Posted in less is more, Money Matters

C.R.E.A.M.

C(ash) R(ules) E(verything) A(round) M(e)

Although having a minimalist mindset, for me, isn’t so much about spending less as it is about living with less, I find myself seriously evaluating where all my money goes. I, mean, I have worked in banking for the last twenty-three and a half years, so I check my bank account damn near every day. While I see the money trickling in yet pouring out, I haven’t been mindful (There’s that word again!) of where the moolah is actually going. I’ve always been focused on is my balance correct and not so much on “Why the fuck did I just buy that?!”

Well, that’s changing, and I know the above statement may be somewhat controversial, but let’s face it: You need money! Specifically, you need cash to obtain freedom — freedom from debt, freedom from worry about not having enough money, freedom from everything that suppresses you from not having enough money!!!

What’s so upsetting for me right now is that I’ve always maintained the belief that I don’t have “enough money” to pay down my debt. I challenged my own mindset by pulling my last three bank statements and highlighting every purchase that wasn’t a necessity (rent, utilities, food, insurance…) and the numbers were staggering! Mind-blowing is more like it. After I crunched the numbers, I realized that I could’ve cut the balance on a debt-consolidation loan I have by half. HALF!!!!

Y’all!!!!!! I wish I could kick my own ass! But I’ve allowed myself five minutes of anger and sorrow, and now, it’s time to get to work. I have never been as serious about getting out of debt than I am at this moment. I’ll be fifty in three years, and I want to enter the next phase of my life debt-free. I don’t want to be paying frivolous bills on shit that I probably will no longer own.

That’s another thing! I’m paying debt today for shit I no longer own! If that ain’t a wake-up call, I don’t know what is…

My plan? Track my spending for thirty days, and I mean, log every cent that I’ve spent, along with why I felt I needed to make that purchase. At the end of the thirty days, I’ll reassess and determine if the purchase was a necessity or a frivolity. Then I’ll determine if I could’ve done without the frivolous purchase and created other ways to satisfy that need without having to spend money.

Yes, I’m probably overthinking this, but that’s what I do. I’ll follow up next month with my findings.

Posted in Purging

Letting Go Of Old Habits #1: Online Shopping

One of my greatest joys in life is…shopping. Online shopping to be exact. I am a huge proponent of supporting small businesses, specifically businesses owned and operated by people of color. And this is where I go buckwild and lose my damn mind. Bath and body products. Makeup. Original artwork. My three biggest shopping vices. Do I really need another shower gel or custom lipstick or hand-drawn print? YES, I do! I’m supporting my sisters while keeping my dollars out of the hands of “big, bad business”.

Chile, bye…

In 2017 alone, I’ve spent over $1,000.00 in small business products and services, and looking back on everything I’ve acquired, I regret about $850.00 of those purchases. Not because they were bad products but because they were strictly impulse buys that I can live without.

I bought an “organic” skincare regimen because I was all gung-ho about embracing my crunchy side and using products that did not contain harsh chemicals. Well, guess what? I ended up throwing them out. One, I have extremely oily, acne-prone skin that currently only responds to chemicals, namely benzoyl peroxide. And two, I didn’t even bother reading the ingredients, and I cannot put anything on my skin containing sunscreen. And three, because they didn’t contain any viable preservatives, there was a “use by” date. Nah, son… There are sustainable preservatives, and I caution you to read beauty labels because the industry is crazy unregulated. Seventy-five dollars down the drain…

IMG_20170910_110010_654
A literal representation of how I feel once the buyer’s high wears off

I had art prints that were collecting dust because I’ve never taken the time to buy frames for them. And to make matters worse, I spilled something on them, so now I can’t hang them. Another $150.00 in the garbage…

I could itemize every wasted purchase, but my blood pressure is high enough already. Being the natural tightwad that I am, looking back on these impulse buys goes against my own principles! I want to seriously kick my own ass right now, but I’m awake now (in more ways than one).

I still love my small businesses, and I’m not saying that I’ll never make another purchase again. But what I am saying is I won’t be so quick to click because I want to throw my financial support behind it or simply because I’m in a “buying mood”.