A change in our circumstances has meant that we need to now be more careful about each dollar that we have. And only spend when entirely necessary. So, that means no more weekly Thursday sushi lunches for me and the boys and not buying organic items because it is just too expensive and living with the items that we do own and enjoying those.
This means that we will be able to live within our means until circumstances change back in our favour and also that we can continue to work on the dream of the build of our new house on 5 Ha we own on the Peninsula.
Does that mean I have to be more frugal? Do I have time to bake my own bread? What about general happiness attained through gorgeous little things I might see and want or a Soy Chai Latte from the local cafe? Or does that have to change too? Can I meditate before I shop as a default?
I’m not a big shopper and am, overall, already quite careful with spending but I do like to buy what I like which may be more expensive such as a gluten free flour, sulphite free apricots, a certain lovely Dr Bronners soap or almond butter (so pricey!) for example. So how is it done?
I already have a lot of knowledge and resources on how to live more frugally, simply and mindfully (and with less waste and environmental impact) but actually, it really isn’t very easy. Especially with two little boys tugging at my skirts (if I wore them!) It can be really hard to make the change. Living as an unconscious consumer and going to the mall or just buying whatever whenever (especially online) is the way of our Western society (not everyone though) so how do you step out of that (Others have and are happier – see below)? What do I need to do to be happy everyday without spending $?
So here are a few ideas:
- Shop my house – full with “stuff” that we are slowly going through and paring back to necessities and things of beauty. I love the products from Father Rabbit but that is because it is a single wooden spoon on a white background. I already have three wooden spoons.
- Remember – life is not a styled photo shoot to look perfect all the time. Stay away from Pinterest unless it is for DIY/MIY.
- Live more slowly. Remove the staccato.
- Breathe deeply. Oh that’s that meditation thing again!
- Create traditions and family rhythms around the seasons.
- Value housekeeping as a creative outlet like this recent blog post from Rhonda at Down-To-Earth on valuing housework and a way to be happy through the process of homekeeping. I would add parenting to that too.
- A budget – duh!
- Keep it simple to start with and only change a few things at a time.
- Go back to making my own. I do this already for cleaners and recently made BBQ sauce from scratch but I want to dehydrate fruit for the Autumn and bake more bread. I was also given a cheese making kit for Christmas but maybe that’s more of a fun thing to do!
- Now that the boys are older maybe we can spend more time in the vegetable garden so this needs to be ready for Winter root vegetables and the herbs harvested. Garlic, shallots and small amount of potatoes already done and I can see a good harvest of Roma tomatoes for a couple of bottles. Plus, there is raspberries in the freezer ready for jam making. Ahhh that’s right – time!
- Read more by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits and The Minimalists – so many good ideas here.
- Stop coveting and just be.
- Increase my learning in the right areas like dressmaking skills. I might do a course in the winter months.
- Sell things and keep the money specifically for special things for me.
- Make presents and gifts or give experiences.
- Go to the library more – oh but, I do so love books.
- Carrying on making Abundance Bowls for dinners and meals – a great way to get veges and variety and not be bored.
And no doubt there will be more ideas to come. Do you have any thoughts on this?
So here’s too living life more mindfully, simply and frugally to increase our level of happiness and general well being with our wonderful lives.
*After re-reading this post while I set the image I realised I kinda do know what to do but it is the level of effort required that has stopped me in the past from going all the way. Now I have to. Maybe I just need to find a way to balance the way of living required with my desire to live in a certain aesthetic and with certain things in my life. Noticing a “things” based post here!
Also the image above is of our apple tree – yay!