What is one bit of advice you would tell a new college graduate, a newly married friend or your child as they move to their first apartment when it has to do with spending money?
There are many bits of advice I can think of but the one is this:
Buy what you need and use what you buy.
In 2006, we traveled from Arizona to North Carolina for a couple of reasons. One was for vacation and another, to scope things out, thinking we would move there someday. When we returned home, I began the purge-toss-donate-giveaway process. And I haven’t stopped the purge-toss-donate-giveaway process since!
I love to shop. My favorites are purses, shoes, books, clothes and journals. Though now that I’m in my 50’s I finally realize enough is enough!
Two years ago, my husband and I moved from Arizona to Ohio and purchased my parents home just after my Dad passed away. Probably like most in my Dad’s generation, he did not toss away much. We had the privilege *ahem* of purging-tossing-donating-giving away their stuff. This wasn’t new stuff but things like holiday cards, receipts, all kinds of paperwork, photos of people none of us knew, millions of books and Joe Campbell for Mayor ink pens.
What’s the solution?
For several years, minimalism has become a new trend. I think it is a great trend and one I‘ve been trying to live by and hope others try as well.
So if there is anything you need, I may have it in my giveaway pile. Our shot glass collection is going bye bye, along with a box of books, magazines, and clothes, to name a few. Need a small cabinet? I have one to give.
When out shopping I seem to gravitate to the purse department, the loungewear and housewares. I have more than enough socks, loungewear, purses and we do not need any more dishes. The other day I went to Hobby Lobby, one of my favorite stores for home décor. And now they sell Christian books. I found I book I had to have, placed it in my cart, then proceeded to look around up and down every aisle. In the 90% off aisle I found a couple of items. As I went to check out, I put the book back, deciding I would see if the library had it. I was happy that I spent less than $10! I can do this!
I have XX number of journals and notebooks. I will eventually use them. If I stop buying more! I have XXX number of unread books on my shelf not to mention the XXXdreds unread on my Kindle. If I live to about 150 years of age, I might read them. Just might! Socks, bras, t-shirts, and leggings, oh my! I have enough!
To the young person reading this, (and older too!) when you start working and fixing up your first home sweet home, just buy what you need. Spend your money on fun, experiences, visiting people and seeing the beautiful world we live in. Stuff doesn’t last but memories do last. Write down your experiences in journals and you will have them for years to come.
Another thing about accumulating the stuff is the burden it can be. Cleaning it continually, packing if you’re moving, or trying to sell for a decent price. I had collections I bought years ago that I thought might be valuable someday. Nope, didn’t happen. Sold for nearly nothing at yard sales. Collect memories not stuff.
The promise I have made to myself recently is to stop buying books unless it is a writer friend. I’m working on cleaning out stuffed closets and crammed drawers this month. It will be nice to have space to see what I actually have to wear!
There is hope for our spending habits!
I’d love to hear some of your suggestions for downsizing and uncluttering your spaces. Leave a comment or email me at Barbara@BarbaraAnnRepan.com