Taking on 2013 and hoping to revitalize my life

Posts tagged ‘frugal living’

No 100 Thing Challenge for Me

100TCcoverI just finished reading The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno. The book is about how he lived on less than 100 personal items for a full year and his learnings from the whole process. The challenge was a response to the rampant consumerism that is evident in American culture. He had been preaching anti-consumerism and materialism for years and he decided to walk the walk instead of just talk the talk.

Although I found the book interesting, I certainly didn’t find it life-altering for me. I changed my consumer habits many years ago when I first became a stay-at-home Mom. I was always good with my money and was able to save for what I wanted and live within my means, however, when our household income went from two incomes to one, I made some drastic changes. I learned how to make more dinners from scratch using inexpensive ingredients like lentils and chick peas or beans, I made homemade baby food, I used cloth diapers, I became a regular at the local library, and I read books and blogs on frugal living in order to reduce our bills as much as possible.

As I morphed from stay-at-home Mom to single working Mom, I kept the good habits that I had created. I managed to pay off bills, and even put some money away for a vacation all on one salary. Some things did change, we did start buying more convenience foods again as I was trading money for a lack of time. But I managed to kick the shopping habit in those years and it really has (for the most part) stayed kicked. I rarely go to the mall anymore although a few shops do still intrigue me enough to wander around them once in a while.

The reason why I say “for the most part” is I love a good bargain. Second hand clothing shops and yard sales are bad news for me. I often satisfy any consumer tendencies by buying used. In my defence, the stuff is often not for me but for the kids, perhaps that is how I justify things. I save money, stuff stays out of the landfill so it seems win-win… except for the fact that every once in a while I need to purge some of our treasures.

Even after pursuing a lifestyle of frugality (and not “being cheap” as my ex would claim) I still could never do a 100 thing challenge nor do I want to. I don’t feel a great need to live on less than 100 things but I am trying to downsize a bit and I am trying not to bring more stuff into the house. I think we could live with a lot less than we have so I am continuing to make changes and choices that are somewhat anti-consumerist in nature but not to the 100 thing extreme. If a 100 thing type challenge intrigues you, check out the 100TC blog, I’m sure they tell you how to start your own. Or get the book, that definitely explains things.

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