As a rookie to minimalism, I’m not perfect. But, trying to practice minimalism in all areas of my life has been helpful and I hope my examples can help you too.
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve made an active attempt to practice minimalism in my life. I’ve always been a regular dabbler, but since one of my New Year Resolutions was to be a more mindful consumer, it’s been a lot more deliberate. I’ve continued to declutter my personal belongings (now at 205/3000 for my Project 3000). My hoarder stash of beauty products and candles is slowly dwindling (good bye hand soap collection from 2017!). I’ve also been more mindful when shopping and bringing new things into my home (sorry Target).
Since practicing minimalism can be in all areas of your life, I’ve recently decided to see what can go and what can stay. Despite having my non-profit career, my growing online business and a jam packed life, I crave being home with my cat drinking tea and reading a book. I know, I’m really 80 instead of 33 but if I can mainstream my life to allow me more time to pursue what I love, it’s a win. So here’s how I’ve been doing it.
Last year I realized I lost a friend. Being chronically ill, I cancel. Depending on what’s going on, sometimes a lot. It’s hard to determine how I’m going to feel the day of. Also, I’m bad at attending multiple events in one day. I just don’t have the energy I used to and I know this about myself so I will decline. This has led to me no longer being invited to events because I’m “flakey.’ Taking a step back, it might seem that way. But I’ve expressed it’s not intentional.
I know it sounds cocky, and maybe I say this to feel better about myself, but I decided I’m okay losing a friend I’m not that close to. Now that I’m older, I know stuff happens and people grow apart. I also now realize people are in your life for a season. So with that in mind, I’m learning to be okay. I have a ton of friends and the people who accept me and my limitations are the ones I want to keep. By allowing certain friendships go, I can continue to nurture my friendships that are already strong, and keep them that way.
Maybe it’s because I’m finally more confident in other areas of my life but for some reason, my fear of abandonment and being left out now happens here. This isn’t good for someone who’s trying to mainstream their life. But now, when I perceive situations of being passed up for opportunities, I’m learning to stay in my lane.
My bosses know what I excel and don’t excel in. They play to my strengths. If I feel truly left out or looked over I can say something. But the feeling usually passes and then I focus on what I’m already doing. And by accepting this, I can make it home at a reasonable hour to spend time on Money Smart Latina.
I contribute my success with weight loss last year to incorporating smoothies into my diet. I’ve loved smoothies since I was little but making a conscious effort to have one every morning for breakfast I think helped. It also frees up brain power because I’m making less decisions. (Decision fatigue is real. I’ve also decided to start eating salad for lunch the days I’ll be in the office all day. Bagged salad comes with toppings and I can buy a bag of frozen chicken strips to throw for protein.
I know not everyone can eat the same thing every day but it I can so I figure I might as well. It makes life easier on me and saves my evenings for other projects or time with friends instead of additional meal prepping.
I’ve been regularly tracking my spending again which is nice because I know exactly where my money is going. It also sucks because I know exactly where my money is going. I can’t do anything about my extravagant health expenses (being chronically ill is EXPENSIVE), but I can do something about all the money I spend on eating out during the workweek and drinking with friends on the weekend.
Swiping my card makes my spending mindless so I decided to start doing cash envelopes again. Once it’s gone, it’s soup for me. I don’t have to track down receipts to see how much I spent in the categories mentioned above because what I can spend will literally be in my hands.
Besides cash enveloping my biggest money wasters, I’m also focusing more on earning more instead of cutting back an already stretched out budget. Due to health expenses and COL going up in the general Phoenix area, I just can’t cut much more. Earning more also allows me to do more of the things that bring me joy such as traveling and saving for the future.
There you have it. Minimalism isn’t something that has to do with your physical space. You can practice focusing on what truly matters in all areas of your life so you can turn off the noise that doesn’t.
Tell me, do you practice minimalism in any areas of your life? Are you liking your results?