Spend Less, Live More

Good Morning lovely people!

I hope October has been off to great start for you all. I am absolutely loving this mid-70 degree weather and wouldn’t mind if it stuck around till about Thanksgiving. Or I guess until tomorrow when it drops to 50 degrees will have to do. This may sound weird, but something about the crisp mornings help me instantly wake up and become more alert, so for productivity reasons, I am thankful for chilly weather.

This has been a really great week thus far personally. Although everyday is jam-packed, hectic, and unpredictable, I feel as though holistically I am in a really great place. Spiritually I am continuing to pursue the Lord and surround myself with equally yoked believers who hold me accountable for my behaviors and actions. Physically I am attempting to integrate more than just cardio into my workouts, so my muscles are coming out of hibernation, I am sore, yet feel stronger already. I am also trying this new phenomenon called eating a well-balanced breakfast every morning (4 days in a row!). Emotionally I am working to be consistent and steady with my moods and reactions to things. When it comes to the work/school/personal life balance, I make a strong effort to block out small amounts of personal time to unwind and reflect each day.

Yesterday while I was out purchasing my mama’s Birthday gift [her birthday is this Sunday]  I was thinking about how much I really don’t enjoy shopping anymore. It was kind of an “aha” moment for me to be honest. Throughout my high school and undergraduate years, I thoroughly enjoyed going to the mall to browse, kill time, try things on, and buy things I did not need.

I have even tried going to the mall a few times within the last year, and just find myself getting frustrated and leaving empty handed. The conclusion I have come to is that living on a graduate assistant stipend, realizing how over-priced things are, rarely finding an article of clothing that I wear more than a couple times, and ultimately not feeling fulfilled after shopping, leaves me with feelings of angst towards walking into a shopping mall anymore.

Now of course, I will still shop every once in awhile and I don’t condemn it by any means. I just have really learned the importance and value of living within my means right now. Who knows, maybe once I am making a big-girl salary, have time to “browse,” and Lord-willing marry a well-budgeted (will allot a shopping budget for me) man, I will enjoy shopping again. I’ll keep you posted whenever that time comes 🙂

For now, I am going to tell you some ways I have learned to cut-back, while still feeling quite satisfied. I am still a work in progress and am still learning ways to live simpler, so if you have any suggestions or strategies you have implemented into your lifestyle, feel free to comment below!

  • Make lists before going grocery, toiletries, or clothes shopping. Oh, and don’t forget to actually take this list with you. Only buy what is on this list. I am REALLY bad about grocery shopping and really should go more often, I just would rather go on an on-need basis for a few things at a time.
  • Go through your closet and get rid of clothes, purses, accessories that you didn’t even remember having. Clearly they don’t have much of an impact on your wardrobe. Sell to Plato’s Closet or donate.
  • Don’t go shopping because you are bored or stressed. I recommend working out or doing something else to release some of that stress.
  • DIY anything that is DIY-able.
  • Buy the generic brand whenever possible. Now I can be a food-snob at times, however certain items taste just as good as the originals.
  • Shop when you are in a hurry. Get in, get out, get on with your life.
  • If you are torn on whether or not to buy something, don’t do it. Rather, sleep on it and if you find yourself thinking about it the next day or a week later, go back and get it.
  • As much as I love Sephora and Ulta, I have found other lines of makeup to be just as good.
  • Check out garage sales, consignment stores, and thrift shops. You can find some serious treasures if you do some searching. Plus, it feels so much better buy something for $5 than $50.
  • Make your own greeting, birthday, thank-you, etc. cards. Check out the one I made last night for my mama…
Materials from around my house.

N for Nancy 🙂
Inner flap.

Bargain or Bust: Better Homes and Gardens Delectable Wax Cubes…..BARGAIN!!! So I have a Scentsy and usually just buy the wax cubes from people who sell Scentsy’s but I saw these puppies at Walmart and am so impressed!! They are $2 for a pack and smell so delicious, plus they have an assortment of fall-smelling ones.

I hope some of these tips inspire you to save your pennies and live a little simpler. I am constantly battling materialism & fighting the urge to shop, but I have found that over time, that desire has dwindled. It feels so much better to receive a compliment about my character, than my appearance.

{For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh,the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world} 1 John 2:16

Random funny: My mom has a mini-cooper and absolutely loves that thing. She is so dang cute in it too. I saw this Kleenex pouch the other day and had to get it for her. As you see, it says “minivan” but you better believe I am going to cross out the van part and just leave mini. It’s the small things people.

Have a great weekend! I am looking forward to meeting some good friends of Jordan’s who are driving down from Wisconsin to visit him. Oh, and Go Tigers 🙂

Let your light shine!

-Abby Dawn

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