Buy this! Spend More! You need that!
These are the constant messages we are fed.
No wonder people are broke and living paycheck to paycheck. Using their credit cards until they are maxed out. And then struggling to make the minimum payments. And of course carrying a balance on a credit card is the worst thing you can do.
What is a minimalist lifestyle?
It is whatever you want and need it to be. It is about wanting less and saving more. No clutter. Less debt. Or no debt. It can be done.
It is about questioning what is truly important to you. Do you really need all of the stuff you currently have. If not maybe you could sell it or donate it.
A minimalist lifestyle is about slowing down and valuing what is truly important. Spending time with yourself and with people that matter to you.
And now the holiday season is fast approaching and I am sure a lot of folks are getting stressed about the amount of money that they will spend.
Well why not take a different approach to the holiday season this year.
Sit down with your family and explain that you want to just enjoy the season and family time.
It doesn’t have to be about rushing around and being stressed and spending money that you don’t really have.
It can be about family and love and quality time.
It is okay to not spend money.
It takes only a bit of creative thinking to come up with alternatives to excessive consumerism. Some ideas:
- It is okay to regift! Students at Trinity Western University [Langley, BC, Canada] set up a free store, bringing things they didn’t need and trading with each other.
- One family does a “make or bake” among siblings, exchanging names and producing one homemade gift each.
- Some families now include sponsoring a child overseas or providing a goat or chickens for a micro-enterprise as a means of teaching their children to reach out to others. Or they help out at a soup kitchen or deliver Christmas hampers together.
- Time is often a bigger gift than money. Creating coupons that offer free babysitting or housecleaning, a neck massage or a special treat can mean more than a stocking stuffer.
- Offer to teach someone a skill you have.
- Write a poem, tell a story, draw or paint a picture or take a photograph and present it in a creative way.
- Give fairly traded coffee, tea or chocolate, get beautiful items at garage sales or buy gifts from shops that support artisans in poorer countries.
- Make your own cards from recycled paper.
- Avoid commercial wrapping paper, ribbons, bows and tape, which are not recyclable, and opt for gift bags, tea towels or nice boxes, which are eco-friendly.
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