Keeping it simple is a frugal way to live. And is easy to implement.
For starters, your family should agree that for every possession brought into the home, another must go. For instance, if your daughter wants a new shirt, she will have to give up something in exchange. Live by this principle, and you are already cutting waste.
To take it a step further, go through everything you own. Start in the living room, and continue until all rooms in your home are done. Get rid of what is not necessary. Do you really need 20 shirts? A television in every room? 10 purses or pairs of shoes? What about 5 fry pans and 3 slow cookers? (Okay, I do need 2 slow cookers. I use them both pretty much weekly. But if you aren’t using it, is it really necessary?)
This process should be more difficult for your children than it is for you, but you can get away with it by explaining that what they do not keep will go to people in need. Fill boxes with the items that will be leaving your home, to be dropped off at Goodwill or another location. Children often like helping others, so this could work in your favor.
Try to aim for getting rid of at least 1/3 of your possessions. More would be better.
Once the above steps have been taken, each time you want to bring something else into the household you will have to stop and think about what item you will be willing to give up. If you aren’t willing to give something up, then you will not get the new thing.
At the holidays and birthdays it is a little more difficult. You do not know what someone might give you. Just be aware that the rule still applies. For each gift, give up something else. For example, if you get new socks donate the same number of old ones.
Now, don’t just throw things away. Giving to charity helps others in need, but you could also sell the items. Everyone may be more willing to join in if they know they are going to be going away for a long weekend, or that they will be treated to a movie at the theater. You decide what is right for your family.
Simplicity is important. When we don’t have everything we want all the time, we learn important lessons. We teach our children these lessons. They must learn what is really important to them, and what they can live without. Good skills. Necessary ones for their future.
What steps are you taking to make your life simpler this year? Feel free to share in the comments to this post, or to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The simple life is a frugal life.
NOTE: By possessions, I am not referring to consumables such as food, personal hygiene items, school supplies and cleaning products.