Calm. I feel much more calm this week, which is actually surprising considering all the chaos that surrounds my life at the moment. What is my secret, you may ask? Faith.
So I know last week I set goals for myself to accomplish, and although I did make a fair sized dent, it did not get completed. What I found to be much more important was re-centering myself in my Faith. This whole time, I have been trying to explain precisely why I was so encouraged to pursue a minimalist lifestyle. Although there are many other reasons, I believe the most important of these is to truly be able to focus on God and making sure he is always at the center of my life, my marriage, my relationships. With all the clutter in both my house and my mind, it was becoming much more difficult to do this.
Perhaps it was literally God switching the light on in my mind last week, but I found myself one day enjoying the top Christian playlists (trust me guys-it’s awesome and catchy!), spending more time on Pinterest saving Faith-based “pins” instead of fashion items and home decor, and praying. I have always made sure to say at least one prayer a day, but lately these have been more hollow. Last week, I made it more a point to spend more time each day talking to God. I believe the combination of all these events is what has lead to so much more calmness in my life already.
So, what does this have to do with minimalism? Well-everything. As I said before, while pursuing a minimalist lifestyle will have many benefits for myself and my family, the greatest benefit, at least for me alone, will be my ability to focus more on my relationship with God. Trust me, after a year like we have had, I could use a little more God in my life.
Anyways, getting back to my updates from last week.As a reminder, I decided to close out the month with the following:
setting realistic goals
getting organized with bill paying schedules
updating my planner
and updating our household budget.
First of all, the budget was a shocker! Although, neither my husband nor myself make a lot of large impulse purchases, we discovered we have an issue with spending too much money of food and beverages. My weak link is definitely buying lunches (when your sister lives 5 minutes from your work this is often hard to avoid) and my husband has a metabolism of a 7 year old and an addiction to coffee. Altogether, we spent $300 in September alone on coffee, snacks, lunches and several dinners out. Yikes! As a comparison, we spent about half that on groceries (and I like to cook!). Moving forward we are going to work to make a point to limit our spending in this area. There are a few other areas of the expenses and budget we need to analyze and figure out what we can cut back. All-in-all though we are still doing very well with money in vs money out. I am not too happy with some of our credit card expenses but we can easily work to get those paid off in a few months. Unfortunately, we did not have a lot of time to both sit down and come up with a solid game plan but we should hopefully be able to do that this week.
I did successfully update my planner and have been actively getting better at meal planning instead of just winging it. Last week I took out 1 lb our ground hamburg and 1 lb of ground pork and made stuffed peppers and meatloaf. We ate the stuffed peppers for dinner and then had leftovers and dinner options for those crazy nights where I didn’t have time to cook an entire meal. There was, unfortunately, one unforeseen night where we had to run errands and ended up grabbing dinner while we were out.
All-in-all I think we are in good shape to move forward. For this month I decided to choose a “challenge” that encompasses a range of areas in my life. This will be a great way to kick start everything and force me to evaluate more than just what I wear. Here it is for anyone interested in joining me!
Each week I will show proof that I checked each item off the list, or explain why I may not have. Since there are exactly 30 days in November I am choosing to start the challenge today and will plan to update each weekend following.
Who wants to join me?