This just may be my “better late than never” New Years resolution. I find myself yearning lately for a quieter, simpler life. Life is kinda a double edged sword. We all want “more” while also wanting “less”. We all want nicer things and more of them, yet at the same time we want less work and less stress; Those things just never seem to go together.
Lately, I have been looking a lot at puppies for sale online. This is madness as I, in no way, actually want a dog. I love the idea of having a family dog, but having to scoop it’s poop before the kids recess, take it for walks everyday and deal with shedding and chewing and house training all seem like stress and work I just don’t need right now. I already loathe having to clean up after the cats and bunny. Why would I even dream of adding yet another animal? My only explanation is pure insanity.
A puppy is an extreme example of me over complicating my own life. I do this every time I buy something I don’t really need. I take away money from the important things, like saving for retirement, which just means I’ll have to work harder and longer later. Every time I add a new “something” to my home, it’s just another thing to clean and have to put away and take care of. More stuff equals more work, period.
So, why then, am I never content with what I have? My only explanation is human nature. I just want more out of life and the easiest way to get that feeling is to just buy something new.
I’m going to try to be more disciplined. My goal this month is to focus less on my day to day wants and more on the big picture. I want a simpler life. I want less work and less stress and unfortunately than means less stuff.
Now, lets not get crazy here and say I’m done buying stuff altogether, that is just not realistic. There are some “wants” that I buy that bring real value and happiness to my life. For me, these things are those things that make my home more beautiful or functional. I can justify spending $30 on a can of paint for my bathroom before I can justify spending the same amount on takeout. For me, the “stuff” I need to let go of are things like new clothing (I have more than enough), fast food, magazines, craft supplies and books. All those little purchases each week add up to a lot of money.
My in laws have a great board game we often play called “Cashflow”. It was created Robert Kiyosaki, the author of the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” books. It is such a fun and honestly, life changing game. It can actually teach you the steps needed to get out of the rat race of life, all while having a great time. I’m thinking of that game as I write this post because of how buying a “doo dad” in the game sets you back so much. In the game, landing on a “doo dads” such as buying new shoes or buying other frivolous things, is what keeps you from winning the game. I think the truth is, it is what keeps you from winning the real life game as well. You can play this game online HERE. I am in no way affiliated with this, I just really think it’s a great game…especially for teenagers and young adults.
So here I go… Some quick steps towards my goal of a Simpler Life:
Step One: Purge things I don’t love or need. Less stuff equals less cleaning and less stress.
Step Two: Make a list of my financial goals for the week, month and year. Having clear goals may help me be more disciplined with my daily spending.
Step Three: Setup automatic withdrawal for my RRSP. Pay myself first so it’s not there to spend on useless stuff.
I know I’ve tried this a hundred times before and I continue to fall off the wagon, but each time I give it another go, it gets me one step closer. Who knows, maybe this time next year my blog will be about being a frugal minimalist. A girls gotta dream, right?