A strange side effect from not spending this month has been the desire to simplify in other areas. I've tried to straighten up the office. I went through my clothes and have a pile to drop off at Goodwill. The clean laundry didn't sit unfolded in the baskets as long as it would in a normal week. I'm keeping the kitchen cleaner. I'm actually wanting to weed in the garden.
All of these things may not seem like "simplifying" at first glance, but the desire to have my surroundings uncluttered is stemming from not doing the opposite- shopping, accumulating, buying.
Last weekend, on a whim, I threw together a care package for my brother-in-law whose headed back to college soon. I picked up a few free things at CVS, then proceeded to check around the house, seeing if we had anything he could use at college.
Mac & cheese.
A first aid kit.
All unopened, new in the packaging.
While it was really cool I was able to get a gift together by just looking for stuff around the house, it occurred to me later- how much is enough? When does stockpiling become hoarding? How much extra stuff do I really need to store, "just in case"? Also, how much room would I find in my house if I got rid of stuff I may not ever use?
This No-Spend Month experiment really makes you think.
Another note: Though this care package was a gift I could get from gathering stuff from around the house, I don't want to imply gifts are worth skimping on. Gifts, especially the gift of Experiences and Time, are worth every penny for important relationships in your life. That's why we went to a birthday dinner with friends earlier this month, and that's why we're taking my mom out for her birthday tonight. Relationships matter, even with a silly experiment going on.
Spent $0.13 at CVS in tax on Sunday.
Also, spent $0.35 at the office on snacks, because I under-packed my lunch yesterday.
Previous Total: $54.17
New Total: $54.65