How I am UN-Complicating Christmas Gifts

Each year I would start shopping for the holiday on black Friday (which in the last few+ years is actually on Thursday). I never had a plan on what to get who, I would go wild. That cute pie plate? SURE someone will like it.. right? I would frequently shop until Christmas.

When it was time to wrap gifts I would have to go through the bags and bags of gifts and figure out who was getting what. I had no organization at all.

This year I wanted to do something a bit different that aligns with my new consumer habits. It started with a list of who I needed to shop for. Then how much money to spend next to each person. Some friends we agreed on dollar amounts per person as a group. The rest of the list was based on what I can afford and made the most sense.

Some people gave hints on what they wanted, but mostly I had to rely on instinct. This year isn’t about the number of gifts it’s about getting something of quality they would actually use and love.

Without spoiling a gift I actually purchased I have changed the item for this example.

Last year: Person X hinted they need shirts. I would have gotten 4 shirts for $10 a piece at random stores (quality undetermined).

This year: Person X hinted they need more shirts. I went to a store and got 2 shirts for $20 a piece (quality good!)

Why I like this better:

1.) less gifts means less wrapping (which I HATE HATE HATE to do)

2.) Getting quality gifts for people makes less waste if they have them and love them for longer before they are donated or trashed

3.) Less store visits in general

4.) Hopefully people will like their gifts better

How do you shop for the Holidays?

 

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Month-End Prune (2nd Part-November 2017)

Due to the large number of items no descriptions included.

Skirts: 3

Leggings: 1

Shirts: 18

Sweaters/Cardigans: 7

Jeans: 5 (one given to a friend and not pictured)

Winter Items: 7 (scarves and hats donated to local homeless shelters)

41 items this month. Do you know that this means!!???!!?? I have gotten rid of 116 items. It almost seems like I cheated when I decided I would add a bonus of $50 when I donated 100 items. I didn’t actually think I would hit that number in the same month I developed this bonus rule. It took 3 months to donate 50 items so I thought it would be at least 2 to 3 months to get the next 50 items. It looks like it is becoming easier to get rid of things. Well, a rule is a rule so I am adding $50 to my clothing account.

October is over which means +$30

Clothing Account +$61

DO YOU SEE THAT BEAUTIFUL NUMBER ABOVE! A POSITIVE VALUE***** FINALLY******

 

Middle of the Month Prune – (November 2017) **JUST BECAUSE**

I pretty much went through clothing and drawers I was ignoring. This task was not that hard. However, some of the items I am parting with was a struggle to place into this pile. Most of these items are here because they (1) don’t fit me anymore (2) I already have a similar item I like better or (3) I don’t wear it.

For the first time some of the items I am donating I still like but fall into the small size category. I have talked myself into getting rid of these items because although I like them they do not fit me now. They are not a one of a kind item that I wouldn’t be able to replace with a similar item down the road if the need arises again.

Might I even be progressing further than I thought?

2 – Dresses

5 – Pants

9 – Work Out Bottoms

9 – Shirts

Good bye 25 more items!!

Total number of donated clothing up to 75 **HIGH FIVE**

Wanting More of Less

I have been reading about minimalism for a long while. I always wanted to de-clutter my life and minimalist movement is tempting. Although I kept up with people’s blogs about pairing down and watched all the TED talks I could, I never really tried it.

Before starting this blog and deciding I wanted to spend less and live easier, my wardrobe was a place I could easily tackle. It was the source of most of my spending and it was a place I knew I wanted to change.

It was the first step.

As I have been fairly successful in pairing down my clothing and mostly stopped shopping, I am ready to branch out.

As I look around my house I see clutter that I am sick of living with. I am not even sure how I am going to tackle the house but I am ready to make a plan.

Wish me luck 🙂

Eating Less

I struggle with weight. It is no secret that I am larger than I would like to be. I lightly work out. I do sad mile runs with my little dog who at 22lbs out runs me.

I try to eat well. But I still find myself eating any offered sweet or even regular food for that matter. If I have any bad food in the house it makes it into my belly. I am not a binge eater but I love my food. I eat more than I should and I LOVE my sugar.

If I can finally stop shopping (mostly) could I find the motivation to change my diet?

Full disclosure is that as I write this I took a break to eat about a half a bag of Hot Fries and a handful of Halloween candy. This does not include the bad food I already ate earlier today.

I am not convinced I will ever be able to lose more weight or get to the magic number that I have for myself. I gained a few pounds here and there and over ten years or so has turned in more weight than I would like to admit.

After the last ten years of a sit down job, bad eating habits, and not regular exercising my body is showing the damage. I want to make a change but I am not sure how.

When it was time to stop shopping and save money I was ready. I made a detailed plan and although I have faltered I am close to hitting my savings goal for the year and am seeing progress in my closet.

I do not plan to talk about this topic often, if anything I am writing this for myself. I am trying to change my life and my habits. I want to not only be a better person, I want to be a healthy person. This week I will brainstorm and write a plan. I don’t want to try a new diet trend, I don’t want to starve, and I don’t want to deprive myself from all indulgences. I am not sure what I am going to do but I know I need to plan.

Many people in my life think plans are terrible and do nothing but raise expectations and end in upset. For some plans that is the case. Yes, for some people plans are terrible, but for others if done reasonably are the key to success.

So wish me luck because I am a person who needs structure and planning to succeed.

Entire Family Spending – October 22nd-31st 2017

 

Week 4 + 2 days  (rounded to the nearest dollar)

$320 Daycare for the Little

$22 Alcohol

$21 Misc (USB Cable, new key made, and some pictures from Snapfish)

$171  Home DIY Kitchen Shelving

$39 Volvo Gas

$35 Dart Gas

$37 Cell Phone

$30 Dr Copay

$110 Baby Clothes

$133 Groceries

$127 Utilities

Total: $1045

This week plus two days was filled with some needed bills and a home project. I am happy this week has concluded the month. Although I plan to continue to log our spending I need to find a better way to do it other than pen and paper.

Do you keep track of your money and if so how do you do it?

 

 

 

Slow Progress = Ahhh!

The slow-ish progress is hard to handle. I want to go into my closet and just go on CRAZY and just get rid of enough clothing to get to my goal right now.

After doing laundry looking at my clean clothing makes me stressed. I have to go into my closet and shove the clean clothes where they fit into my already full closet. I have a few shelves of clothing with piles I am lucky to keep upright. My bar is so stuffed with clothing I am always surprised when I can fit one more hangar on the bar.

I wish I had less so my clothes could be more organized.

I find myself wearing the same favorite clothing and not wearing anything else. This week was the first week I forced myself to wear clothing I didn’t really want to wear. Usually not wanting to wear something would be the first indication that it should be in the donate pile.

I am not sure why it is so challenging to get rid of things.

Maybe I should switch it up. I am going to give myself a PRIZE! OK not a true prize, but when I get rid of 100 items of clothing I am going to add $50 dollars to my clothing account.

50 items to go!!