Friday, January 4, 2013
Skipping the Holidays Minimalist Style
At the end of the holidays, I was reminded of why I chose to start my minimalist journey. Not only have I saved a few hundred dollars this season, but I also have looked at the holidays in a new light. I saw many gifts being exchanged and I understand why people were giving them, but I enjoy seeing people unwrap things they will actually use. I often hear, "So-and-so is hard to shop for!"
I've been carefully watching our budget the last month and we're trying to save up for a car. Mine is on the fritz and near the end of its life, I'm afraid. After ten years of owning the same car (and thousands of dollars in repairs over the years), I have come to terms that it is not the amazing dream car I thought it once was when I drove it at 16. This is why we skipped the holiday season shopping. No, not because I'm a "Scrooge" as my mom liked to say when I visited, but because we are trying to get serious about our financial goals, including paying down major chunks of my husband's student loans.
Since most family members knew that I have been striving towards a minimalist lifestyle recently, most opted not to give me anything and some only gave me super practical gifts, which I was thankful for. I clearly explained the reasons why we weren't participating so no one felt offended, and I think it's amazing when I see all the ads and sales that were before, during and after the holidays. All of the sales and deals bring people into the stores to buy things they don't really need!
Even my favorite new site (mint.com) sent out an email recently that suggested to add a goal to pay off holiday spending. It seems silly, but it's a sad fact that many people head straight into the red just for the sake of not looking like a Scrooge. I always hated debt so the thought of me spending money we don't have hasn't really appealed to me. I've been so careful in the last month and really become aware of where my money is spent. We had a rocky start, but you have to begin somewhere and we're looking forward to paying down our debt.
I cherish memories and moments with family members and friends more than a random gift. The whole minimalist lifestyle has really impacted what comes in to my house and what goes out of my checking account. It's about being happier, working towards a goal of being debt-free and removing objects from my life that are becoming burdensome. I feel the strides I made in just a few short months have really paid off, and that's exactly why we stood firm on maximizing our family time while keeping our financial goals in mind this holiday season.
Looking to embrace a minimalist lifestyle? Check out my posts below!
Cutting the Clutter: The 5 C's to More Happiness
5 Lessons I've Learned by Decluttering
Top 5 Reasons for Cutting the Clutter
Cutting the Clutter: Kitchen Revamp
Sell your crap. Pay off your debt. Do what you love.
Embracing a Minimalist Lifestyle
Kelsey is a passionate vegan living in Houston, Texas, spreading the word about the benefits of eating a healthy, plant-based diet. She's also a minimalist enthusiast, a self-proclaimed financial guru of her household, and founder of The Little Red Journal.