Sunday, December 30, 2007

Living Simply

Everywhere I turn people are talking about living simply. How to get by with less. How to love what you already have. How to save money by spending less. Anyway you slice it, it is a tough proposition for most.

My family tries to live simply. We really do. I don't want to want a few new sweaters every winter. I don't want to want to go out to dinner. I don't want to want to drop by the scrapbooking store. I really don't.

Still, the idea of having a simple life is a relative idea.

Recently, Little Guy had another little guy come over to play. The mom was shocked by the few toys in our family room and wanted to know where all of the toys were. She even cracked a joke about the kids only having sticks and dust bunnies to play with. "No" to the sticks and "hell ya" to the dust bunnies.

In my eyes the kids are majorly spoiled. In this mummy's eyes I was raising my kids like it was 1860's Ireland.

Many other families that I read about online would look at that same family room and be overwhelmed by all of the toys. Relativity baby.

So how do we get to a more simple place? How do we save more money and clear away the clutter?

My first step started on Friday. Hubby and I are both writing down every penny that we spend.

I originally included the list of what the family has spent in the last three days, but I deleted it out of utter embarrassment. Wowsers!

Today's Hartford Courant included a link to a great site that I thought that I would pass on. http://www.storyofstuff.com/ follows an environmentalist, Annie Leonard, who spent 10 years traveling to find out exactly where our stuff goes when we are done with it. She has a great short film, links to her blog and other resources. Watching the film really made me think twice about all of my wants and how what I buy effects all of us.

So what is a gruppie to do? Will writing down our spending educate us enough to find the problems and fix them? Maybe we should go into a total spending freeze and it will become a habit? Is there another way?

2 comments:

Erikka said...

i think you are taking a great first step Gruppie. When you see the spending in black and white, it is hard to ignore where there is blatant waste...not that going out to eat or that extra pint of ice cream is a waste, but I think those little "oh, just this one thing" turn into many one things in a week, and they all add up.

I have one other option I might try - giving my paychecks to my brother for 3 months. He is going to manage them for me - do my savings, retirement and spending money...but who knows if letting a family member do that is a good idea. We'll see.

Good luck and keep striving for simplicity.

Blessed Wife and Mother said...

I am trying to live a more simple and decluttered life myself. In the process I am trying to cut my spending (dollar stores are my weak spot as well as clearance **cringe**). We have tried many times to write everything that we spend, but its a hard thing to do. Hopefully you will do better than we will.
We have decided that instead of buying cheap crap at Walmart all the time, we will wait and save and get the good quality things that will last for 10 years or so.