In a society where we are bathed in product marketing from morning until night and where excess money often doesn’t get the chance to settle before it is spent, many of us will find ourselves surrounded by ‘stuff’ that we own but don’t actually want or need.
It’s not surprising there for that ‘Minimalism’, ‘Debt-free living’ and ‘Capsule wardrobes’ are hot topics for many of us. Minimising what we own and what we buy is often seen as almost a revolutionary act, so it’s important to educate ourselves and gather supportive community around us when making these changes!
In my last year before turning 30 I’ve dedicated myself to the phrase ‘Live Your Values’ and have taken action on changes that I’ve been considering (but not acting on) for many years. I hit 29 and really dove into my own journey of living my values and by doing so I’ve taken some long hard looks at how I spend my time and my money.
I noticed that the more that I worked the less savings I actually produced and consequently the more unnecessary ‘stuff’ I started to accumulate. Call it retail therapy or a one-way-train-to-debt-town it became clear to me that something had to give; I didn’t want to spend my life working long days for money that would get spent without thought on things that didn’t bring me the joy that the product marketers promised. I wanted to have more time for my passions, for creativity, for loved ones and for giving back to a society that desperately needs my attention.
So I stopped. I made a commitment to myself to start looking at what I actually spend and why I’m spending it and made a strong commitment to myself to stop purchasing unnecessarily. (Check out my article: 5 tips to curbing your spending habit)
I started regular clear-outs of my possessions, cutting down on the unnecessary clutter that made a mess of my surroundings but also meant that I needed larger living spaces to house everything that I owned (but didn’t really want).
My partner and I committed to moving towards our goal of building our own home, a Tiny House on wheels, that would allow us the freedom to side step the rental market, work less and live more but would also limit us to only the possessions that we need and will use regularly.
I started researching how this new way of life might look and found amazing stories of people who have cut back on what they own but have gained so much more. I found inspiration through these people who have faced their fears and opted out of the rat-race anyway.
And what have come of these changes? Well, there is still so much more to do and like the title says this really is a ‘journey’, but it’s amazing to see the freedom that comes from really looking at what you own and deciding to keep only those precious items that bring you joy.
It’s quite a profound shift to stop following the media and marketers and take control of your own spending habits; there’s a lightness that is found in these small but empowering shifts.
I can see that I can work hard and save well for big dreams, like our Tiny House, and that these dreams can become reality so much faster! Our little home will be starting construction in 3 short months and I couldn’t be more proud or happy of both Tom and myself for working hard and making this dream become our reality.
I’m so looking forward to sharing more about this journey in the coming weeks,