Storms, Guilt and Emergency Preparedness

01 Jul
by Jenny, posted in Consumerism/Minimalism   |  33 Comments

On Friday night, a wicked storm with winds up to 80mph whipped through the Columbus, OH area where I live. Trees were unrooted like weeds and lawn furniture was tossed around like leaves in the powerful gusts.

We were fortunate to only lose power for a short time, but many others are — and will — be without power until as late at July 9th.

I’m left feeling somewhat guilty about being spared the inconvenience and discomfort of losing power. And I’m realizing how swiftly electric-powered comforts like air conditioning and home-brewed coffee could be swept away.

If my creature comforts were taken away, would I be able to cope? Continue Reading

What do You Think You Need?

21 Jun
by Jenny, posted in Consumerism/Minimalism   |  16 Comments

The following is a guest post from Kate Carpenter of enuffstuff.info. Enjoy!

If you really want to take complete control of your spending, you must have a very clear understanding of the difference between needs and wants. I suspect you’ve heard this before, and perhaps you already understand the difference, at least on a technical level. But I’ll bet that if you could hear a perpetual recording of yourself, you would find yourself saying “I need fill-in-the-blank” — (something that isn’t a real need at all) — at least once a day.

Listen to the people around you, because you will hear them making this mistake all the time, too.  Last week a friend told me she needed a bookcase. “No,” I told her, “You WANT a bookcase.” “NO!” she exclaimed. “I NEED a bookcase! My books are stacked up on the floor!” Continue Reading

Confession Time: Sometimes Living with Less Stinks

13 Jun
by Jenny, posted in Consumerism/Minimalism, Money Honey, Saving More, Spending Less   |  28 Comments

LESS

Sometimes I don’t want to wait several weeks to get things like mulch for my flower beds or a haircut. Choosing to be dilberate about how we spend our resources means we delay gratification. A lot.

Kirk and I set aside enough each week to pay for necessities like food, gas and personal care items. The amount we allow ourselves every week is always the same.

Some weeks we spend less, and other weeks we spend more — but we always transfer $250 each week to an account. Continue Reading

Getting Unstuck

06 Jun
by Jenny, posted in Consumerism/Minimalism   |  14 Comments

Many of you have asked me to report back on how my life has changed since leaving my full-time job almost two weeks ago. It’s hard to say for sure how much different things will be just yet, but a few things from my first week free from full-time employment stand out: Continue Reading

Take this Job and Shove It!

29 May
by Jenny, posted in Consumerism/Minimalism, Money Honey   |  41 Comments

Okay, so it didn’t go quite like that. But I did quit my job. Last Friday was my final day.

It wasn’t a sudden decision. I had been planning to leave for months. A change in company ownership created a new atmosphere in which I didn’t care to participate. But the reasons I left aren’t nearly as important as the circumstances that allowed me to make the leap.

If you’ve been following along for awhile, you probably know what I’m about to say.

Not having consumer debt and living a moderately minimalist lifestyle is completely to credit for my being able to leave a job that was no longer a good fit for me. Without the confines of consumer debt payments, I don’t need as much income. Continue Reading

34 Ways You Spend Less Each Month

21 May
by Jenny, posted in Money Honey, Saving More, Spending Less   |  21 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, I asked for your best advice on saving a several hundred dollars each month. Thank you so much to all of you that participated!  You had some great ideas for shaving dollars off your monthly expenses.

Below is a compilation of all 34 of the tips you shared. Enjoy!

  1. If you need two cars, keeping one beater car that’s completely paid off is a great way to eliminate a car payment and reduce monthly car insurance premiums. ~Marianne from darling blogs
  2. Speaking of car insurance, re-evaluating your auto insurance coverage is a fantastic way to trim expenses. Particularly if you’re a twenty-something, or have just made it past a milestone where previous accidents no longer count against you.  ~ Robert Wall from Untitled Minimalism Continue Reading

Too Many Commitments = Sickness

07 May
by Jenny, posted in Consumerism/Minimalism   |  11 Comments

Molly & Sampson.
We try to keep a moderate schedule. My oldest son is typically in one or two extracurricular activities that never require more than a couple of hours one or two evenings each week. This spring, however, we agreed to let my son play soccer.

It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but my son also takes Taekwondo and participates in Cub Scouts. Now, in addition to three days a week for soccer practices and games, he has one Taekwondo session and many weeks he has a Cub Scout commitment as well. Throw in a random evening school concert, art show or skit and my son has an overpacked schedule.

It doesn’t take a minimalist to see that my son has way too much on his plate. Continue Reading

What’s Your Ideal Work Arrangement?

23 Apr
by Jenny, posted in Making More, Money Honey   |  17 Comments

 

The past few weeks have been a total whirlwind for me. This month I awaited some changes looming in my full-time job. Late last week, I finally got the news. I am being switched from salary to hourly employment. While the details aren’t finalized, what’s certain is there are going to be some huge changes in my working life. Continue Reading

Spend More on the Things You Love

16 Apr
by Jenny, posted in Consumerism/Minimalism, Money Honey   |  18 Comments

Source: flickr.com via Jenny on Pinterest

 

There are many areas in my life where I practice frugality, or just do without. The funny thing is, those areas where I cut back are areas in which I don’t notice any kind of lack. In other words, I never feel like I’m missing out. Continue Reading

Letting Go

11 Apr
by Jenny, posted in Consumerism/Minimalism, Money Honey   |  17 Comments

When we find ourselves in the midst of a crisis, it can be difficult to let go of our current circumstances and jump into the unknown. Sometimes clinging to the familiar — no matter how painful — is more comfortable than exploring the unfamiliar.

Today I want to invite you to become uncomfortable.

If you’re already unhappy with the current circumstances in which you find yourself, what’s the worst that could happen if you take a step in a more harmonious direction? What are you most afraid of? Continue Reading

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