I’m sure many people will wonder why the challenge of a no-spend year appeals to me. I am grateful that my husband and I are not in debt, other than our mortgage, and we both have great jobs. We are able to contribute regularly to our retirement funds, and our children’s RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) is set up for them. Luckily, we are on the same page when it comes to finances.
Minimalism is very interesting to me though. The more I read about it, the more I get sucked down into ‘the rabbit hole’. When I travel for pleasure and work, I’m content with a small suitcase of belongings – it makes me wonder if the weight of belongings being left behind contributes to a feeling of less burden?
I have been trying to pare down our home, and as I go through closets and bookshelves, I’m surprised by the quantity. Did I really need to buy more fabric for a sewing project? Am I ever going to read that book? We live in a small house, and more often than not, I’m wishing for less possessions.
From a personal finance perspective, I always worry. I grew up in a house where money was not discussed, and I was often told it was none of my business. By the time I was 13, I had a job because if I wanted something, I had to pay for it myself. I did not have the financial means to attend university, but I put myself through college. While these helped me to become independent, I wish there had been lessons shared growing up.
Over the years, two tv shows were fascinating to me – “Til Debt Do Us Part” with Gail Vax-Oxlade – I loved her no-nonsense, tough love attitude. The second show was “Hoarders” – truthfully, because it simply made me not want to ever come close to accumulating that many possessions. It made me sad to hear stories of people who felt their belongings meant more to them than anything – more then their family, their health, their finances, and their well being. I believe the connection of finance and minimalism has always played in the back of my mind.
My goal (and the hubs!) is to pay the mortgage off in its entirety within the next five years. We’re not sure if we will stay where we currently live, but I think it’s a great goal to pursue.
On Friday, I’ll be revealing what I can and can’t spend money on during my no-spend year!
Did you grow up in a household where money was discussed? Does a minimalism lifestyle appeal to you?