Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Over-Spender Turned Minimalist: Why We're Choosing To Live With Less.

First and foremost, I feel like the word minimalist is still fairly unknown. What the heck is a minimalist, anyway? Well.. It can mean many things.. I personally define it as someone who chooses to be intentional with what they allow in their life. Simply put, the purpose of a minimalist life is to have more of what really matters to you and less of the crap that doesn't. And i'm not just talking clutter.

I've been "wanty" for as long as I can remember. I grew up envious and materialistic. I always wanted the next best thing. Never slowing down to stop + look around and take in what I was already blessed with. Basically, about as far from a minimalist as you can get, you'd find me. So, If you have known me in anyway then watching us practice minimalism might have thrown you for a complete loop or at the very least produced a nasty side eye.. The idea of CHOOSING to live with less was foreign to me but that is just it. Matt and I are CHOOSING this lifestyle, choosing a slower paced life, choosing what is really worth our energy, we by no means HAVE to. I think the "want to" vs the "have too" is important. We want a more simple life with less stuff. We want more adventure + freedom and we want to use our money in a more intentional way.

I feel we've always had it in our hearts to live more simply but we've always brushed it off and kept checking that check list.. oh you know, the one society pushes down our throats. Matt and I got our first apartment, check. Got a bigger apartment, check. Got married, check. Had a baby, check. Traveled, check. Built a house, check. Had another baby, check. Built a bigger house, check, check, check. Anyone else tired of feeling like you're just living for an imaginary check list and not actually living?

If you asked us today what has been our favorite place we've lived.. Matt and I, would both reply with our first apartment. It was tiny, older and we had no idea what we were doing. We had a hand-me- down couch, bed set and barely anything else. But that apartment felt like home. It had a small porch enough for two chairs with french doors and it was perfect. It wasn't the water view, 80's kitchen, hand-me-downs or the size of the space that made it so dear to our hearts it was the feeling of peace. The simplicity. That apartment had everything we needed and nothing we didn't.

A year ago, Matt and I, challenged ourselves to a spending entire month of not spending a dime outside of necessities. Looking back, I think we were begging/looking for a way to change our ways but didn't know how. That spending freeze was hard. REAL hard. Maybe because it was 100 to 0 or maybe our mindset or maybe it felt like deprivation. But it turned us off to any sort of budget or restriction. Which in turn kept us  repeating this cycle we really didn't want to be on. We needed to get on a budget, change our mindset and take control. Because we were drowning in our own chaos.

Six months ago was our turning point. Matt and I were at our wits end and we finally got on a realistic budget. We sat down together and actually looked at where our money, time and energy was going. Since June, we've only used cash, paid off some debts and listed our house. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Just the beginning of our journey into more intentional living and i'm so glad I can take you along for the ride.

This has been a painful journey of personal growth along with unlearning a lifetime of beliefs and lies I've tricked myself into thinking to be true. In all honesty, I feel a deep sense of freedom + ease, even reduced anxiety having let those feelings go. I feel like i'm FINALLY speaking my truth. The debt, the loans, the tiny apartment, all the cars, the very large closet. A life that always looked good on the outside but felt overwhelming on the inside.  I finally stumbled upon a path that feels right. Minimalism. Here i am, proof that change is possible. Is it easy? It sure has heck SUCKS at times but the cost of your new life is your old one, sis.

Less, but better.
xo kristin

1 comment :

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