I listened to Cait Flanders’ audiobook The Year Of Less, and I was nothing short of inspired. If you’re not familiar, author Cait Flanders begins a year long journey of buying less, saving more, and de-cluttering her life.
For years I’ve tried to get a good hold on my finances. I often spend money I don’t have and make up for it later. I’ve gotten used to living paycheck to paycheck and it feels impossible to get out of it. How do people go on vacations? Why can’t I pay my bills? How much money do I spend on eating out? I want to be better at this finance stuff. Yet, I haven’t taken action. Until now.
I am doing my own year of less. But not just that, I plan to turn it into a year of more. I’ll have time to kill each month. Newly single and now on medication my free time is OPEN. Rather than the previous time fillers of fighting with my partner, making up with my partner, and managing my mental health, I can fill it with things I’ve wanted to try/do. Each month I will focus on something that nourishes my soul or betters my life in some way. I’ll write about it too, because that’s the only way I can hold myself accountable. Even if NO ONE reads it, I have to read it. I get to read the lines that say – “I finished this project and I am so proud!” or I’ll have to swallow the lines that say “why can’t I follow through.”
So, here’s how the shopping ban works:
You looks around your house and take inventory of your life.
1) What essentials do you NEED to buy? What is your practical and purposeful shopping allowances? Make a list, these are the things you can purchase.
2) Next make a list of your non-essentials. These are things you normally buy throughout the year but do not need. This list are the things you are NOT allowed to purchase.
3) The last list you create is an “approved shopping list.” This is the list of exceptions. Things you know you will need to purchase within your ban timelines. This list should be very purposeful and minimal.
Here are mine:
- Cleaning supplies (when my other supplies run out)
- Toiletries (again, when out)
- Make up (you guessed it, when its OUT)
- Gifts for other people
- Experiences (for example going to a haunted house with friends, going out to eat, etc).
- Clothes, shoes, etc
- Books (I buy A LOT of books that I never read)
- House/Office decor
- Take out coffee
- Take out/to go food
- Beauty/Bath (face masks, hair products, fancy lotions, bath bombs, etc)
- Plants 😦
Approved Shopping List
- My daughters school supplies for the upcoming school year
- Copies of my new house keys (I recently moved and my mom needs a set)
- One pair of practical work pants (I only have two that fit)
- Contacts for the year (I always buy a year in bulk and just ran out)
- Picture frames for Generation Mindful pictures (for my daughter)
Side note: if something breaks and I absolutely need it I can replace it.
I plan to do a check in at 6 months to update my approved shopping list, add or subtract items to other lists, and see what I’ve saved! As mentioned, I plan to do a year of MORE as well. Adding, trying, or doing something for myself each month. I don’t know what every month looks like quite yet but I have a few ideas. These will be things that get me out of bed, give me a purpose, help me get in touch with myself, bring my closer to my dreams, or improve my relationships with myself and others.
Why am I doing this? Because I can’t keep living the life I’m currently living. I am not happy. I feel lost and stuck. I’m sick of my house quickly turning into a mess while I lay around and do nothing. I’m done writing out my dreams and not stepping into them. I’m done wishing that a future version of myself will be strong enough to make a change. I realize taking steps forward will ALWAYS be hard. It’s easy to say “I’ll do it tomorrow.”
Well, tomorrow is now. And I’m ready to do the work.