Well, in January, I resolved to conserve by spending less, recycling more, and decluttering. There were some high points, and there were some low points. I did a pretty good job of recycling more. I was already pretty good at it, but I took it a step further by meticulously sending all scrap paper, plastic, and glass to our recycling area in the mud room. However, after Chris has sinus surgery mid-month, things started getting a bit crazy since it’s his job to take everything to the recycling center. (For those of you who have pick-up in your town, you better be recycling everything like mad. You just don’t know how good you’ve got it.) When the cardboard piles got so high that I couldn’t get to the washing machine, I started losing my mind. Still, I didn’t stop.
On the decluttering front, I sent a very large bag to Goodwill. I know I can send more, but my January resolutions don’t stop in January. If I can keep sending stuff every month, I should be in a much better place. I’m going to try to reduce some of the pantry clutter in the mud room. (That poor room is a catch-all: laundry room, pantry, recycling center, tool shed. Ugh.) I have a hard time not stocking up on stuff when it goes on sale. Okay, I have a hard time not stocking up on stuff even when it’s not on sale.
My financial conservation failed. I really struggle with this area of my life. I know it could always be worse; we’re not in debt over it. However, it’s really limiting our potential. We could invest more money into the business. We could save and renovate the living room or kitchen. I could pay off one of my student loans faster. I need to get this area of my life under control. It’s just hard. I spend when I’m upset. I spend when I’m bored. I spend for fun. My best approach is just not going out. I honestly cannot leave the house without going to a store, and when it comes to going shopping for a specific item or list, well forget it… A quick trip to Target for toilet paper turns into a $100 trip.
My resolution for February is to spend less. I know that was one of my January resolution, but I think having those three tasks were too much to focus on at one time. I’ll continue to recycle and declutter, but this month I’m going to focus on why I spend and how not to compulsively buy. Instead of just trying to do better, I’m going to do some research and reading in order to better prepare myself to resist temptation. I really would like to be content with what I have and spend less time thinking about what I want. After all, I’ve been blessed beyond my expectation, and I have everything I need. I need to spend less money and enjoy the riches that surround me.