A Year of Less: February Plans and Progress


So with January’s No-Spend turned Low-Spend experiment behind us, I’ve been decompressing a bit so far in February.  I honestly cannot believe we’re practically halfway through this month!

I’m still definitely working on our Year of Less.  I am working hard to be mindful about each and every penny I spend.  instead of the old “see it, want it, buy it” mentality, I’ve been doing a “see it, want it, ask myself if I truly need it” mentality.  This involves envisioning how useful it really will be, analyzing its cost versus its usefulness and being really honest with myself about whether I really need it or if I simply want to need it (in order to justify getting it).  Then if I still think I should get it, I make a mental note to mull it over for a few weeks and then get it later if I still need it.  That gives me time to price shop and wait for a sale or coupon.

I’ve been doing this for quite some time.  I’ve talked myself out of buying a Silhouette Cameo and a new gas grill for months with this method.  My conclusion is that I don’t really *need* either.  The grill certainly seems like more of a necessity than the Cameo;  I can actually make a case for needing a grill.  (Since I really crave real grilled chicken–not faux-grilled in my George Foreman–in my primal-friendly salads that make up the core of my daytime diet when I’m eating right.)  But ultimately, I can still cook chicken without the grill.

But I do think that having a grill would enhance my quality of life so I did decide to buy one.  But when?  My decision on that has been to purchase a grill at the end of February so long as no other unexpected/large expenses come up.

Part of this plan is to clean up and sell my George Foreman Evolve, not because I’ll get that much money for it, but because I just don’t have space in our smallish kitchen for all the small appliances I have.  So getting an outdoor grill will allow me to clear out all the space that the Evolve and it’s accessories take up!  (I have waffle plates, grill plates, omelet plates, cupcake plates and cake plates…most of which have never been used!)  I will probably sell a few other unused or rarely used gadgets while I’m at it.  I have a never-used juicer, for instance.  It’s not that I don’t like the idea of juicing.  I do.  I may start doing it regularly some day.  But after trying and returning several disappointing expensive juicers, I bought a cheap one with a really narrow chute.  And because of that flaw, I don’t use it.  I don’t have the patience to cut all my veggies into slender pieces when I factor in all the clean-up juicing involves.  I’d be better off reclaiming my space for now and if I really want to juice again in the future, I can pay better attention to features when choosing a machine.

But back to the Cameo–I almost did click BUY on that one during Silhouette’s amazing Black Friday sale.  It was the best deal but I knew that I had a house that still wasn’t completely unpacked, still needed to be organized and decorated and that heading into the holidays I was not going to have time to learn and use the Cameo.  I pictured it sitting with my sewing machines and many other unused craft items for months on end until I finally could get to a place where I felt justify spending time doing something *just for fun.*  Since we’re almost in the middle of February and I’m *still not there* I think my decision to hold off on the Cameo was a good one!

Spending isn’t the only facet of having a Year of Less.  Getting rid of things is another huge part of that.  I’ve been decluttering and re-organizing and purging.  I’m putting into practice all the tips and advice I’ve gleaned from books and blogs over the past several years.  One big thing that helps me is to put things where I’ll see and remember them rather than where they’ll be prettiest (can you tell I’ve read a bunch of books about organizing for people with ADD?).  I got new hampers and put them right under the towel rack in the master bath.  Suddenly I’m washing hubby’s clothes before he runs out and has to scavenge for things to wear in the AM!  I hung a clipboard for my Monthly Bill Payment Record right beside my desk!

I’ve done similar things in my bathroom and am implementing these types of systems in other areas of the house. I’m keeping a list of supplies I need for certain organizational ideas and instead of rushing out and buying everything, I’m spacing it out and buying what I need for one project at a time.  That way I don’t buy stuff and have it sit around (or even worse….get lost!) before I get to it.  Hubby also has gotten on board and has made amazing progress organizing and purging the garage and shed.

Things are shaping up…2013 is going to be a great year!


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