Hi, my name is Kim and I used to be a consumer-holic. I hang my head in shame when I type those words because all I want to do is be is some amazing eco-warrior who can live out of a small bag, recycle everything, only buy vintage clothing and eat food from my organic farm – but I don’t.
I love fashion, home decor, cosmetics and skincare, going out for delicious meals and beauty treatments.
But something has forced me into action. Lack of money. It’s okay, I am not worried or upset that the flow of funds I used to have has dried up because I am 100 times happier now. I get to make a living out of teaching singing and performing – it’s a dream come true! But my income is not yet where it used to be and so adjustments needed to be made.
I can’t go shopping for a new AW wardrobe, can’t accessorise the apartment, have to sparingly buy skincare and make do with what makeup I already have, go out for the occasional breakfast instead of dinners (which suits me fine as I LOVE brekky) and have a 20 minute Thai massage down the road once a fortnight rather than my hour long deep tissue treatments, pedicures and the like.
Yeah yeah, woe is me. Life must be so hard for you Kim. Not at all. You may not be able to relate to the pieces of my life that were MY luxuries – what are yours? Shoes? Books? Surf lessons? Regular weekend trips away?
When you are used to having so much and being able to snap your fingers and do just about anything, it feels quite restrictive when you cut that out. But it doesn’t need to be – it can be liberating.
Think in terms of using your time rather than spending money. Do you have boxes of loose receipts or hundreds of photos that you’ve never organised? Have you always wanted to learn a language, join a sports team or take an art class? Invest in a couple of activities that make you feel good and enable you to learn new skills.
Focus on your health. As I’ve said before, I now use a lot of my time to work on my health, from cooking nutritious meals to going to the gym most days. It takes time to create a healthy body and if you have just left full time employment, or have been working part time – you now HAVE the time!
DIY. There are so many recipes for delicious home made skincare, ideas for handmade gifts and if you’re really crafty I am sure you could take vintage finds and alter them to suit your shape.
Clear it out. I am sure most of us have items that we haven’t used in well over a year, collecting dust in our homes. Get rid of it. It will make you feel so much lighter knowing that your house is clutterless and that everything you own has a use or a purpose. eBay, garage sales and secondhand markets are a great way to make a few dollars. Alternatively, head straight for your local Salvation Army store, op shop or clothing collection bin.
Do you live simply already – how do you do it?
If not, how about you try it for just a month? Try to substitute some of your luxuries with alternatives.