Photo by Jorunn Lorenzen
I was always telling myself to focus on quality over quantity, to increase savings, to reduce impulse buying, to only go near the shops when I actually needed something, and to wait 24 hours before buying something if I thought I needed it.
I rarely succeeded at meeting these goals until recently, but I am changing these behaviours, and I am doing it a lot quicker than I expected considering these are such lifelong habits.
For the first time in my life, I have stopped ‘wandering the shops’, I have seen my savings grow, and I have talked myself out of impulse buys on the spot; I am living with less and enjoying life more.
It has been like my new exercise regime; at first it was hard and full of emotional struggles, but I stuck with it and began to feel the benefits. Then I went a little crazy with it – but I was just starting to see the difference it could make in my life.
For the first time in ten years, I was living on my own. I moved into a unit, and I was worried about the move, only taking what I could manage; I took only what I perceived I needed at the time. I didn’t have a lot of savings and only allowed myself to buy items when I needed them.
I found myself focusing more on what I valued and less on what was easy or habitual, and this became easier. I spent less time buying items I didn’t need, with money I would much rather spend on significant experiences, and I saved time cleaning all these unnecessary items.
I found more time to do what I loved. I began writing more and watching less TV; after a couple months, I wasn’t watching any TV. I am reading more books and have more time to relax and more quality time with friends and family, as opposed to the rushed and all too infrequent catch-ups I was trying to fit in before.
Then I was offered a new job, but it was 2,800 km away. The move seemed like fresh air in my lungs. I thought about moving that far, and then I looked around at my significantly reduced item collection and decided I needed to, and could, reduce it by at least another half.
I am sitting here now just before the move. I have reduced the items that once filled a five-bedroom house down to five medium-sized boxes, one car and three suitcases (which I will live out of until I can find an apartment that can hold the boxes).
And I couldn’t be happier; I have that feeling of a weight being lifted, and it is a little addictive.