I’ve been flirting with minimalism for a quite some time now. Devouring YouTube videos with “10/50/100 things I don’t buy anymore”, reading “The life-changing magic of tidying up” (and hating it, btw), and so on. I’ve realized it isn’t the minimalism in decor that I aspire to (even though all the furniture I bought past couple of years had to be white and without any extra decoration), since it is absolutely impossible to be minimalist living with a hoarder (hoarding books and movies, not just anything, luckily). It was the minimalism in the amount of things I had to have, be it new clothes, magazines, kitchen utensils, or even food.
I had a lot of everything, and still do, which I bought mostly because it was cheap, available or just pretty. With having a steady salary, came also the need and want to buy whatever I wanted, just because I could. This was OK for a while, after years of not being able to afford much (my student diet consisted of pasta with ketchup for years!), but is in no way sustainable. And all this extra stuff started to be a huge burden.
My biggest downfall came after visiting Berlin for the first time, and discovering flohmarkts, or flea markets. We don’t have those anywhere near where I live, and I was always a sucker for a good second hand item, so Sundays soon became my favorite day while in Berlin. You might say “ok, its not like you visit Berlin so often, for it to become a problem”. Well, I do. My father in law lives there and we spend at least a month a year in Berlin. That would be 4 Sundays and usually 4 large travel bags full of new/old stuff from flea markets. So, this year, I want to do something about it. During corona lock-down, I did a bit of decluttering, and every now and then, I declutter one drawer or a cabinet. But this still doesn’t affect my spending, and I end up with more and more stuff to declutter later on. So, let’s turn it into a challenge! I’ve been following this great Instagram account called Raspikuća on spending (less, more conciously, etc.) as well as saving, whish is also a habit I am developing more this year, and I’ve learned so much already, so I think I’m ready for this challenge.
Uh. Well, this won’t be easy. It is a month before December, the one month a year you know you’ll spend probably more than you earn, so some extra cash would really come in handy. It is also a month when I do most of my Christmas shopping and planning, trying to avoid the last minute panic. Well, it wouldn’t be a challenge, if it’s not challenging, right?
There are, however, some exceptions. This includes utilities, groceries (but only when really necessary) and travel costs (I work on an island, so I must pay ferry ticket). Other than that, I’m not allowed to spend money on anything else. I’ve noticed I spend a lot of it on take outs and Uber, either because I’m lazy or too tired to cook or I don’t plan my time so that I have enough of it to catch a ferry or prepare some food. So, instead of spending money on that, I’ll spend some time planning my schedule a bit better. This will also help with food waste, since I do my groceries in bulk mostly, but then don’t use it up and it just ends up going to waste. Now, I want to plan my meals according to what I already have at home (cause I really do have a lot), and also plan it in a way that I can carry it with me to work.
I’ve been training for this challenge, for some time, and being from island Brač, place known for its people being stingy, sure helps as well. 😀 My boyfriend hates that I fill up my shopping cart and then gradually, before reaching the cash register, start returning things, one by one. I do this after thinking about whether I really need it or not. And I usually don’t, so I return it.
Yeah, I kinda suck at the coming up with rewards. Of course the result of no spending challenge will be more money, but since I had couple of challenges where I just had no idea what I want as a reward, I guess it’s good someone else gets to enjoy this one’s reward. Milane, Brant is on his way!
So, do you think I’ll make it? Wanna join the challenge? 🙂