The Minimalist Project – January

Good morning, folks! We are one week into the new year. If you’re still grasping at straws for a change in 2017, here is an idea for you! Consider all the “stuff” in your life. How did it get there? The magic underwear fairy? I don’t think so. We are responsible for the items that crowd our drawers, shelves, closets, and pantries.

After living in Europe and witnessing their way of life, I’ve thought long and hard about the phenomenon of American materialism and the role it plays in my life. Even after living out of a suitcase for a year, I’m still the queen of buying crap I don’t need. I accumulate t-shirts like it’s my job. I buy nail polish and face masks in hopes that they will change my life, at least for a day. 😉 I buy conditioners and lotions and socks. Get the picture?! It needs to stop!

This is the perfect time to challenge my spending habits in the new year. I’m a firm believer in the adage, “a little goes a long way.” I think all those “little” purchases add up over time, and I’m ready to save every penny I can in preparation for law school. I also simply need to learn that I don’t need that new jacket– that I can live with what I have.

I want to invite you on my journey, The 2017 Minimalist Project. Each month I’m going to choose a department to focus on and cut costs 100%. One month it will be clothes, another month, beauty products; another month, restaurants. At the end of each month, I will reflect on the temptations and celebrate my accomplishments. In other words, I will make fun of myself. I will then donate a small amount each month to a charity. I can guarantee we can all live without much more than we think. So Happy 2017!! Eff materialism!!

January’s Challenge – Cocktails/Happy Hours

But– Jamie, those are cheap! I beg to differ. Happy Hour may be cheap, but you know what’s cheaper? Not going to Happy Hour! This one is difficult because it challenges you to make changes to your social life. But come on! It’s only three weeks. Happy Hour may apply to food or drinks, for those of you thinking about bars only. In addition, if you don’t drink, focus on purchasing less coffee in cafes and making more in your home. If you find yourself in a situation where you do need to participate in any of these events, buy the bare-minimum or maybe even have a tea.

I wanted to start small. After all, we are already one week into the month. I don’t want to cheat by choosing something super difficult and only focusing on it for three more weeks! This focus on Happy Hour consumption will force you to use that new Keurig you got for Christmas or finish off those leftovers you have in the fridge. This is about minimizing the things you have in your life, and food applies! After all, if you have a pantry full of food, then there’s no need to go to happy hour for a $5 pizza, right? 😉 Good luck!

Bonus: My goal is not to spend money on clothing this entire year! Crazy, I know! But I have so many clothes waiting for me in storage at home. I have enough. Actually, I have plenty. So my goal is not to buy any articles of clothing unless they are 100% necessary. And if I do cave and buy something less than 100% necessary, I will get rid of two other things. 😀 At some point, probably when the seasons change, I will choose clothing as a focus point, but for now, keep it on your radar at all times if you want to really challenge yourself this year!

Do you have any department in which you splurge unnecessarily? Drop me a comment!

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3 Comments

  1. Love this! I have a friend who has given up “all unnecessary spending” for Lent several times. I like the idea of ripping the bandaid off one area for a month and seeing what it’s like. I did give myself limits on how many coffees I can buy out instead of home, and how many days I can buy my lunch instead of packing. (Except when my husband wants to take me to lunch, and then I say okay!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. YES! Get rid of stuff! I just got rid of sixteen things after forgetting to bring a New Year’s Eve outfit on a trip to New York!

    I’m also very guilty of overspending on social outings to the bar, especially since most of my running social life revolves around happy hours. But since I like to be social, I think I’ll take a different route. Instead of opening a tab and ordering multiple drinks I will bring cash and limit myself to one for the month! I can do it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We are doing a similar project – only essentials (groceries, recurrent bills, gas) but no eating out, no new clothes or shoes, a limited travel allowance. So far so good. We want to save cash for an important business project (instead of dipping into savings or taking out a loan). It’s really not that difficult once you get used to not entertaining yourself through activities that require spending money. Good luck with your project!

    Liked by 1 person

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