Last year I made a vow, that I would only buy items that were needed and avoid the wants as much as possible. My spending habits needed a reset, our budget needed a kick in the butt and I needed to jolt feelings of discontent far out of my mind.
I felt like I was stuck in this place were I thought I needed things, but really they were just things I wanted but told myself I had to have them. Those new boots needed to be in my closet, because I didn’t have a pair with buckles like that. In my head I was still working in fashion full time, even though I had technically left it to be home with the kids. It’s actually pretty exhausting, feeling like you constantly want or need some thing. Because the thing is, there is always going something – you make the purchase of that bag you’ve been coveting and instantly there is something else that fails at the top of your need/want list. It’s an exhausting, expensive cycle.
Since I wasn’t working full time, and Chris held the title for main breadwinner (still reigning title holder) – I needed to re-think our finances. I haven’t always been the best with money, and working in the fashion only made that worse. Before setting the NEED ONLY rule, I tried making a family budget and the list of items I thought needed to be on there (but were really just wants) was pretty long and made it so confusing. I wanted to learn to live below our means (I feel like living below your means, should be one of life’s golden rules), and always stay one step ahead – so that life would hopefully (eventually) would be a little less stressed out and a lot more simple and beautiful.
There is nothing wrong with wanting things, it’s impossible not to. But the thing is, when you are always wanting and wishing it has a tendency to breed discontentment inside of you. That feeling of constantly wishing and wanting, can put blinders on preventing you from seeing the amazing things that are in front of you. Discontentment, is a gross and ugly feeling – I have been there ( I can actually think of 4 really stand out times where this gross feeling had a pretty big stab at me) and I didn’t want it in my life anymore. Changing what I wanted and how I saw things, needed to happen.
Yesterday I went grocery shopping meal plan and list in hand, marking down each item and how much it cost as I put it in the cart (I’ve turned anal retentive with my grocery shopping). I realized how my entire outlook on shopping (even the basics) have changed, how I get a rush from hitting my grocery budget (as opposed to the rush of buying a ton of food we didn’t need, and often had to toss cause it was never eaten and was probably pretty unhealthy). I actually get a great feeling when I think there is something I want, only to find reasons why I don’t need it. It’s like I have conditioned myself to think the opposite way, instead of thinking of the reasons why I need to buy those boots (because they are just so cute) I think of the reasons why I don’t need them, and 99% of the time I walk away feeling better not buying them. It’s been a crazy shift and only recently have I seen the long term (and hopefully forever) effects my shopping rules have had….
ONLY BUY WHAT YOU NEED.
- when you are shopping, buy more timeless essentials and less trendy items. you want your closet to slowly be full of items that can be interchangeable when styled and don’t go out of style each season. trends are awesome and fun, and you can’t not take part so when possible buy the most wearable version of your favorite trend you don’t need to take part in every one.
meal plan! buy what you need and maybe an extra easy fall back meal or two, for those nights you don’t want to cook – so instead of going out or ordering out, you have the fall backs to go to.
ONLY BUY WHAT YOU LOVE.
- this has been my steadfast rule, since forever. if you are iffy about something, put it back. if you know you are going to think about it for weeks or months to come if you don’t buy it, then you should probably get it. sometimes, something is super awesome and you might love it on other people – but when you try it, you don’t love it on yourself…put it back. eventually your closet will also be filled with things you love, and things will automatically be versatile and easily styled together.
TRY TO ONLY BUY ITEMS THAT FIT INTO BOTH RULES. but this isn’t always going to be possible, but if it is – major bonus.
We still dress stylishly, but more focused and our closets are full favorites (or are slowly getting there). We eat healthier, less junk also means smaller grocery bills. I use these rules when shopping for the kids and for Chris and I. When the kids need pants (or anything else), I don’t just buy whatever because they need them – I look and buy what we love (and need) so it will get the most wear and use. Instagram, Pinterest and blogs have a bad reputation for breeding discontent in people – but it’s all how you view the beautiful content, it’s not the contents fault (or the content creators) if it stirs those feels up. The only Joneses you need to keep up with are the ones you tell yourself too, so unless you know an awesome couple named The Jones you can probably get rid of them all together.
*an old picture from the Fall, and the weather looks dreamy in it!