Tag Archives: minimalistmovement

5 Areas I Still Spend Money on as a “Minimalist”

First off I must explain that I put minimalist in quotations because some people take minimalism very seriously, and I don’t think our family is AS extreme as some.  We are trying, though, to really downsize our possessions all together and put our money towards bigger goals like becoming debt free and experiences rather than material items.  In trying to simplify life for our family and get out of debt, I stopped buying cheap clothing that was on sale, I stopped buying skin and hair products constantly, I stopped spending money on little things that I thought were cute but in actuality had no purpose, and I just tried to stop spending money on things that weren’t useful or loved by our family.  There are a few areas though, that I find such a huge benefit from and I still think are worth the money.

  1.  Quality Groceries and Supplements

I absolutely believe that you are what you eat, and treating your body right from the inside out can actually help save money in the long run by keeping your body in tip top shape.  I also think quality groceries tend to TASTE better (maybe it’s psychological?), and that helps me personally not crave restaurant food so badly…I know that what I’m cooking is going to taste good to me and I won’t need to go searching for something filled with MSG to satisfy my cravings.  Likewise, quality supplements are usually more potent and more pure-so you are actually getting the benefit you’re looking for out of them.  As an example fish oil is amazing in so many ways for you, from brain health to heart health to SKIN and intestinal health, but quality fish oil is essential to avoid the excessive mercury content.

2.  Education

This is one that I believe is always something everyone should invest in.  Furthering your education is so essential to growing and developing as a human being.  By education I don’t just mean college education-although I think it’s fabulous if you have a goal and a degree that you’d going after.  Books can teach you so much about anything and everything, and learning is something that should never stop.  Some examples of what I consider amazing education are:

  • seminars/webinars (sometimes these are even free)
  • books/audio books
  •  memberships to online support groups
  • apps that make life easier and/or teach

3.  Networking

We’ve all heard the expression “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” and there’s a lot of truth to that.  Who you know can open doors that you had no idea existed, and likewise you could do the same for someone else.  A lot of times there are networking parties (sometimes free even) that can help acquire new relationships and connections.  If the opportunity is there and I am able to work on my computer, I like to just spend the $2 on a coffee out somewhere.  It puts me in the position to open up dialogue with different people and expand my network, and sometimes even knowledge base by talking to others!

4.  Vacations

Everyone needs a break at some point.  “Work hard, play hard” and I believe in that.  I personally can get really burnt out if I go hard for too long without taking a breather.  It’s something that I’ve learned is a necessity in my life and my family’s life.  We’re all much happier and refreshed when we take regular breaks and just get out of town.  There are many less expensive options like trying out AirBNB, renting a condo for a week (or a long weekend) and cooking your own food.  Sometimes it’s refreshing just to be in a different scenery altogether.

5.  Photos

To me, photos are SOO important.  With all the hustle and bustle of life, it’s so easy to literally FORGET pieces of our history, and if you have children like i do they grow up almost overnight.  I literally found myself looking through pictures of my kids in the infant stage–the pictures were almost unrecognizable.  I had forgotten what they looked like!!! thank goodness for pictures…they capture moments that our minds just cannot remember.  Nowadays pictures are saved on the cloud which is great, but if anything were to happen to technology, computers, the CLOUD, we would lose all of our history! I spend about $10 every few months just printing my favorite pictures of my kids and our family, and that is TOTALLY worth it to me.

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4 Ways to Worry Less

Life is such a beautiful thing.  It’s something that I personally take for granted most days.  I stress over what I have to do the next day instead of appreciating the honor of GETTING a next day.  Stress and worry are two creatures that really sneak into my mind, and I’m trying to start simplifying my life. Being more intentional with my time and my energy allows for me to cut out so much worrying because I’m already prepared for what is to come.

#1:   Have a Savings Account for Emergencies

This is one out of Dave Ramsey’s book.  Start by creating a savings account with at least $500-$1000 in case of an emergency.  This allows for you to have some peace of mind if say, a child gets injured and you have to run to the ER.  Although most have health insurance, there is usually a co-pay due.  Likewise if you need to replace a tire (or two), this amount SHOULD cover that.  If saving that amount seems impossible to do in a descent amount of time with your income, try selling some items that you might not really need anymore.  Selling clothing, furniture, or electronics are simple ways to earn some money-and you’d probably be surprised at how much you can put away once you’ve earned that extra cash.  If you have a skill or a trade that you know, try even doing that on the side to earn some extra money (i.e. if you play an instrument you can teach lessons, cut someone’s lawn, refinish some old furniture–just as ideas).

#2: Exercise/Physical Movement (in a quiet place for those introverts out there)

Getting the body moving releases endorphins, which makes you feel better and gives a clearer mind to sort out information and get life in perspective.  Not everyone has the time (or money) to pay for a gym membership and work out 5 days a week, but everyone has access to malls, parks, neighborhoods, and 30 minutes to build into their schedule.  If this means that you must wake up 30 minutes earlier, then so be it.  Allowing your body to move and release those endorphins is all around better for your physical and mental health.  If anyone is an introvert (like I am), this physical activity can be done in a quiet area (like park trails, the mall before stores open, or a neighborhood).  Introverts need quiet alone time to sort their thoughts out, and seeking out peaceful places to perform their physical activity gives them a double benefit.

#3: Decrease the amount of SUGAR and/or CAFFEIN in Your Diet

Caffein is something that most (including me) cannot live without in the mornings.  It helps give us a jump start in the morning to get our day going and be productive.  However, I find that when I’ve had a cup or two of coffee, AND I have a pretty sugary diet in the same day–my worrying skyrockets.  This means having a chocolate chip muffin along with my coffee topped off with a sweet creamer.  I feel great for that time, and then as I begin to crash my body starts feeling nervous that I’m crashing (now I won’t have the energy to get everything on my to do list completed)so my body copes by actually making me angry and filled with anxiety.  I start to get snappy, and then that is followed with worry and remorse because I KNOW that I’m acting snappy towards my kids or my husband.   I’m not saying that sugar and caffein have to be totally eliminated from your diet (although there are many studies and theories of how beneficial it is for your body), but for ME limiting my caffein intake to 2 cups of coffee MAX per day, and always decreasing the sugar in any area I can is beneficial to my overall attitude.

#4:  Plan Ahead of Time–Outfits, Calendar, Meals, Vacations, Me-Time

This is one that I find makes the BIGGEST difference for me as a stay at home mother and a wife.  I would stress so hard on what I was making for dinner, then stress about dragging the kids to the grocery store for the one ingredient I didn’t have to make my dinner.  Likewise rummaging through dressers and hampers to find that shirt that went to these pants, and then stressing because I was at the end of my patience because I hadn’t planned any time for ME to decompress.  These things are usually pretty easy to remedy and plan on the spot, but the decision fatigue would just DRAIN me and by the end of the day I didn’t know what way was up.  Taking out exactly what we are all four going to wear (my husband does his own clothes), helps make the morning SO much smoother.  It literally creates a mechanical routine to go through so that by the time we all sit down for breakfast it’s been only about 10 minutes to get dressed and get hair and teeth brushed (not bad for 2 toddlers).  On Sundays I make the breakfasts for everyone to eat through the week.  Even vacations need to be planned ahead of time, or they will not happen-especially when you are a parent.  The days of the spontaneous trip to the beach are no longer!

These are my ways to stop worrying and stressing. What kinds of ways have YOU found to stop worrying?

Jana