happiness · minimalism · simple living

Step #2 Towards a Better Life: Spend Less.

We know money doesn’t buy happiness, so why are we constantly spending money?

Here’s a great idea: stop spending! Take a step back and analyze your expenses.

My goal:

Spend less money.

Specifically:

Do not spend any money at all through January 1st, 2011 except on the following: bills (rent, cell phone, Internet, electric, gas, and car insurance), food (minimal groceries and meals out when I absolutely have to – a.k.a starving and unable to make it home), transportation (mainly gas for my car), and emergencies (car parts, hospitals, anything else that may arise).

I’m always talking about how I’m trying to ‘save money’ but the amount I have in my bank account never seems to accumulate! Rather, it plateaus or slightly dips until I put a little extra in it to bring it back up to the plateau. This time, I’m serious. The fact that I’m writing this post and announcing it to the world only reinforces my seriousness on the matter and will help motivate me to stick with the goal! I am hoping it won’t be difficult and I’ll be able to continue past January 1st, 2011.

Please help me keep this goal! If we are getting together, I do not ask that you pay for me when we go out. Rather, I ask you agree to fun activities that don’t cost money and require little transportation. These ‘free’ intimate hangouts are the most rewarding! I already had a tiff with a friend who demanded that I be willing to spend $25 on a haunted house across the state border because “life is about going out and having fun.” I responded with something along the lines of “the best things in life are free” with a list of reasons for saving my money but it didn’t go over too well with him. On a certain level, I understood his frustration with me (what difference is $25?), but at the same, I ask for respect towards my decisions. I hope this situation won’t happen again.

As for the holiday season? I’m not buying gifts this year. I don’t want any gifts either. I want to receive and give experiences and connections. I want cozy evenings in front of the fireplace with a hot cup of tea and a board game, a nice warm family dinner, board games with friends, and so forth. The holiday season is about being with our friends and family, not giving each other the most expensive thing we can. The most lasting gifts are non-tangible.

This blog post over at Rowdy Kittens explains it well:
Christmas with the Minimalists.

I also challenge you to think about joining me with this goal. Not only will you discover happiness in the simplest of experiences, but your wallet will thank you too! 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Step #2 Towards a Better Life: Spend Less.

  1. I know I should save $ more, but at the moment, I know I can’t really.

    I am super proud you’re doing what I can’t! Will support you all the way! <33

  2. I agree, we’re trying to save money here too! I decide to not go haunted house this year anyway because I feel like it’s a waste of money just for 20 minutes? Also about the Christmas, my dad came up with the whole thing to be cheap because of the economy and I told billy to not get me expensive things! Haha. We also brought costumes for Halloween from Thrift store (I haven’t get my yet), Billy only get to spend under $8. Awesome, right??

  3. Laura- I love this post. I love my family and have always been grateful for the generousity over the years. However now at Christmas time I realize how RIDICULOUS Christmas can be. It’s become a stress to “match the price” for gifts. Christmas should not be a stress but a celebration of Jesus and eachother.

    I LOVE THIS POST. Preach on sister and good luck with your savings.

    Just don’t forget to stimulate the economy every once in awhile. LOL

    Rock on!

    1. Your comment is a pleasant surprise. 🙂

      ‘Stress’ is a great word for what Christmas has become for a majority of us, and it shouldn’t be that way! I’m glad to hear your family has been grateful for generosity. My grandmother was one of those people too – she always cried when we bought her gifts because she wanted us to save the money for ourselves. All she wanted was to spend time with us. Now that she’s passed, I understand how she was feeling and wish I could go back and spend more time with her. Now, I should focus on spending my time with the people who are still here. 🙂

      And no worries, I still have to buy food and other related necessities! ;D

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