Monday, December 22, 2014

My First Frugal Christmas

Who knew that by being frugal at Christmas time, this would enable me to have the best Christmas yet?  Last year, around this time of year, I embraced minimalism.  This year, I’ve boarded the frugal train and what a difference it’s made for me and my family.  Why spend close to two thousand dollars when I can spend two hundred and have a more memorable Christmas than any that came before?  Why go into more debt when my goal is to become debt free by next April?
A few months before Christmas, I let my friends and family know that we weren’t doing the big (read, “extravagant”) gift exchange this year.  Everyone, except my mom, was on board with this new idea.  It took the pressure off my adult children to spend money they didn’t have.  It took the pressure off me in that I didn’t need to spend countless hours shopping for that “perfect” gift that would probably end up in someone’s closet by the New Year.  This year, I could use my imagination to come up with gift ideas for my friends and family that were thoughtful, yet frugal.  For example, for my fiancé, I bought a deck of cards at the dollar store and on the outside of the deck taped a note that read, “52 Reasons Why I Love You” and then on each card I attached a note that gave a reason why I love him … 52 of them!  For my mom, I bought a photo album with the title, “memories” on the front.   I then bought $15 worth of scratch tickets and placed each of the tickets inside the album with a note next to each describing a memory she and I shared (based on the theme of the scratch ticket).  For my best friend, I created a gift certificate to take her out for a movie of her choice.

Yesterday, my adult children and my ex-husband came over for our yearly family get-together.  I provided a ginger bread house kit for us to make together and my youngest son and I made rice crispy squares together.  The kids brought me a home-made gift, too … a picture of the three of them, framed nicely in a frame they got at the dollar store.  Simple, frugal, and one of the best presents I’ve ever gotten!

I’m glad I’ve boarded the frugal train and I’m glad it happened before Christmas.  It’s amazing how good I feel this, my first frugal Christmas!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

This Too Shall Pass

by Yvette Ryder

Everything in life is temporary.

The other morning at the office, I felt an inexplicable sadness well up inside me.  From where this emotion came from, I do not know. What I did know was that even though I could not explain why I was feeling so sad, I did know, with certainty, that the feeling would pass. And it did!

Next time you find yourself getting caught up in negative emotions, think to yourself, "this too shall pass". Remember that nothing is permanent and everything in life is temporary ... even life itself.

Monday, February 17, 2014

What's in YOUR wardrobe?

by Yvette Ryder

Long before deciding to become a minimalist, I've had the following philosophy on acquiring new clothes:

 "Bringing home something new means getting rid of something old".

Not counting personal items, I currently have 34 pieces of clothing:
  • 4 pair dress pants
  • 4 blouses
  • 4 t-shirts
  • 4 light jackets
  • 3 sweaters
  • 2 blazers
  • 2 skirts
  • 2 pair jeans
  • 2 pair shorts
  • 2 vests
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 1 winter coat
  • 1 fall coat
  • 1 jean jacket
  • 1 bathing suit
Is it time to clean out your closet?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

iPhone Experiment - Update

by Yvette Ryder

Two weeks without iPhone??  I couldn't even go two days!!

Yesterday, I wanted to take pictures, but realized that the only camera I have is the one I use on the phone. Taking pictures wouldn't break my "fast", would it?  How about texting my son to get advice on what type of cell phone would be appropriate for my boyfriend?  And certainly I wouldn't be breaking my rules by texting a friend on her birthday?

As much as I hate to admit it, it looks like my cell phone is back in use ... at least for now.  Perhaps as I delve further into the minimalist life style, I will be able to "let go", but for now, living iPhone free is not for me.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My iPhone Experiment

By Yvette Ryder

In keeping with my philosophy of "letting go", I am now ready to part (temporarily) with my trusted companion ... my iPhone.

For the next two weeks I will live iPhone free.  I will no longer text and I will no longer keep checking my phone to see if anyone has texted me.  If I honestly and truly need to call someone, I will do what I did before having a cell phone ... use a regular phone.  What a concept!

I will report back in two weeks to let you know how living iPhone free has changed my life (if at all).