Friday, January 9, 2015

Frugal Friday- the very first one

Today is the first day I am starting Frugal Fridays. We just had our fourth child recently and, even though I tried working outside the home for a bit, we decided it was not what was the best for our family.  So we are raising four children on a single income; frugal living is crucial to our life.  We could not live the life God has called us to live if we didn't live frugally.

We are actually moving at the beginning of next month to a smaller home.  Our current home is about 1400 sq ft so downsizing to a 1200 sq ft home that we are living to means that we really have to pair down our lives.  I have started looking at minimalist living in order to do that.  We will- by necessity- have to become minimalists.  If we don't embrace minimalist the lifestyle then we will be overrun with clutter and stress.

You may wonder what minimalism has to do with frugality- well for one, the more stuff you have, the more money you spend maintaining, organizing, and using that stuff.  You have more clothes? You have to wash the clothes, repair the clothes, hang or put the clothes somewhere.  You have more toys? Batteries, toy boxes, and fixing broken pieces.  You have more furniture? Furniture polish and cleaning supplies and repair of that furniture.  Etc, etc.  

Minimalist living is something I have not fully embraced before.   It has been hard to get rid of the things in our life.  I get attached to all the shoes, all the books, all the clothes, sentimental things.  I know now that it's not necessary.  We don't need so much. We don't need everything.  So for now the plan is purge. purge. purge. 

For clothes- the kids will each have 10 shirts (all my kids need to wear a strict dress code at school) and 5 pair of pants.  The girls will each get a dress and a skirt.  They each will get 2 pairs of shoes (one for everyday, one for special occasions but they will be able to keep winter boots to play outside).  Hubby and I will each get have a capsule wardrobe and keep 5 pair of shoes.  I think for me the shoes will be my hardest thing to pair down.  I have 8 pairs of boots alone, then there are the 4 pairs of sandals, the 3 pair of tennis shoes, the 2 pair of clogs, etc.  I will try not to cheat on the shoes!!! 

Toys- we are keeping a rack of each level of book- board books for the baby, picture books for the middle kids and chapter books for the older kids.  We are getting rid of a lot of the adult books too.  We are giving each kid a single toy box for toys (minus the legos and blocks and toy kitchen).  For both toys and clothes our rule is going to be one in, one out.  So if the kids get a new toy or outfit they need to pick one to donate. 

We are getting rid  of several pieces of furniture and we are selling lots of our extras.  That is a Dave Ramsey suggestion- sell what you can!  I have furniture, clothes, purses, and other extras that I can sell.  Most people have a few things that they have extra that they can sell.  If you have bills to pay, that can help or even if you just put that money in the bank for a rainy day (we all know that they come a lot when we are least ready). 

Living simply is definitely not what our culture tells us to do! But how is all that "stuff" bettering your life anyway?  Does the clutter make you feel better? Usually if we really think about it, clutter only makes us stressed and unhappy. 

Do you have a way that you can de-clutter?  Are you living a minimalist life?  Is that something that would appeal to you? I would love to hear what you think.

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