"Live simply, so that others may simply live" is one of my favourite quotes. I suppose the older i'm getting, the more I begin to think about and take notice of particular lifestyle choices I never really considered. Ever since returning to Australia from India, it has been a battle to try and not get caught up in materialism and wanting more and more "things". My husband and I have been doing a lot of talking about our budget and have decided its time to make changes so that we can a) pay the bills and b) have more finances to be generous with. So here are some goals/changes I would like to commit to making for this month. I know I know... a month only? Well I want to say a month so that I can re-evaluate at the end and, if all goes well then hopefully it will become an improved simple kind of lifestyle. Most of these ideas have been sourced/inspired from this blog post here and here.
Re-decorating: Lately I have caught the home decor itch. I am dreaming and pinning away like its my job. However I want to commit that any decorating/renovating will be done with items/purchases made either on special or secondhand or re-arranging that which we already have.
Buying food: I would like to purchase our produce from our local markets. I haven't quite been able to figure out where exactly the fruits and vegies are coming from (hopefully not too-far away) as I would like us to eat as local and fresh produce as possible. Plus it is so-much cheaper to buy from our local markets than to buy from the store and I can have quantity control as I find we have vegies going off because we don't use it all.
Eating food: I would like to try not to waste food. Instead of just chucking out the small amount left over after dinner I would like to store it in the fridge to be used as a lunch or for a left over dinner night. We are already pretty good at this, but hopefully I can really watch our waste. Eating out is something that ends up being done if both of us are exhausted and generally nearing the end of the working week. So I will endevour to use our newly given slow-cooker to alleviate the need to cook at the end of a long day. We also have an Entertainment Book which has discounts for eating out, so I will try to make sure we use this if and when we do.
Growing food: My Dad very graciously helped us develop our little garden a little further. So whilst I can't necessarily eat much yet, I would like to commit to taking care of our garden so that at harvest time we will actually have things to harvest.
Clothes: It's time to do a massive clean out of my clothes. I have too many from years and years and years of hoarding. I need to just go through and purge all the things I haven't worn over the past year. I have become friends with a lady who runs a local second hand store and I know she could use some clothes, the time has come (my drawers will love me for it). Oh and I will try not to buy any clothing items for the remainder of this month.
Holiday saving: Dunstan and I have a holiday booked for December to see my family in the Philippines and so far we have zero saved for this trip. I would really like to commit to saving up big time so that we don't spend what we don't have when the time comes.
Weekly saving: I would like to try go four days a week without spending any money...no lunch runs at work, no coffee or anything big or small for four days. I think I would be in for a rude shock if I saw how much money Dunstan and I use on "little weekly expenses".
Date saving: I loved the idea of having a Free Date once a week. Dunstan and I don't always make an effort to have a "date night" however I know the importance of having that special set-aside time, but instead of doing any fancy shmancy, we could have a "free date night". This means we would have to be creative and do things like picnics, bike rides, visiting the museum/free attractions etc -how fun!
Well I think I've got enough goals for this month and as I mentioned earlier, its really what I hope to be the beginning of a lifestyle make over of learning to live more simply. Its all these "little things' I think that add up and drain our income without us really knowing it.
I'll be excited to look back at this in five years to remind me and hopefully re-inspire me in whatever country we are living in.