How To Make More Room In Your Life By Lightening Up

I have come to the conclusion that one of the most pointless things one can do with their life is spend most of it working just to accumulate more stuff.

Stuff doesn’t make us who we are, and it never fulfills us.

However, I sort of need to go ahead and own up to the fact that even I have a few “stuff” obsessions. A few of which happen to come with a pretty steep price tag. BUT, I do find them to be worth every penny!

Someone once said that money can’t buy happiness. The person who said almost got it right…except they had apparently never owned an Apple product. 😉

These are the few material items that really do make my life better. So therefore, I have chosen not feel guilty for indulging in these few little pleasures.

apple mac & starbucks

1. Anything Apple  – I’m a total Mac addict. When I get to Heaven, I will find Steve Jobs and give him a huge hug.

2. Starbucks  – It’s my drug of choice. I also truly, truly enjoy it. I’ve had the best conversations with people sitting in a coffee shop, sipping a cup of the dark stuff. It connects people and that makes me happy!

bed head

3. Salon trips / professional hair products   – My sister has the kind of hair that requires nothing to be beautiful. She doesn’t need to color or highlight it, never blows drys or fixes it, and barely bothers with getting it trimmed and still it always looks so luscious and gorgeous. I do not. So not fair! Therefore, I do not  and will not skimp on my hair. Period. The end.

organic

4. FoodI don’t care what anybody says, whole, healthy, organic food doesn’t come cheap. It just doesn’t. If I could find a way around this I would, trust me. But so far I haven’t figured it out.

However, there are a myriad of other tangible things that spending wads of money on does not appeal to me. I have been known to shop for hours only to unload my cart of all that I was about to buy, put it back on the shelves and walk out of the store.

I honestly can’t think of a single time that I’ve regretted doing that.

I’d rather save our money to buy experiences, not just more stuff that we don’t really even need.

So, here’s my list of things I will not splurge on, many of which I don’t even bother to buy new.

1. Shoes  –  Yes, I am a girly girl, no I do not have a love affair with shoes. The end. I do buy them when absolutely necessary, but most important to me is to purchase 1 pair of rainbow flip flops every few years and wear them 80% of the time and do not buy a new pair until I wear them out….or someone steals them from off of the beach.

thrift shopping

2. Clothes – I do not go around looking like a bum (at least not most of the time) but you wouldn’t believe how little money I put into clothing purchases. Here’s how I do it.

Thrift shopping. I LOVE a good thrift store and could spend hours rummaging through the racks for pretty clothes at steals.

Children’s resale stores.  My kids are still at the ages in which we have to buy them an entire new wardrobe for each new season. SO, every season I take all their clothes from the previous season and trade them in at the resale store for money or store credit. Sometimes this means I have to take their clothes around to more than one resale store to get rid of at least most of it, but it always pays off. Last season I spend a total of $300 out of pocket for both of the kids clothes, bathing suits and shoes for the entire season. (I have a few tips for being successful with getting the most $ back for this. If you’re curious, comment below with your question and I’ll be happy to share them with you!)

children's resale stores

3. Organic meat & milk – I’ve set the cows free! Recently I’ve come to the point in which I will not buy meat unless it is free of all the crap that most conventional animal products have. So, in order to go organic in other important areas (mainly produce) we have almost completely eliminated meat & dairy (milk) from our household diet in order to save us the $ and the added hormones.

meat & dairy

4. Underwear – ……… Just kidding. I DO NOT buy used under ware. 🙂

It is OK to have little indulgences in life! The problem becomes when your entire life becomes one big pursuit of indulgence.

When we choose to cut back or even cut out expenses in the non-essential areas, we free ourselves up to stop and buy a coffee when we want to, or take a trip with the kids to see places we’ve never been….and not have to go in debt to do it!

In that, we are gaining priceless life experiences, not just buying more things. 

THOSE are the few simple pleasures of life that money can buy….that is it we haven’t wasted  it on stupid stuff that will go out with next week’s trash.

It’s up to you to figure out what you value and find a way to tailor your spending in other areas so that you can actually afford what means most to you.

There’s so much more I could list but I’ll stop for now and share more in later posts!

As a family, we are excited about discovering even more ways to cut back and simplify our life and we take this new journey!

Are there any little indulges you have or tips on ways to cut back? Share them with us in the comments below!  

Here’s to living the light life!

About Rachel Rowell

A true southern gal at heart, Rachel was raised and lives in the deep south and spends her days raising her own babies, writing, making music, reading out on the front porch, and cooking supper for her family to sit around the table and enjoy together at nights! Her ultimate girlhood dream was to raise a family in a house just like "Anne of Green Gables" and now she is living her dream and inspiring others along the way.

6 Responses to How To Make More Room In Your Life By Lightening Up

  1. Heather August 7, 2013 at 1:58 am #

    My sewing machine (a 1950s Singer) and my Mac are two of the things I won’t part with when our house sells, so I know where you’re coming from! Once our house sells, we’re going to buy some land and live in a camper while we build a little cabin with our own hands.

    So excited for you guys and the journey ahead!

  2. Good Luck Duck August 13, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    Hi there! Saw you on Facebook.

    My partner and I downsized to get into a motorhome, and traveled for two years full-time. We’re split now, and I travel in my Prius in pursuit of who-knows-what. I guess I’m not pursuing much. Life is good. I mean, the kind of “good” I never imagined there could be.

  3. Good Luck Duck August 13, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    Oh! I meant to give actual examples of how easy life can be when you own four t-shirts, four pairs of shorts and a pair of jeans. But, you can imagine!

  4. randijo August 15, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    We all (in America) have things we splurge on and it just is what it is. I used to get soo mad when I saw a christian come into church with $200 shoes/bag…. can you seriously even imagine if we could get every woman who is a christian to limit their shoes/clothes budget to like even $300 a year? I spend way less than that…. but only because I have so much given to me….. I could rail against how could we call ourselves loving when people don’t have enough food and we are worried about having nicer shoes/designer purses/trendy clothes…… but I realized I was missing the plank in my own eye…. my ‘family’ from Ghana was just absolutely shocked at all the things I owned….. so it’s all relative. We can’t judge each other……you hear so many people screaming condemning each other about what we should shouldn’t have. should, shouldn’t do.

    you can’t tell people what God is telling THEM to do, give up. we can’t change people by shouting at them. and really, we have no idea how they spend all their time/money. we see glimpses. we have no idea how it’s ALL spent…. what they did to save for their purchases….. no idea what they give away….. no idea what God is doing in their hearts.

    YES IT IS SO FRUSTRATING to see how much money is spent on things…. but it’s the reality of this broken world.

    What can I do to make better decisions for His Church. not out of guilt. not duty. but out of sincere desire to do what I can to be a more loving, less selfish member of His Church. I know what it is for me….. for today. and it’s saying NO to a lot of things that I want. But I don’t know what He is asking others specifically. I know He is asking SOMETHING 🙂

    • Rachel Rowell September 5, 2013 at 2:40 am #

      Yes, the consumer mindset of our culture is nauseating and quite mad if you really sit back and think about it. I’m just a little over it and am enjoying not being so bogged down with stuff and the drive to aquire more just to impress people who will never truly love and value me no matter how much “wealth” or stuff I obtain. Once you realize that the people who truly matter already love you anyways, it frees us from the endless pursuit of things and the comparison games we all tend to get sucked into in the American culture.

  5. Collette November 10, 2015 at 9:06 am #

    Let’s be friends. Best friends.
    If you can name that movie I will hand deliver a grande capp. 😉 so glad I found you and your blog!

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