Stop the Work-Spend-Accumulate Cycle

Today, I am honored to have my first guest post! Jenny, from Ex-Consumer, and I met online via our blogs and we both appreciate so much what the other has to say! After you read her post here, be sure to go visit her. And next week, you will find ME over at her blog!

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On Friday, Bernice wrote about clearing some of the clutter from the main living areas in your home in her post titled, Does Having Less Stuff Make Life Easier? She gave all kinds of exceptional tips for getting the clutter under control in the areas of you home where clutter tends to accumulate the fastest. Today, I’m going to talk about the importance of controlled spending to keep new clutter from making its way back in your home.

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Even after you get the clutter cleared from the main areas of your home, you may find that it’s difficult to find ways to keep new clutter from entering into your home. One of the most effective ways to control the influx of new clutter is to stop spending money on things you don’t need.

What is a Need?

To clarify a little, let’s delve a little further into what exactly constitutes a need.

A need is:

  • Enough groceries to feed yourself and your family healthfully, but not so many that you have to consistently throw spoiled food away at the end of the week.
  • Personal care items you will use (shampoo, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.), but not the newest, shiniest products that you may or may not end up using.
  • Doctor visits and medicines you need to take.
  • Gas and maintenance for your car.

A need is not:

  • The magazine at the checkout line.
  • The new makeup you’ve been wanting to try.
  • The lunch or dinner out even though you have plenty of food at home.
  • The new gadget.
  • The cute, sparkly shoes your daughter would look so cute in.

Stop the Work-Spend-Accumulate Cycle

Many times we become so trapped in the work-spend-accumulate cycle, that we don’t even realize we’re doing it anymore. We throw the cute top in the cart because it’s on sale. We grab the new paperback off the shelf and purchase it because it’s only $7. We skim the $1 section at Target to see what kind of great deals we can get on crap we don’t need and won’t use. You get the point.

Each time we spend our hard earned money on something we don’t need, it usually ends up becoming clutter once we bring it home. And clutter robs us of both our time and happiness.

Are You Up for a Challenge?

Here is a little challenge. For the next two weeks, try not spending money on anything you don’t need, or can’t consume. This means no home goods or decorating items. No clothes you don’t need, products you may not use and no toys of any sort.

For Easter, this would mean instead of buying decorations, sparkly eggs and stuffed bunnies, you would buy things like Peeps, chocolate bunnies and some Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs. Once the edible items are consumed, they’re out of your life (except for what’s left on your hips). Although these items aren’t technically needs, you’ll probably want to celebrate the holiday with your children and this way no clutter is left behind.

Upon completing this challenge, you’ll find two things will have happened:

  1. You won’t have a lot of new store-bought clutter to shuffle around and manage in your home.
  2. You will have more money!

The Benefits of Beating the Work-Spend-Accumulate Cycle

Having less clutter to manage means you’ll have more time to do the things you care about. Things that make you happy! Having more money in the bank will give you more freedom to live life without the constant worry of getting that next paycheck. And really, what could be better than that?

Jenny writes about getting out of debt, becoming more frugal, living lighter, exploring the world of minimalism and all the life that falls in between on her blog, Ex-Consumer.

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