I hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July! This year my hubby and I took a detour from the norm. We went to an early movie, out for a late lunch, a little shopping and visited family all within a two mile radius… instead of the usual barbeque followed by fireworks. We still partook in a bit of fireworks celebrations but this time it was from our front porch, then the second time from our backyard. We resisted the urge to drive anywhere, deal with parking or public drunkenness. I think the day just went along with my desire to simplify lately.
My life generally gets so crazy- busy and since I don’t have a regular schedule or the same daily location for work, things tend to get complicated… which in turn breeds the desire for simplicity.
Recently I came upon a really wonderful site and blog that has inspired me called Small Notebook. You may have already heard of it, but I surprisingly had not. And though its focus is not on fashion or beauty, I still find a clutter free organized home, finances and food to be some of the most stylish things you can do for yourself. So today I am veering off my usual path to share a great challenge from the site that I think a pretty fabulous.
Rachel Meeks the brains and simplicity master (my term for her) behind the site made a big splash with her blog on “No Spend Month” a while back and since then she has had thousands following this challenge. Now, if you have read past blog posts of mine you know how much I love a good challenge… 6 pieces for 30 days or 30 days without makeup (NO I didn’t! But some did) or the 30 day beauty challenge and so on… I have always been intrigued by those that can literally stick perfectly to a highly restrictive budget. I for one find it nearly impossible especially having a freelance business. There is always something that pops up.
But Rachel’s No Spend Month means allocating a specific amount of money that her family would not exceed. This doesn’t include paying the regular bills like mortgage or rent, utilities insurance, business expenses and gifts. For food, gas, clothing and the like her family started with $200 a month for three of them and adjusted accordingly each year since. This challenge helped her and family refocus and renew their perspective on how much they need to spend VS what they want to spend. It also gave them a new appreciation for what they have while also flexing their creativity and resourcefulness.
For me this is about getting back to basics… do I really need to get my daily green tea from a coffee shop when I can make it at home for just pennies? Do I really need to buy new clothes when I have a closet full? Now, I am not saying that you should never do these things… because after all we still want to support our local businesses, but I am saying that being more mindful of where you spend, how often you spend and where you can save is something that many of us have forgotten. And the bonus… what you save can then be used for something you really want or need.. a vacation with those you love perhaps? That’s always way more fun than the blouse you wore for three months!
To find out more about the challenge and all of the wonderful tips on crafts, food and home visit smallnotebook.org
Photo source: Rachel Meeks, Gen Image