A Lesson In Less

Good morning, Dear Reader. If you are local, I hope you survived the heat stroke you may have endured last weekend. For those of you in colder climates…I am so very jealous. I get it. It could be worse, I suppose. Some of my friends in Phoenix said it was 112* last week. I guess I shouldn’t complain. But I will. I absolutely will complain because it’s my blog, and I can do what I want.

So, on a more interesting note – not that wet armpits and sweaty private areas aren’t interesting – I’ve been reading a cool little book called “The Year Of Less”. I guess I didn’t realize the author of one of my favorite blogs had written a book (actually, two – of which I’m aware), and it was pretty overwhelming (emotionally) for so many reasons. I’ll summarize here: She put herself on a ‘no spend year’ and chronicles her journey. You know I love new challenges and am always up for experiments. So. Let’s devise a plan, shall we?

Grab a drink. Settle in. Let’s see where I’m going with this.

Where I’m going begins here: How do I continue to put $350 a month into savings for my child’s future when the source of that income is a bit ‘hit and miss’. I can get a part-time job or I can cut my spending. The bottom line is: $350 a month belongs (technically) to my son and I need to figure out a way to get it into savings.

Sigh. Deja Vu, amiright?

I also have other goals – pay down debt, travel, and buy a mandolin. Okay, maybe not buy a mandolin, but still. So, while eating my scrambled eggs today, I decided I, too, would try a ‘no spend’ period.

Now, you know me. I’m about as committal as a feral tomcat, so the thought of actually committing to a full year makes me a bit itchy. But, as my personal trainer used to say: You can do anything for thirty seconds. She was talking about walking at a 10-point incline and a thirty-second plank. But still. Based on that logic, I landed on a timed challenge that might work for me. I’ll document the progress here, just as Cait did. I can do anything for thirty days. Right? Right.

I gotta say: I’m somewhat excited about this and also slightly afraid of epically failing. I do that sometimes. Fail epically. Except now I’ve got you, Dear Reader, to hold me accountable. Yay, me. I’m not sure I like this but let’s see where it leads us, shall we?

First, I started by agreeing with myself on what I could buy. Those include:

1) Consumables (food, wine, toiletries, gasoline, etc.)
2) Gifts for others
3) Items that could result in saving money (i.e. Nail polish to replace bi-monthly manicures)
4) Services that are health-related

Then I decided what I could not buy:

1) Clothing (unless I lose weight, then I’m allowed a small replacement budget)
2) Decor or things for the house ‘just because’ that really do not add value
3) Art supplies (Shall we discuss my already great magic marker collection?)
4) Books. Yes, books. Not even the digital ones.
5) More tarot cards. I have four decks. I’m good here.

Finally, how long will this self-imposed challenge last? I’m going with sixty days. I’ve got a birthday party right in the middle of this, and I’m going to lean on my friends to borrow things I do not already own. Thirty days didn’t feel long enough to make a lasting impact. A year seemed like – frankly – I’d be setting myself up for failure. I like attainable and realistic goals. Maybe it will end up being a year, who knows. But for now, it’s sixty days.

So – what do you think, Dear Reader? Wanna join me? I’m going to post at the end of every two weeks what I was able to move into a savings account. That way you can keep me accountable. In fact, for those still reading, I’m journaling this process here.

Until then, I leave you with a song. This one has nothing to do with today’s post – those are sometimes my favorites. But it is from a local artist named Lyal Strickland. Lyal’s unique voice is yummy and let’s face it; he’s not hard to look at, either. He’s got so many songs that I love, but this one is my favorite. Maybe because I kind of feel it in my core. Enjoy!

PS…and if you liked this post and think others might like it, too, feel free to share on all the socials. Please and thank you!