My goodness it feels marvelous to get back to my minimalist way of life. After life exploded in March and April and with me finally coming to terms with our current situation, I was able to return to my form of minimalism. And it feels so damn good! My savings is back on track with my spending returning to my intended levels. Rather than paying off my car debt early and fully funding my Roth IRA, I’m going to save that money to see how things go. If towards the end of the year things seem to look better, I will take that money and pay off my car and fund my Roth IRA. If things go bad, I will have a better emergency fund. The interest saved/earned will not exceed the peace of mind knowing that I have a better emergency fund.
My No Spend 2020 guidelines give me clarity when things got messy. The guidelines were established during much calmer times but unlike most things these days those guidelines hold true today. The guidelines established a list of essential, non-essential, and approved for shopping sections. Here is a reminder of those lists:
- Essential List:
- Toiletries (only when I run out)
- Cosmetics (only when I run out)
- Gifts for others
- Training sessions and gym membership
- 20 for 2020 items
- Approved Shopping List:
- Replacement running shoes
- Purchase anything that must be replaced, but the original item must be discarded
- Brooklyn Public Library annual membership
- Amazon Prime
- Peppermint, lavender, or orange essential oils
- One yoga event
- Haircuts and all hair color must be done at home
- Family adventures
- Three books if they make the cut
- End table for the living room
- Non-Essential List
- Books… go to the library
- Magazines… read them quick while in line at the grocery store
- Yoga classes… doing yoga at home
- Manicures and pedicures
If you are looking to see the full details, check out my blog post from January. After looking over this list, I might actually have some additional ways to save money. I haven’t used makeup since March 17, 2020. My skin hasn’t felt better in my life. Maybe it’s the way my skin felt before I was pure pressured into wearing makeup. I always felt like I was the more natural person in the group (with the exception of high powered organic deodorant… there are just somethings I can’t let happen). I am truthfully considering going out into this world with a naked face and some mascara. Mascara is literally the only piece of makeup besides my plain lip gloss that I can’t seem to live without.
For the toiletries, I made a monthly list of items that I plan to purchase for the upcoming 12 months. For example in April I bought my husband a year supply of deodorant. The truth behind the annual toiletry purchases is that I’m lazy. I hate walking around looking for these items. I just want to grocery shop for food.
Under the approved shopping list, there likely won’t be any yoga events this year. I was originally planning to do the Times Square Summer Solstice yoga event. Wish it wasn’t likely to be cancelled because meditating in one of the busiest areas of the world showed me that anything is possible. Haircuts will be some time before they happen again. Since I haven’t been wearing makeup I also haven’t been flat ironing my hair and so my hair has become insanely healthy. This might be one of the positive side effects. I might get that long healthy hair I always dreamed of.
In the spirit of returning to my version of minimalism let me get on with sharing some cool information.
What Have I been Up To?
Earlier this week I mentioned to my husband that I never actually walked or drove through all the streets of my tiny little hometown. My hometown is small but beautiful. On Monday he declared that we would walk the streets of my tiny little hometown little section by little section as a little family. Adding in the fact that my hometown has fully embraced the decorative rock hunt it makes these walks memorable. It’s the perfect family goal.
Yesterday I just needed a little time in the woods alone after an intense work from home day. Sometimes getting completely lost in the woods helps put things into the perspective. It also helps build that problem solving muscle without the fight or flight. After an hour and 4 miles on my bicycle, I finally found my way home. Luckily I did not encounter any bears. I did learn that there is only so far I can go in the woods behind our house without finding my way into civilization so the getting lost part is not as scary. Plus I had a full bottle of water and a couple bars in my pocket. I woke up today with not a single sore muscle.
While most businesses are not open, I have been taking time to leave reviews for those businesses on Google. It is my little way to support local businesses. Do you leave reviews?
What Has Been In My Ears?
The best podcast that I have listened to all week comes from Gretchen Rubin.
Podcast 272: Make a “Power Hour After” List, a Conversation about Parenting with Dr. Elizabeth Schwarz, and Elizabeth Talks About “Alcohol-Free April.”
Per the Happier show notes, in this episode they discussed the following issues:
- how much do we worry about enforcing limits, homework, routines, etc? What should we maintain, what can we let go of?
- how do we deal with our own anxiety that our children will lose progress or miss out—such as with their social skills?
- how to help our children manage the uncertainty of the future (Elizabeth suggests making a flow chart of possible futures, to get more clarity on how different scenarios might play out)
- why to refrain from talking too much about the pandemic in front of your kids
- how to talk to children about serious financial issues, such as a job loss
- what are some benefits that families might be gaining from this time
What Do I Smell Cooking?
I FOUND A LOCAL BUTCHER! Thankfully I found a local butcher to not only cut back on the packaging waste but get the cuts of meat I need. In my opinion becoming friends with the farmer and butcher are key to my zero waste’ish plans. This weekend Mr. BMM promised to make me a brisket. Been craving that for months! Once I figure out his recipe, I will share it. It is certainly simple with minimal ingredients because of my food allergies.
Which Book Do I have my Nose in This Week?
There is a book that inspired Marie Kondo to write The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up! I’m not kidding you. Just started this book so I don’t have much to offer. Check back over the next couple of days when I post my book review.
Finding books that support my values, goals, and dreams helps me stay focused even if it seems that I keep reading the same book.