Friday Favs, Living Simply

Friday Favs

Becoming Minimalist is easily one of my favorite inspirational minimalist blogs I have come across in my minimalist journey.

Joshua Becker is a husband, father, and author who shares his story about how his family found minimalism and the impact it has had on their lives. His story proves that minimalism is for everyone, not just single, rich white guys.

On Becoming Minimalist, you will find blog posts on everything from decluttering to Christmas shopping for minimalists.

Every blog post is filled with useful, thought-provoking content on a variety of subjects that many perspective-minimalists and pro-minimalists alike will enjoy reading.

I hope you check his site out!

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Living Simply, Uncategorized

A Merry Minimalist Christmas

In my humble opinion, the best gifts are ones shared with loved ones and getting to experience something memorable together.

If you are trying to figure out what you should get your friends, family and significant others for Christmas, but don’t want to add more unnecessary clutter to their lives, I’ve got a few ideas for you!

Minimalism and Christmas actually can go hand-in-hand. After all, the man himself, Dr. Suess said it best,

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
What makes a gift good isn’t the store from where it was purchased, the price tag or anything like that. What really makes a good gift is the memories that can be shared this holiday season.
So, if you are looking to go the more minimalistic route this Christmas, give an experience instead of a thing. Here are a few ideas!
  • A surprise picnic.

Take inventory of your loved one’s favorite drinks and snacks and make a run to the grocery store! Pack up a basket with a blanket, food to share, a Christmas-y playlist, a fun game or two, and enjoy each other’s company!

Now, during this time of year, this idea is for those who live in warm climates. If you live where it snows, use this idea, but bring it inside! Make a pillow fort and hang some Christmas lights and you’re golden!
  • A show.
I love this type of gift! You can get dressed up and feel all classy while you indulge in the arts. Check your local theaters to see what performances or plays are coming up and snag a couple tickets for you and your friend! They could even be in the nose-bleed section, but still, nothing beats getting to experience a magical musical show or concert with a loved one during the holidays!
  • Explore a new city
This idea can be really fun if you get creative! If you know of a town or city close by that you have yet to explore (or maybe the city you’re in has a really cool vibe!) create a list of 10 questions that lead your person to different places to do different things. For example, Atlanta has super sweet places like the Georgia Aquarium and SkyView. Make cute riddles and have something special waiting for them at each stop–whether it is a photo op or an activity!
Gift-giving doesn’t have to break the bank, and it doesn’t even have to be about the bank. Make this holiday season one for the books by truly celebrating it with loved ones and sharing in the Christmas season magic together.
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Living Simply

Being Financially Free in 2017

As twenty-something’s, there are many things we never realized the significance of until they’re gone.

Among other things, I have realized that I can never get my laundry to smell the way my mom can. Food always tastes better when dad buys it. Clothes are cuter when they come from my sisters closet. These are things we take for granted when we live with our families under one roof.

If you had this similar type of upbringing, you can attest to the fact that moving out for the first time was quite the game changer when it came to the grip you held on to your wallet (or lack thereof). It was a gradual process. It was a few breakdowns and a couple therapeutic trips to Target later that I realized adulthood was real life. Bills are mine to pay now. Student loans after graduating are a thing. Spending $10 on every meal I ate out was adding up more than my minimum wage job was keeping up.

Saving has never been an issue for me. I love to save. It was the process in how much I chose to save and how much I chose to spend on each paycheck that was leaving me confused and feeling like managing my finances were simply out of my control.

If you are anything like I was, I wouldn’t look at my bank account for weeks on end, afraid of the minuscule number I may see once I logged in.

One day, frustrated as heck, I decided that the best way to rid myself of the anxiety and stress money was giving me, I would halt my spending and make do with the things I own and save every penny I made at work. (Read here about how I found and applied the Contentment Challenge to my life!)

Here are my quick tips for being financially free in 2017. A new year’s resolution you can actually keep!

  • Own your stuff.

Literally and metaphorically. Look around you. You have so many things. Things that serve a purpose and some things that don’t. Get rid of the things that don’t do anything for you. Sell them, gift them, donate them, but whatever you do, be honest with yourself. Ask yourself: “am I purchasing things because of necessity or want?” and your spending habit will form a healthier mindset. Also, own up to your stuff. The person you were and the things you accumulated happened because of poor decision-making. Be aware of that. Change the way you see things. If you have the basics, you have everything you need. Everything else is just fluff.

  • Chart it.

Take inventory of your income and outgoing spending. What are some things you can cut in order to pay off outstanding bills? Any kind of debt is bad debt, you don’t want extra payments looming over you. If you find that you can cut some expenses and re-route that money toward paying off debt, do it! It’ll speed up the process of eliminating that underlying stress you don’t need in your life!

  • Live free.

You own your stuff, not the other way around. You can live in financial freedom today by knowing you’re working towards something great. You may not be free from debt, but you can be free from the stress and anxiety of not knowing what your financial plan is long-term. Take responsibility for your spending life and you’ll gain the confidence you need for making every financial decision with intentionality.

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Living Simply

7 Practical Ways to Practice Minimalism Every Day

Our day-to-day lives are slammed with a multitude of things vying for our attention. It happens over time as we slowly integrate and adapt to trends, new forms of media, new relationships, more homework, etc.

Take a step back and analyze your mental and physical health. Are you tired? Overwhelmed? Over-stimulated? Do you feel like you are constantly searching for more things to bring you happiness? Do you feel like you never have enough time in the day to get all your tasks done? If you identified with any of these questions, consider taking the time to read through and apply some of these simple tools to your life to guide you into living a more intentional life!

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Encouragement courtesy of my bedroom wall Junior year.

Prioritize

Minimalism is based on the concept that we must get rid of the things that do not add value to our lives. What do you spend most of your time doing? Make a list of 3-6 things you love. If you aren’t doing those things every day, re-evaluate where you place your time.

Declutter

Where you spend your time impacts the quality of your day. Do you rummage through piles of items to find a pair of shoes or that notebook for class? Have you noticed that your closet is stuffed, but you reach for only a handful of items each week? Give your space a detox as often as you notice things aren’t being used for any benefit, or if they do not spark joy.

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Hot air balloon taking off over Disney Springs.

Disconnect

Notifications on your phone for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, email, text, and the list goes on and on, leave you with a false sense of urgency. Those things can wait. Turn them off.

Breathe

In order to truly disconnect, we must first connect with ourselves. Taking the time to breathe and examine the state of your mental health is of utmost importance. Consciously breathe and take things slow when you start to feel overwhelmed. Nothing is more important than your well-being.

Write

When we write, we are connected even more to the inner workings of our mind. Free-writing is simple yet helpful in clearing out the cobwebs and making space for only fruitful thoughts. Grab a pen and a piece of paper and let yourself loose.

Unsubscribe

We should all aspire to be life-long learners, but too much information at our fingertips dilutes what is actually meaningful to our lives. Pick a few favorite sources to subscribe to and say goodbye to the rest. You don’t need to know or have it all.

Relax

They weren’t kidding when they said Rome wasn’t built in a day, and that truly can apply to the standards you hold yourself to. Relax. You are a beautiful creation capable of so many incredible things. Be mindful of yourself, your space, your possessions, the value of your time and your well-being. But most of all, relax. You are one human in the world of billions. Let go of what isn’t making you a better person and strive every day to do your best.

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