Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Minimalism, How did it save me so much $$$?
With all that we did to save money, the carpooling, shopping less often, doing a menu for shopping, making homemade products, and etc, we were still scrimping each month. I wanted to share what it was that finally helped us to get ahead. I really started several months ago, but I just didn't know what I was starting.
We live in a very large home with 4,600 sq ft of living space. Within that space, we have 8 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 3 living room areas, and 2 kitchens. I have always been a person who cannot stand clutter and mess. However, in a home this size we really started to collect a LOT! There was so much space to put it. Out of sight, out of mind. That wasn't the case though. It started to crowd in on us! We were spending so much our our precious time and money cleaning, organizing, and rearranging our "stuff". As a matter of fact, I spent most of my time while the children were at school cleaning! I hated it. We were spending 90% of our time cleaning and organizing, and well over 40% of our income on this "dream house". My dream home had become my prison. How did this happen? How did I not notice this? So we decided to put the house up for sale.
In the preparation to get the house ready for the market I decided to do some "down-sizing". Well, 7 months later that down-sizing turned into minimalism! We went a little overboard. I became addicted. I was falling in love with my home again, but not enough to keep it. I started reading and studying about minimalism. I didn't even realize that is what we were doing. Once, I realized that I made a new goal. For the most part, my family was on board (with the exception of a few teenage girls:)).
Reducing the things in our home changed our lives, especially mine. But how did this save us money right? First off, I sold enough stuff to make us a few thousand dollars! I gave away a lot too, but I sold big and small items that we had double and triple of; cars, furniture, clothes, kitchen appliances and more. I sold enough to get us out of our small consumer debt. Immediately that saved us enough to reduce our monthly bills by $511! That is a HUGE savings for a family our size (or any size). Also, we have just stopped consuming. We only buy what we need to live. I cannot even put into a number what that has saved us each month. I spend less gas driving to the stores 1 or 2 times a week (I mentioned before that we live 20+ miles from shopping), less money on splurges, and NO money on bookshelves, baskets, and dressers to organize our stuff.
Despite the enormous amount of money we have saved from minimization, I have saved so much more. My time is so very precious and priceless to me. I have more time w/my family and for myself. My days are no longer consumed w/cleaning and organizing. The peace, the calm, and the time are my true and everlasting reward for becoming a minimalist family. I'll explain in another post someday how I did, what I got rid of, and how to do it with a family. It can be done, and your kids will thank you (eventually). My life has never felt so free.