Book Giveaway: Tidy Up with Marie Kondo

February 1, 2016

marie-kondo-books

One of my goals for the first 90 days of this year is to read 1 book/week… and, to my shock, I’ve actually been able to stick to it. My early success with this goal might be a result of the fact that I’ve committed to sharing a book review on Instagram every Sunday, so I feel the need to stay accountable. But it has also served as a great reminder that it doesn’t take very long to read a book – sometimes just 3 to 6 hours, depending on how long it is – all we have to do is make the time.

Time is something that many of us claim to never have enough of, despite the fact that we’re all given the same number of hours and minutes in a day. I’ve come to realize that so much of our personal definition of the word “time” is based on how many tasks and to-dos are floating around in our brains. Even if it only takes 5 or 10 minutes to accomplish some of them, each task takes up mental space that makes us feel “busy”, and that’s space we can’t get back until a task is complete.

For years, I would write “clean” on my weekly task list. By “clean”, I didn’t just mean do laundry or scrub the bathroom tub; I meant tidy up and re-organize my belongings. Since getting rid of 75% of my stuff, however, I never have to do that. Whenever I’m done with something, I put it back where it belongs – in a spot that’s easily accessible and makes sense for me. And because I got rid of so much stuff, I never feel overwhelmed by the task (so now “clean” finally means exactly that).

I want the same to be true for you, which is why I’m giving away two books that can help.

Continue Reading…

The Ultimate Shopping Ban Guide: Part 2

January 25, 2016

how-to-do-a-shopping-ban

This is Part 2 of a two-part series on how to start and successfully complete a shopping ban. In Part 1, I shared five things you can do to prepare for it, from decluttering and taking stock of what you already own, to opening a separate savings account you can put all the money you save by not shopping. Once you’ve completed those steps (especially writing the three lists you’ll need!), you can start your ban.

Today, I’m going to cover some of the things you’ll experience and need to work through, as you’re in the midst of it. The toughest time period for me to get through was the first 30-60 days, but there are still challenges and temptations I face today – 18 months into my own two-year ban! The truth is, setting yourself up to start a shopping ban is easy, compared to what you’ll have to do during it.

Here are my suggestions for what you can expect and how to deal with it, starting with outside sources (a.k.a. the people in your life)…

Continue Reading…

The Ultimate Shopping Ban Guide: Part 1

January 18, 2016

how-to-do-a-shopping-ban

Over the past couple of months, I’ve received countless comments, emails, tweets, and messages telling me you’re ready to make 2016 the year of the shopping ban. Whether you’re doing one for 30 days, 90 days, 6 months or 1 year, my first response is always HECK YES!

I just crossed the 18-month mark of my own two-year shopping ban and it’s truly changed the way I think about money and stuff. I am now fully aware of what I value in life, which means I’m wasting less money on stuff I don’t, spending (some of) it on the things I do and keeping more of it in the bank. I went from saving 5-10% of my income each month, to saving 20-30% and still getting to do what I love (travel). I’ve also kicked a few bad spending habits, some of which I’d had for over a decade. And I no longer feel like I’m depriving myself of anything, because I have finally accepted myself for who I am, and know I can’t buy anything that will make me or my life better than it already is.

So, when someone tells me they want to do a shopping ban, I think HECK YES, because I wish everyone could change their spending habits, become conscious consumers, get to do more of what they love and feel the way I do…

Continue Reading…