The words 'Live With Less' for me, are not just about a t-shirt. If you've followed my blog even just for a few months you've probably heard me talk about the 'Live With Less' t-shirts I've been selling since September. The t-shirt, in my mind, has two goals. To raise money for clean water for people in Africa who don't have access to it. I don't want to just live with less stuff, I want to give more. The second goal is to encourage and inspire others to 'live with less' on a daily basis. The t-shirt project has been so fun for me. Starting a project like this brings inspiration, opportunities, and even new friendships. But I'm not just the "seller", I'm also a participant. It'd be kind of silly if I were seeking to inspire others to 'live with less' but I weren't actually doing it myself. I'm still growing in this area and I am by no means the expert. But I'm trying and I'm making progress and that's what matters right? Progress? And by the way, this whole 'Live With Less' is not meant to be intimidating. I'm not expecting people to get rid of 90% of their possessions and move into a studio apartment and live off the land and only rely on a bicycle as their main mode of transportation. If that happens to be the way you live then GO YOU! But for most of us it's not. My hope for you (which is the same hope I have for myself) is that you can identify a few areas of excess in your life and figure out how you can take the control back. Jen Hatmaker wrote an incredible book called "7" that takes a much deeper look into riding your life of excess. If this idea intrigues you, you should read it.
So here's what I'm currently doing to 'live with less'....
- I've cut my wardrobe down to about 35 items. This doesn't include pajamas, socks, underwear, coats, or shoes. Everything else I've cut down significantly and I'm trying to be content with that amount. It's hard because I like clothes and I like a variety. Sometimes I feel inspired when I really like the outfit I'm wearing and even though that's not necessarily a bad thing, it's not where my worth or security should come from. And as a side note, a lot of times if there's something I want... I'll try to sell something I already have and then buy that new thing. I wrote more about that practice a while back which you can read about here. It's a good one:)
- I don't buy stuff for my house. Like decorative stuff. I use to make weekly trips to Goodwill or Home Goods to buy something to fill a space on a wall or in a room. Even if it was a steal in terms of price I would usually end up feeling guilty because I knew I didn't need it. There are plenty of improvements I would love to make in my home but for me, once I start, it quickly gets out of control in my mind and in my heart. I wrote more about this here a while back.
- The latest experiment I'm doing involves credit cards. Justin and I have a few credit cards we use. We pay them off at the end of every month and we use them mainly for the reward points. A lot of cards give you cash back or money for gasoline. It's worth it to us to use our credit cards for as much as we can in order to rack up as many points as we can. But here's the catch... statistics say people tend to spend 12%-18% more when paying with a credit card versus paying with cash. My husband and I are currently going through Financial Peace University with Dave Ramsey and we've quickly come to the conclusion that I am the spender and he is the saver. Duh. This was not a surprise. It's not a problem for him to overspend when using a credit card but for me, it can be. So for the next 40 days (the Lent season) I removed all the credit cards from my wallet and I will only be using cash. I know this will be a challenge because I'm so used to just whipping out the credit card but the GOAL is that I will spend less. We'll see how it goes:)
I know these are just beginner areas in which some of you are probably way ahead of me. I'd love to hear some of the ways you 'Live With Less'. Got any?
**If you'd like to purchase a LWL tee to help you be reminded to live with less... just click the LIVE WITH LESS shop tab at the top of this page.