Developing Imperfect Principles

The books that I read about people who have simplified their life in some way are like crack to me. I get so excited about their journey and immediately set myself up to try it too. I’ve been on a number of these roller coaster rides, and have developed my own set of principles that keep me going. I take them seriously, and analyze how these things can make an impact. Is it weird that I enjoy this?

Zero Waster Fan

I have now read Bea Johnson’s book at least twice through, each time I enjoy trying another thing that she suggests. After careful thought, my takeaways are:

  • I hate taking out garbage, so the less garbage the better, yay zero waste!
  • I want to repair things, yay zero waste!
  • I really hate that there are foods that are ‘not zero waste’.

I am not a perfect zero waster, and I’m not going to take out a year of my life to attempt this feat. But, I still love it and will keep that book on my bookshelf to remind myself to bring my jars to the grocery store and look hard for products with less packaging.

Minimizing — Love

I remember watching a YouTube video where a couple took me through their tiny home showing me how they fit all their belongings in this small place. Love this!! Here are my takeaways:

  • having a minimum lifestyle leaves a lot less clutter around which keeps brains really happy, huge win!!
  • you don’t have so many things to clean or repair! Yay Minimizing!
  • What if you are a project person and have multiple cooking, gardening, fitness and other hobbies? Where do you put all of that stuff? Also, what if you like real, solid, books that you can hold in your hand?

Not an especially excellent minimizer, I Love the principles, and can watch people’s videos and writing about how they minimized All Day. Am I going to minimize down to the point where I only have a single pencil, or only one notebook or mug? no siree. And I think making the principles work for you is part of the point, right?

Buy Nothing So Great

I really enjoyed reading this book over the summer. The Buy Nothing principles are excellent and force you to, Talk To Your Neighbors!! Love it.

  • Borrowing and lending all my stuff with my family and friends is a really great idea and I’m trying very hard to remember to ask instead of buy all the time.
  • Leading a whole movement in my area is not really my thing, but I can still strive to create a small network with friends and family, which is reasonable and satisfying.
Frugality is Really Fun!

I regularly crunch my expense numbers. I used to think of it as a chore, but now that I have principles to follow, I enjoy it and I also give myself permission to be imperfect at it too. Here are the resources I use to embrace frugality:

  • Mr Money Mustache, I still have not read the entire blog. Even if you have no desire to be frugal or retire early, this is fun reading!
  • Early Retirement Extreme. A book I found during a time when I was struggling to determine where to spend my energy. This book resonated with me on a number of levels and changed my perspective to participate more in life instead of spending time earning money so that you don’t have time to participate.
  • Quit Like a Millionaire. Enter the millennials! This woman found out quickly that the 9-5 wasn’t for her and writes a compelling book about being Very Frugal and acquiring enough money early in her life so she could live off her investments while traveling and essentially retiring early.