2018 Challenge #1: No Purchases For A Year!

I really enjoy doing monthly and, in this case, yearly challenges to continuously improve myself. The highlight of my multiple 2018 personal challenges will be:

Challenge #1: No buying clothes or ‘stuff’ for a year for myself except personal hygiene and food items. Experiences and travel are allowed and encouraged. Books can only be library borrowed.

I am not a huge purchaser of clothes and stuff, but I have never done something this radical before.  I am excited to see what happens, particularly I want to understand if the feeling of ‘not being able to’  do something actually makes me want it more OR if it will just feel like I don’t really have need or interest to purchase anything for myself anymore.

I will provide quarterly updates and introduce future challenges along with my other progress reports for 2018 financial, life goals and challenges.  Wish me luck!

How about you. Have you ever done similar challenges? What did you learn?

Minimalism Journey: Phase III

At this stage we switched towards monthly goals to try to keep this a new habit, a way of life, not just a thing to do once in a while.

Step 1: Goal

One month to 1/2 our book collection from 4 full shelves (28″ x 14″) with two rows of books each, plus three storage cubes full of kids’ books, to 2 full shelves and 1 kids’ bin.

Step 2:  Book Selection

Pairing down books is hard! And so we did it in stages, from easiest to hardest.

  1. Books in bad shape physically (recycled)
  2. Text books we will never use again
  3. Home design kind of books – we now do everything on online forums for ideas
  4. Children’s books that my kids have outgrown
  5. Travel guide books and maps
  6. Older books we don’t love and are not likely to read again, novels, etc.
  7. Books that we like but not on our immediate radar and are easily available at the library

Step 3: Assessing Results

The first 4 items above were relatively easy, 5 started to hurt and  6 and 7 were difficult, especially for my husband.

That said, I was surprised to feel relieved to give away books that “I will read some day” and were just sitting there (and my reading was going nowhere). Instead, I took out two books from the library during this time (on minimalism and happiness); I finished one in 2 days and in the process of reading the second one.

We still have a decent amount of books but this is good progress for us at this stage.  Further, we agreed not to acquire non borrowed or e-books from now on, else we will have to take 2 out for every one in.

Ready for Phase IV, our next challenge: Collections: old basketball cards from husband’s childhood and random coin collection from a family member that keeps sending them to us for holidays and birthdays :(.