There are a lot of blogposts on the web like “how to declutter your life in 10 steps” or quite similar topics, but I am not a specialist on decluttering like Marie Kondo, just an everyday girl.
What I would like to share with you is more about why and how I started my journey on decluttering my life and start save money. Because My Friends, it is a journey, and it does not happen in one day, nor one weekend, nor an entire week!
Some new habits have to be taken. Commitments have to be settled. Promises have to be kept. And of course little sacrifices have to be done along the way.
This is the reason why I prefer to start writing on that topic by first telling you about my story on how I decided to stop buying things and save money, basically.
Do you know José Mujica? He has been the President of Uruguay from 2010 to 2015, and here is what he says about our Society of Consumerism (this is an extract of 2 minutes from the documentary Human by Jahn Arthus-Bertrand )
When you buy something you don’t buy it with money you buy it with hours of your life!
What a thoughtful men and how precious his words are. Whenever I doubt, whenever I feel down on my journey to simplify my life, I think about his words. So here is how my story began:
Last year, I wanted to buy a car, my first ever car! I wanted a second hand one, not expensive at all, you know: just a car. And then, my Boyfriend, who is a wise soul, told me: “when you buy a car, you have to love it, because you are going to be in it every single day.” My Boyfriend is not only the love of my life, he is also my best friend, and someone I trust. So I thought about it.
Long story short, I came for the “New Car” proposal! At that time I could have taken a “small loan” with “small interests”, and then I thought: the interests I’m going to pay off, as tiny they can be, are time of my life as José Mujica said and I don’t want to offer time of my life to my Banker…!
As a consequence, instead of getting my car immediately I started to save money for 7 months and buy my car cash!
Here is how I proceed:
I built an excel table with all my expenses and revenues, to track exactly how I was using my money. Then, I cut off all the unnecessary expenses, like phone insurance (15 euros per month), newspaper subscriptions (more or less 18 euros per month), 4G on my phone (I use wifi only, 30 euros per month), coffee that I could have made at home, etc…, etc… A total of more or less 100 euros per month.
Also, every time I wanted to buy something like clothes, make-up, stationary, … I was first looking to what I already had in my wardrobe, at my desk, … and guess what: I was already possessing a similar item !
Of course it was a kind of sacrifice so to speak, but at the end of the day, not buying that item, not add an additional and useless object at home was really rewarding. Because I was (and I am more and more) feeling in control of my Life! My Happiness is less and less fulfilled by material things!
But don’t get me wrong, I did go to the restaurant once in a while, I did buy a good book from time to time, but I did that in a thoughtful and planned manner.
After I bought my car in April this year, I thought that I was going back to normal, but I did not. I learnt a lot my Friends, I am still learning, and I have ideas and thoughts to share with you, and I hope will interest you…?
Whatever you do, enjoy the journey, not the final result, because the entire life is a journey and the end result is a second.