I am so thankful for friends like Melissa of The World According to Plaidfuzz who are guest posting while I have other life-issues distracting me. Melissa lives like most of us do… simply.
Over the past year, I have been intentionally working towards minimizing my family’s possessions and simplifying our life. We believe in buying quality over quantity and only keeping things we love and use.
When I go to buy a new computer or piece of furniture, I don’t shop sales, I buy what I want and what will last. When I buy groceries I buy fresh, whole foods, and even organic most of the time. For a lot of people that type of shopping mentality may seem out of reach financially. But shopping this way actually saves my family money.
We do not buy disposable items.
Aside from the obvious disposable items like paper plates, there are a lot of other items that are manufactured to have a limited lifespan. Plastic Tupperware containers, toys, or even small appliances are some items that are meant to be used for a short period of time and then replaced. We have decided to spend a little more money up front and buy things like glass storage containers and high-quality pots and pans.
On first glance, it may seem more frugal to purchase a saucepan at a good price vs. maybe spending $80 on a high-quality one. But the $80 saucepan will virtually last a lifetime while the cheaper one maybe has a lifespan of a few years if it is used properly. We choose to spend $80 once vs. $20 every couple of years.
We don’t shop for fun.
Part of our journey of living simply has included minimalism. We try to live without excess in every area of our lives. So I don’t go shopping just to browse, I only shop for what we actually need.
How many times have you impulse-bought an item, and never used it again? By shopping intentionally I give myself time to deduce what I really want, check reviews, and compare prices. This practice eliminates a lot of unnecessary spending, as well as the stream of disposable junk coming in our home.
We aren’t constantly on the go.
One of our goals in living simply is to step away from the rat race and live with margin. That means our kids choose one activity that they want to participate in. We aren’t running from practice to practice, and not every night of the week is booked with an activity. This saves us money in fees, gas, and eating out.
When my husband and I have time off together we prefer a walk by the river, or even sitting at the coffee shop and reading together instead of dates at nice restaurants and weekends away.
There isn’t anything inherently wrong with anything I have mentioned, and living a simple, minimal life is not the right fit for every family. But it has been a rewarding choice for mine, and we are living a more quality life because of it.
Melissa Haag is a wife, mom, and entrepreneur. She lives in a small city in Iowa that is equal parts cornfield and city skyline. She is a self-employed hairstylist, blogger, photographer and owns her own direct sales business. She spends plenty of time in her home office but is easily lured out by her daughter, step-sons, and two fuzzy dogs. You can read some of her ramblings on living life simply at her blog, The World According to Plaidfuzz (www.plaidfuzz.com).
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