2017 will be The Edinburgh Post’s first full year. After posting on my other blog for ten years, I decided it was time for the next phase. I hope The Edinburgh Post will be my place to share my thoughts and insights for the next ten years.
I am constantly looking for and playing with ways to live a more authentic life. I like the word ‘authentic’ as it’s unique to everyone. One size doesn’t fit all, and I don’t believe we should all be copying each other. Rather, I think we need to look for inspiration and see how it can applies to us. Everything needs to be personalised.
Simplicity and Minimalism is my theme for 2017.
I started to notice in 2016 – it wasn’t what I added to my life that seemed to make the difference, but what I took away that was making the difference.
Each time I removed something, there was space for fresh insights, ideas, and inspiration.
In short, I don’t need to make plans or New Year resolutions. What needs to come in to my life in 2017 will take care of itself. I just need to focus on what needs to go.
This won’t just be a project in throwing material things away, although that will feature. My focus on Simplicity and Minimalism will be holistic. It will cover mind, body, relationships and finances, along with material possessions.
Each week we’ll peel back layer by layer the things that may be standing in our way of living a simple life. Our authentic life. The way we would be living if it wasn’t for all the noise and distraction all the time.
There will be no to do lists. What’s right for me, is not necessarily right for you. I will share my own thoughts as well as the areas I will take action, and if you choose to join me, then it will be up to you to interpret each week’s post in the way that feels right for you. Obviously I am no expert on any of these topics, but am simply exploring ways to live better, so take advice and counsel from those around you that you can trust before making any big changes.
Simplicity and Minimalism posts will be published weekly.
I have pondered how to keep this collection of articles easily searchable for those that want to follow. I was going to shorten Simplicity and Minimalism to ‘S&M’ in the title but decided that didn’t strike the right tone (ahem), so instead I will create a category along the top and I’ll pop all the links in there.
So today is week 1 of 52, and I’m starting my journey with a financial detox.
Week 1 Simplicity and Minimalism: Financial Detox
I find the amount of buying I do in December overwhelming. Come Christmas week I have serious spending fatigue. So to kick off 2017 I am going to have a 28 day financial detox which will take me until the end of January.
I have identified three practical things I want to do in January.
1. No cash purchases
I’m not going to make any cash purchases unless completely necessary. We can spend Christmas vouchers or Christmas money, but that’s it.
2. Use what we have
There are three areas where we tend to buy stuff without really looking and using what we have. In January we’re putting a stop on buying; food, household items, and cosmetics.
Food – obviously we aren’t going to starve ourselves, but we will be running down the cupboards and using a minimal budget to tie the various ingredients we have already into meals. If that means we have to eat porridge for breakfast all week, so be it. I think we get carried away always buying what we want without considering what we already have. We have a tendency with so many options, to spoil ourselves. Last year we realised that treats no longer felt like a treat. A little self enforced hardship can only be a good thing I think.
Household Items – candles, cleaning supplies, air fresheners etc.. We’re going to use them all before restocking the cupboards in bulk with the products we like best. After twenty years, we know what we like, so we intend to find the best price and stock up.
Cosmetics – this category includes everything from shower gel to make up. If it’s never going to get used (because it’s out of date or caused a reaction) then we’ll get rid of it. Everything else will be used up before any new purchases are made. Again, in some areas I am considering stocking up on our favourite brands rather than impulse buying.
3. 24 hours to a financially healthier 2017
Finally, we are going to invest one day during January to tackling financial jobs. At the moment the priorities are; transferring our credit card to one with 0% interest, and getting a new mortgage on a low variable rate. If we complete these two jobs we will use the rest of the day on other areas which require attention, for example making sure we have the best insurance deals etc.
To make this more enjoyable I’ll make sure we have plenty of nice (healthy!) food to keep us going, and perhaps an uplifting playlist to try and keep things positive.
Our financial detox will run from today until the end of January. Not only will we be spending less money throughout January which we can use to promote further simplicity in our lives, but we will be clearing some of the physical things that are lying around using up our energy. Every single thing in our lives creates or uses up energy. Anything that feels like a burden, uses energy, it is those things that I aim to clear in 2017.
This was quite a long post with lots of potential action points, however these will be spread over 28 days. Future posts will tackle just one area, and will be much simpler.
Are there any areas to do with finances that you intend to work on to simplify your life in 2017?