Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Another month down.

I'm running a little behind....

But here we are, now four months in, and still a complete success:

   April         Year to Date      Category                              
      $0                       $0                   Clothing                                                   
      $0                       $0                   Shoes                             
      $0                       $0                   Accessories                                       
      $0                       $0                   Cosmetics         
      $0                       $0                   Kitchen items                 
      $0                       $0                   Gadgets/electronics 
      $0                       $0                   Furnishings
      $0                       $0                   Books 
      $0                       $0                   Shrubs/trees
      $0                       $0                   Non-necessary household goods 

As you can see, I originally only excluded shrubs and trees because I had three pots out front that needed flowers and I usually fill them with annuals. And I wanted to put in an herb garden. The herbs count as food, so that's easy. I use them regularly in cooking and growing my own is cheaper than buying them fresh through the long warm season. So I did that this weekend - put in basil, parsley and dill in the raised bed, and rosemary and oregano in pots on the deck. But I scouted around my yard and found some thriving perennials to divide and transplanted them into the pots. It was a major victory for me to enter a garden center - my personal kryptonite - and walk right by all the colorful flowers for sale without buying anything but the herbs.
I've been watching a few videos on minimalism and found one interesting idea about shopping. In addition to the usual questions about "Do I have a place for this?", "How long will this last?," "How does this purchase align with my goals?" and so on, the guy suggested asking "How will this new thing serve me in a way that nothing I already have does?" Well. That changes everything. Interestingly, I had been thinking that maybe after the year was up, we might start buying, one plate or bowl at a time, interesting pottery to replace our dishes. But when I ask myself that question, the answer is clearly, "It won't." I may have a place for new dishes, a new pottery dish may last, it may even align with my goal of having fewer but lovely household items, but it definitely does not serve me in a way the perfectly fine dishes I already own do not. And when I think about it that way, it also doesn't align with my goals of allocating money toward larger goals like travel and retirement.

I tell you, this whole no-shopping challenge is making me think deeply about spending and goals and values in a way that all the decluttering I've done over the years has not. And I'm only a third of the way in!

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