I recently read Shonda Rhimes’ (the creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal) bestselling book Year of Yes and it was fantastic. In the book, Shonda describes how saying “yes” changed her life – and how it can change yours too.
Despite being a wealthy, powerful woman, Shonda is an introvert and often said “no” to attending events that made her uncomfortable. During her “year of yes” she made a vow to start saying “yes” to everything that scares her.
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Winter has arrived here in Minnesota…I spent 20 minutes digging my car out of the snow this morning and it’s going to be -4 for the high one day next week! Brrr! Hopefully most of you readers are enjoying somewhat less chilly weather. How are you doing on your financial goals so far this season? Share in the comments!
When things are going well, it’s easy to feel gratitude. But when things are kind of lousy, it’s a lot more difficult to feel thankful. I’m writing this post not just because of Thanksgiving, but because I need to make more of an effort to be grateful.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling crabby lately.
I’ve been in a funk for the past few weeks due to health issues that are causing constant pain. For reasons I won’t bore you with, I can’t go to the doctor right now (even though I have insurance), so I have to be patient and wait a few more weeks before I can see an orthopedic doctor and hopefully start physical therapy.
As veterinary medicine has advanced, most vet hospitals have purchased expensive equipment in order to provide critical care for seriously ill pets. These days, it’s not uncommon for dogs with cancer or other fatal diseases to receive chemotherapy, highly specialized surgeries, or other costly treatments.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I only promote products that I truly believe in.
I like to plan things in advance.
I write my posts ahead of time whenever I can, and this post was no different. I had a cheerful draft of this post all ready to go – I had written about how September is one of my favorite months of the year because the weather is starting to cool off a bit, and it’s time for cozy over-sized sweaters, boots, and pumpkin flavored everything.
The hubby and I are paying off $117,000 of student loan debt in three years on entry-level salaries. This forces us to live an extremely frugal lifestyle. People often ask me if there is anything I do splurge on. I rarely splurge, but there are a few things I still spend extra money on. Here are three things I splurge on even while paying off debt.
I recently went to my friend Heather’s house for the first time, and seeing her house inspired me to start the Minsgame challenge. Heather lives in a 720 square foot home. A lot of homes this size might seem cramped, but Heather’s didn’t. Why? Because she’s a minimalist and she doesn’t have too much stuff.
Her house doesn’t seem sparse or uninviting (like the stereotype of minimalism) – it has just enough stuff to seem warm and home-y without having ANY clutter at all. I love her house!
I’ve de-cluttered in the past, and my hubby and I had to get rid of some of our stuff because we simply don’t have room for all of it (since we share a basement with my older brother and much of the basement is filled with my parents’ stuff).
I saw the Minsgame challenge on Heather’s blog in the past, and thought “oh, I don’t need to do that. I don’t have that much stuff.” I kept telling myself that when my hubby and I move into our own home, things won’t feel cramped anymore because all of our stuff will be spread out instead of crammed into a small room.
While there may be a little bit of truth to that, seeing Heather’s house got me thinking about all of the stuff I have that I simply don’t need. There’s no point in keeping useless objects around just because I’ll someday be living in a larger space.
The Minsgame, created by The Minimalists, involves getting rid of 465 items in one month. On the first day, you get rid of one item, on the second day, you get rid of two items, on the third day, you get rid of three, and so on…by the end of the month, you’ve eliminated 465 items!
I think this approach is a smart way to ease into minimalism without getting overwhelmed. However, I’m not a patient person and I like to finish projects quickly. So I tried to do all of this in one day which turned out to be a dumb idea. Trying to do it all at once (especially on a busy day when I had other things to do) was a bit crazy and overwhelming.
So I’ve decided to do it in a few big batches instead. For each batch, I’ll share what I got rid of and what I’ve learned from this experience.
PART ONE: Bathroom + laundry room storage area PART TWO: Bookshelves (photography, books, CDs, DVDs, etc.) PART THREE: Bedroom closet PART FOUR: Digital clutter
#Minsgame Part 1 is complete! I got rid of:
-4 bottles of nail polish -3 mugs -4 water bottles -1 stapler -3 picture frames -1 pair of sunglasses -1 (very old) camera -1 cookbook -1 decorative wall hanging -20+ barrettes -3 pairs of earrings -5 empty jewelry boxes -Paperwork we don’t need -5 (very old) bottles of hotel shampoo
What I’ve Learned
For each part of the #Minsgame, I’ll share what I’ve learned from the de-cluttering experience. Here’s what I learned during #Minsgame part 1 (bathroom + laundry room storage area).
When you’re in a relationship (or if you have kids), minimalism requires compromise.
I wanted to get rid of a lot more stuff, but unfortunately, much of it is my hubby’s. If I start throwing half of his stuff in the trash, I don’t think he’d be too happy with me 😉 Luckily, my hubby loves minimalism too, but electronics and toiletries are his two weak spots. How on Earth my hubby needs five containers of hair gel is beyond me…and it’s baffling that he has about three times the number of toiletries that I have.
But we all have our weak spots… my hubby probably cringes when he looks at my bookshelves, which are crammed full of books, DVD’s, CDs, and photo albums. Part two of my Minsgame is going to be a challenge!
Keeping useless stuff around is not frugal. It’s just useless.
I’ve been storing some stuff in the laundry room that I plan to use in the future when the hubby and I move into our own home. This includes several mugs and water bottles. We already have five mugs that we use in the kitchen, and I can’t imagine a scenario where we would actually NEED more than five mugs. Honestly, we don’t really need five (I don’t even drink coffee!) but we love all of them so we’ll be keeping those ones.
I find it strangely difficult to get rid of things that I got for free.
Most people probably find it hard to get rid of things that were expensive, but I don’t like getting rid of things that were free. I don’t really know why. I guess I just get excited when I get things for free (that’s frugal, right?) and I want to keep those things.
Usually, these are useless things (like mugs I don’t actually use or tote bags that will sit in my closet for years before I finally throw them away). Free stuff is nice when it’s useful (like a free t-shirt that I can wear to the gym), but usually free stuff is just junk.
I’m excited to start Part 2 of the #Minsgame soon! Want to join me?