4 Common Myths of Minimalism

4 Common Myths of Minimalism

Since embracing minimalism, I’ve encountered more than one person who believes minimalism is something it’s not.  Today, we’re going to dispel four of those myths. I can’t own anything – Minimalism isn’t about giving away everything and living with one bowl and one outfit (although there are people that do that). It’s more of an individual decision. It’s living with what you need and keeping what you love. It’s breaking a habit of self-entitlement and excessive spending. It’s placing thoughtful value on certain things in your life and removing the excess. Only you can decide how much that entails. Everything will be white – Although I do find that when you search pictures of minimalist décor, you find a surplus of bare white rooms with a few pieces of white furniture, that’s not really what minimalism is. If you like white rooms with white furniture, then yes – that’s what it is for you. But if you like colour and you love your display of antiques, then that’s okay too. It’s personal preference. I can’t buy things – While living simply is bound to curb your spending, it doesn’t mean you can never buy things again. It does, however, cause you to make more thoughtful purchases. There’s enlightenment through deciding what is most important. What do you really need? What do you really like? There’s no big shopping sprees on your credit card where you buy everything because it’s on sale. There are planned purchases that you save for and end up loving because of the consideration behind it. I have found this makes shopping more enjoyable. Minimalism is...
Is Money an Idol in Your Life?

Is Money an Idol in Your Life?

Three years ago, I had it all figured out. I had our family on a strict budget, we were debt free, we never over-spent and every penny was managed. There was no way that money was an idol. It was all under control. But then I asked God to search my heart… What followed was a tumultuous journey. One that led me to places I never thought I needed to go. It started with involvement in a number of conferences on how to be successful as a Christian. I learned many things – how to understand people better, how to focus… and how to make more money. I imagined making great amounts of money to help others around the world. I imagined being rich in spirit and in pocket. I even studied scriptures in Proverbs that backed up what I was learning. And then it all came crashing down. My husband and I made a humiliatingly bad business decision. We went in to debt for it and ended up dragging some dear friends along with us into the same fate. When I look back now, I can see there were all kinds of warning signs – all kinds of nudgings from God not to get involved in this business. Yet my deceived heart spurred me on in the wrong direction and convinced me it was the right decision. What followed was a few months of dire straits. Our family income was pared down to a few measly cheques from  Husband’s main, still-new business. We became forced to rely on God. I can’t tell you how many times I prayed...
3 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill That You’ve Never Thought Of

3 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill That You’ve Never Thought Of

Living a minimalist lifestyle has helped me to examine the value and need behind every item I buy. Working so hard to declutter my home has made me extra careful with what I bring back into it. Minimalism has also caused me to look back to the ‘old days’ when pioneers used everything and wasted nothing. Through that, I’ve inadvertently found three things that I can either completely cut, or significantly reduce, from my grocery bill. Don’t keep your paper towels in the kitchen – It seems crazy at first, and I found it quite frustrating, but within a few days I no longer felt the need to grab a piece of paper towel for every little thing. I now use dish rags more often, and I have a separate set of ‘clean-up rags’ for larger spills.  I still use the paper towels for ‘pet messes’ and certain other things, but I can’t believe how long the last package I bought has lasted me. Stop buying gift wrap – Whoever invented the idea of Christmas wrapping paper and gift bags was a genius. This past Christmas, I was faced with the reality of it all. Do I really spend money on paper that just gets ripped off and thrown in the garbage? (And isn’t even recyclable)? There are enough gift bags coming into my home that I haven’t had to buy those in years, but then there’s the tissue paper… So this is what I’ve done: At first I started wrapping presents in newspaper. Did I get comments? Of course – but in the end, is the present about...
How to REALLY Save at Costco… and WalMart… and Anywhere…

How to REALLY Save at Costco… and WalMart… and Anywhere…

I recently saw an article on Facebook about saving money at Costco. Apparently you can decipher deals based on the pricing of a product. For example, if a price ends in “.99” then it is full price. If it ends in “.97” it’s a manager’s special… and so on. There were other articles countering this one, challenging the validity of it. Is it true? Maybe. But for all I know it could be sent out by Costco themselves, sure to send an influx of eager bargain-hunters to their stores. Let me tell you a secret. All those prices? Those displays? They are ALL designed to get you to spend. Think about this for a moment: A store’s sole purpose is to get your money! Do you want to know the easiest way to save money at Costco, or any other big box or little box store? Are you sure you want to know? You might not like the answer, but here it is: Cancel your membership. Don’t go. Stay home. You’ll save money by not throwing out the stale cereal from the super-size box you bought. You’ll save money by not buying the car hammock that attaches to your back seat, to store more of the stuff you bought that you didn’t need. You’ll save money by not spending any. And you’ll have more time to do more of the quality things you...