I’ve done a few drastic things in the past, like quitting social media for four months, donating almost every item in our house, and starting over. And I’m constantly doing organizing and purging challenges. Or doing no spending sprees. I’ve shared a few tips along the way and how to live with less. If 2020 taught me any lessons, it was that I really don’t need anything. I have a roof over my head, food to eat, clothes to wear, and plenty of entertainment. 2020 was a hard year for a lot of people. And I fully realize that in that aspect, I’m blessed more than ever. (post contains affiliate links, see disclosure)
A few years ago I read the book The Year of Less and I loved it. It’s a memoir and not a how-to guide. However, it was the main reason why I started to get rid of items from our home. Sometimes too many items and lots of decor can be very overwhelming. However, Cait does share her rules for the year of less, and I will be following these almost exactly.
More was never the answer. The answer, it turned out, was always less. – Cait Flanders
MY YEAR OF LESS RULES
ALLOWED TO SHOP FOR
- groceries (obviously), but limited to a $200 monthly budget
- makeup and cosmetics, but only when I run out (honestly I have so much from over the years, I don’t think I will run out at all), will be included in the grocery budget when needed
- toiletries & cleaning products (again I have so much back stock, I don’t think I will run out any time soon), will be included in the grocery budget when needed
- gifts for others
- items & supplies to finish projects around the house, but limited to a $50 budget
NOT ALLOWED TO SHOP FOR
- clothes (unless I lose weight and nothing fits, which I hope does happen but I will only purchase necessities)
- shoes (don’t care, I have plenty and don’t think I even bought any in 2020)
- books or magazines (I will use a free digital library app)
- household items and decor (don’t need any, but if I have a blog project or sponsored post to complete it will fall under the $50 budget)
- take out food and restaurants (this one will be hard for me, and because I know I will fail at some point, I’ve set a $25 monthly budget for when I do and it will be subtracted from my grocery budget for that month)
Creating a budget and sticking to it is really going to help. It will also help me keep track of spending. Gone are the days of seeing something I want to buy or “swiping up” and immediately entering my debit card info. Nope. Is it in the budget? Do I really need it? Another trick is to write it down or put it in my Notes and wait a month. In a month if I still want the item, then I will reconsider buying it. Also just because it’s on sale, doesn’t mean I need it. And if I do, it will always go on sale again.
My biggest reason for doing all of this is to really start paying off my credit card debt and student loan. For the last few years, I’ve been swapping balances from card to card and basically just ignoring them. Well, it is now to the point where it cannot be ignored anymore and I’ve got to do something about it.
We need much less than we think we need. – Maya Angelou
I’m really hoping that at the end of this it will be a life of less instead of just my year of less. The no shopping sprees in the past really made me realize how easy it is to mindlessly spend. And I’m hoping this year can reiterate that and create a different lifestyle. Below I’ve shared a few more of my favorite books on minimalism, organization, and simple living.
What I Learned About Minimalism & Living with Less