A couple of posts ago, I discussed Tammy Strobel's book entitled "You Can Buy Happiness (and it's Cheap)" She was talking about decluttering.
I have made slight progress. I have sold a bunch of stuff on ebay - good stuff too - but stuff I don't use. I have more listed. The wierd part is that I can't see any difference! The place looks just as full! What's that all about??
I posted about the more than 200 books listed on Amazon (and have sold about 50) and I can see a little space there. The trick is not to BUY more books on Amazon while listing mine! Naturally, I tell myself that I will resell it as soon as I finish reading it. They have SUCH good deals! Every friend I have knows enough to drag me past a bookstore. But, late at night, home, with only the glow of my computer screen . . . temptation takes over. (Cue dark music here.)
Anyway, Tammy has a few things to say about finances, and heaven knows I need THAT advice! (The dog pictures are to give you something to enjoy while I talk about the painful subject of finances.) One of the things they did was get rid of their cars and ride bicycles. Well, that's not going to happen here, But I CAN map out my errands and shopping and make one circular trip a week. And that is what I've done for the past two weeks. One trip for food shopping, going to the pet store, Jo Ann's Fabrics, the Wine Shoppe, and Staples for mailing supplies. Then, no more driving! It worked. I am about a quarter tank ahead!
Another thing she says is to use your credit cards sparingly or cut them up. I used to freeze mine in containers of water in the freezer, which is fine until you need to pay for a tow truck and find yourself sitting on the kitchen floor with an ice pick! I am down to one credit card at present, but am still paying off the cut-up ones! Check out books from the library instead of buying them. Yes. Well. Since I 'Told All' in the previous paragraphs, we know how I can improve on that one. Establish an emergency fund. I am really trying to do this by calling it a "Veterinary Emergency Fund." You know, when Himself, or Herself eats a plastic bag (or a hairbrush in our case) and you have to go to one of those Emergency Vets . . . (Five Hundred Dollars, now please). Even twenty dollars a paycheck adds up, and how can you call a pair of shoes on sale an emergency when those big brown eyes are looking at you??
Finally, she says to examine your attitude about money, and I found some food for thought in this one. What role does money play in your life? What are your guiding principles about money? Does your level of income define you as a success?
When I first moved here, I got rid of a lot of stuff - Craig's List and donations, because I was going from a house with 3 bedrooms and a basement to one with two bedrooms and no basement or attic. Recently, I read this book:
and it's great! (Sorry, you can't look inside unless you go to Amazon.) I am motivated to get rid of more stuff. I listed over 200 books on Amazon, and have sold almost 50 of them so far. Also, I am selling stuff on ebay. So this book came along just in time.
Tammy says, "What downsizing and simplicity means is different for everyone. The idea isn't only to count objects, but to be mindful of what you bring into your life and what you use on a daily basis." I have used the 'one in, one out' rule for a long time with clothes and household items. The areas I have problems with are books and craft items, i.e. fabric, etc.
Since I will be moving this year, probably into a smaller place, I want to downsize even more. Tammy offers some tips:
"1. Stop going to the mall. I know this sounds obvious, but it's harder than it seems, especially if you enjoy shopping. When I stopped going shopping, I stopped bringing home stuff I really didn't need or want." (I have separated shopping for stuff I need for my etsy creations from regular shopping - I have permission to shop for stuff I will resell, or make into resale items. Hey! - I can't NEVER shop at this point!)
"2. Sort through your stuff slowly. If you want to declutter your home, it is important to take small steps every day. Start with one shelf at a time. Undertaking a gradual transition will help you start a new routine, and it's more likely to outlast quick lifestyle fixes."
"3. Write down an extensive list of your fears. Are you worried about what friends and family with think about your downsizing and giving stuff away? Are you afraid that you will "need it someday?" Don't be hard on yourself if you have a hard time paring down."
Tammy also lives in a "tiny house" - see Tumbleweed Tiny Houses to see some of these very cute dwellings. I don't know if I would fit in one of these, especially with 2 golden retrievers! But I would like to be as debt-free and financially secure as possible. Many people are turning to these tiny houses as their lifestyles change. Just something to think about!
Going to the Phila. Flower Show on Thursday. Can't wait! I'll take lots of photos.