Firstly, I will credit the author for this term ‘A year of less’, I first found out about Cait Flanders while flicking through Red magazine in the news agents one morning (I didn’t even buy the thing), I then saved her book and visited her blog. Though she’s not writing on it anymore, though there is so much content. That’s the brilliance of content.
I read through her experience and felt confident that after learning about tidying from Marie Kondo, I wrote about it and shared a room makeover. I could implement some more lessons on less. I got her book, I’m finding iBooks really handy to read from my phone in short bursts waiting for something, while everyone is watching TV, at lunch time. She has a financial budgeting planner that is on my shopping list, that I feel will really help a lot.
Things I have implemented from Cait Flanders, A Year of Less:
- I track my money each week! This has been a game changer, a real incite to what I buy, where my money goes and what’s important. It’s something I wish I had done before going on maternity leave! I see the total in and total out each week, it motivates me to bring in more and keep outgoings low.
- I read more about her Approved Shopping List and created my own, though it isn’t as specific or small as her’s. It is to the point of what I actually want to bring into my home, life. It serves more as a reminder of what I really want, say something costing £25 is more important than a £12 unplanned purchase here or £6 worth of snacks there.
I like it because it brings me back to food shopping on purpose, when you have a list and stick to it, not buying cookies and 3 for price of 2 items, it works for me in the food isles it can work elsewhere too!
The only key is not to keep adding to the list, hard but here are my items at least for the first 3 months of the year (this doesn’t include maternity basics new baby essentials), I’ll re visit and cross them off:
* Financial planner year workbook
* Happy planner pen case
* Liquetex gloss gel medium for transfers in Art course
* Coat/hand bag stand
* Storage cabinet for shawls and scarfs
* Aromatheraphy oil diffuser from Muji
* A printer with scanner
* Bullet Journal (when completely finished this one till last page)
The really interesting thing I’m finding, similarly to the magic of tidying, is that it takes you on a personal journey, first though your experience of money growing up and through your twenties. You see, I’ve done this kind of shopping list before, years ago when I was on minimum wage, most of it went to bills and I was left with a tiny bit of money to spend at the end of it. So I did and gladly bought an item off the list.
However I did it in a totally different energy and frame of mind.
It wasn’t reluctantly or from place of a victim but it was through lack, I did have ‘I have got no money’ mantra mentality despite doing affirmations then too. This time I’m doing it on purpose, I feel in control of (apart from bills) what goes in and out.
I also use the view that it is a ‘transaction’ that’s all, there’s no emotional connection unless you bring it and retailers marketing can shine that torch on and on, it won’t work.
I watched The Minimalists on Netflix and both partners in the team grew up quiet ‘poor’ then went on to make riches, found that didn’t bring them happiness and went onto discover and live a minimalist life. Both in the beginning and end they had less, though the second time round they owned it! I’m a minimalist!!
Another lesson from my twenties my boyfriend and I bought lots of equipment, him for working out, for hobbies like wood work, beer making and sometimes gardening. I bought art supplies such as quality paints, desks and storage, ingredients for recipes to try. We both had full time jobs at one point and used are money for making stuff in leisure time. Every expensive purchase we bought was called an ‘investment’ as it would save buying the cheaper option and replacing, it would serve us many years and so on.
With my art supplies I did have visions of me making money back but being self taught I was learning lots in that time. However, thanks to money lessons I’ve come to learn that is not the definition of an ‘investment’, it has totally changed my perspective.
An investment, put simply is investing money for profit or an asset purchased that will provide income in the future or sold at a higher price for profit. It’s not an asset if you don’t make money from it or never get round to selling it.
So far I feel the phrase less is more is becoming more true to life, you can have less and own your choices that bring value and meaning to you now and for the future.
I have the nagging reminder that ‘money gives you choices’ and I’m working on making my own. I like the article (and photography!) – 3 Women and what they’ve learnt in 70 years of life, a point that really stuck out was one woman saying of you can afford to eat and pay rent, why are you spending your life worrying?
Simple, interesting and liberating.
I’ll post other findings with the title starting No spend experiment in upcoming posts!