Sharing my journey is something I feel like I should do, so I will. I don’t know how much of Griffin’s thoughts I’ll be sharing, but I’ll share my thoughts and my process throughout the next year.
And even though I am slightly nervous, I also feel really excited about this. I’m excited to see where this takes us And I’m excited to see my relationship with money, things, and people change throughout the next twelve months. I want to live with more intention and purpose. Focusing on money habits may not be the way that you would do this, but it’s one of my biggest stressors, taking up so much time in my brain and I want to change that, so that I can worry less about money and focus on the people and things that are right in front of me.