I ended the month of November 2012, getting rid of 6 boxes of clothes and shoes. I needed to declutter my life and my mind. It was the beginning of my quest for frugality. Simplifying my life, my choices, and on the way save some money.
I moved to the United States many years ago with nothing but a pair of running shoes and two outfits. Life was so simple then. 17 years and 40 pairs of shoes later, I realize I need to find my way back to simplicity. I own things I’ve never worn, saved for that special occasion than never came. Not a great reminder as I see them hanging in the closet unworn.
Last December, while I was shopping, I had a sudden realization; my wants surpassed my needs. As I browsed the stores I felt stuffed, as though I’d had a large meal. I was so overwhelmed, I had to get out of the store and fast. Once outside, I felt a rush of relief, realizing I was shopping out of boredom, and probably to fill some emotional need: the emptiness inside.
The morning after, instead of being bogged down by a shopping hangover, one word came to my mind: FRUGALITY. No more shopping! No more excess! What I really need are experiences. That is what I want to do with my life this year: build memories.
I’ve had the same cheap watch for the past ten years. It works just fine. It promises to be indestructible. Do I really need a new one?
What is frugality and how to achieve it
Frugality is a philosophy, a way of life. Being frugal is being economically prudent. Not wasting things, time and money. Making do with what you already have. Being frugal doesn’t mean depriving yourself. It means focusing your energy on things that really matter.
By owning too many things, I need to make more choices. Too many choices make my life more complicated. I like to get up in the morning, open my closet and grab what I want to wear, and not have to go through endless pieces of clothing trying to decide what to pick. A waste of time! I need an action plan to practice frugality NOW!
Frugality action plan:
This is my personal action plan for 2013. I hope that by sharing it, I can motivate you to create your own.
- Set goals; save up for trips and experiences.
- Stick to a budget.
- Unsubscribe from shopping site e-mails.
- Avoid browsing online shopping sites and window shopping.
- If I buy something, I need to throw out the item it replaces.
- Go to the library or a second-hand book store.
- Practice self-restraint and let go of instant gratification. If I want something I will wait, think about it and give myself a timeframe to make sure it’s not superfluous.
- Reward myself by saving the money I would usually spend on shopping sprees.
Wish me luck! Want to follow me on my quest for frugal living?