Monday, September 29, 2008

Thirty Days Update/Wrap-up

The Thirty Days of Nothing challenge is almost at an end. It went fast. As you might recall, my goal was to eliminate all spending on myself for one month--so no art supplies, craft supplies, new clothes for me or the kids, no toys, cosmetic products, books, magazines, etc., etc. You get the idea. Also, no fast food, no coffee out, or any of that sort of thing.

It was easy. I must say, after the month of August, where much was purchased, it was restful and calming to just pass by all those stores I see on my commute and know definitively that no, I don't need anything. Also, it was awesome not to eat fast food for a month. I'm guilty of too often being lazy and opting for fast food over bringing my lunch to work. Not daily by any means, but a few times a month really adds up in terms of bad nutrition, and the expense is there too. So that was a nice improvement.

So, I got a chance to ponder my own spending for a month where I was not spending. I have thoughts, but I'm not sure I can express them well.
  • One thought is, I will never stop liking pretty things and I don't think it is wrong to want to dress nicely or make the home cozy and inviting.
  • Secondly, I think it is great to have less. Life is simpler with less stuff and having less is "green."
  • Thirdly, the trick is, when you do purchase something, to buy what you love the first time, and eliminate all that extra spending that we all do on things we don't need and don't end up using or enjoying. That is the real key. So that is what I'm going to try much harder to do.
I neatened up my bedside table today. That's what the photo is. Again, I was trying to be resourceful with what I had on hand and I'm very pleased with the result.


Aunt Kirstie said...

I love the idea of the 30 days challenge. I went to the website and read all about it. I will try it at some point, but for now I am reducing spending wherever I can. It is amazing how easy it is to spend money without even thinking much about it. I think it is great that you took on this challenge and I liked your conclusions. Anytime we need to really pay attention can make us ao aware of our choices and others choices as well.

Anonymous said...

I love that vase/bowl on your bedside table.Was that a thrift find?It looks vintage.
I too love pretty things and sometimes have to hid my wallet from myself!!
I made a note never to memorize my credit card number for those last night impulse buys.mOst of the time I cannot be bothered to get up and find my wallet but if I knew the c/c number then we would have a whole lot more stuff laying around!
I may have to take on your challenge for myself.

Lia said...

We have grown up in a time when everything you need is right down the street and practically a dollar. Learning to do more with what we have is a great lesson for all. What a wonderful challenge.

Mary Elizabeth said...

I am so inspired by your blog for so many things but today it was your reaction to no purchasing. My husband have been on a spending diet for 2 years now since business is slow. I can sometimes feel resentful that I can't just get what I want. Recently though I feel great knowing I am not raising consumers. I am raising little people who can feel joyful fufilled walking out of the store with what we need not what we want. Thanks for blogging about your experience.

aralyn said...

How do you like the book Seasonal Living? I can't find any reviews on it. I'm very intrigued.

Teaching Handwork said...

I love this!!! I am going to give it a go.....after my birthday :)

Mary Beth said...

Thanks, everyone, for your thoughtful comments. This really is an interesting topic to me--I'll continue to mull it over.

ponderingponteuf--the little bowl is actually a night light I purchased at Ikea over the summer. The switch is on the cord. I recently moved it from the studio to my nightstand.

Aralyn--the Seasonal Living book is fun and I like to flip through it from time to time. I don't consider it terribly weighty or authoritative. I purchased it at Barnes and Noble a number of years ago. I do love observing the seasons, so it's my kind of "thing."

Iris said...

Great Post Mary Beth. It's so good to be made a bit more aware of these things and to be inspired to practise this even on a much smaller scale. Mitten Strings for God is such an inspiring and gentle book too.

Anonymous said...

I agree, less is more. What a great idea.
I know for me much of my spending is cut down by me not wanting to unbuckle 3 children from the car once more. There are all kinds of places I just don't go to,lol.

leslie said...

what a great idea! your post is so well thought out, not preachy, i appreciate your thoughts AFTER your month was completed. your conclusion was well thought out and you had some compromise, for me thats key. if i use a heavy disciplined hand to make a change, i find it harder to stick with. there needs to be some compromise. if that makes sense! anyways, i find staying out of target helps (i love that place and dont need half of what i leave with). also, how do you like the "finding your inner mama" book? i have been wanting it. thanks!

oh and one more thing! my husband and i saw that el capitan camp when it was just being built, fantastic location. at the time we thought it would never be successful, seemed too fancy. glad it is still thriving but hopefully they will keep up some charity work, good karma points for them if they do!