I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in a family with parents who provided a loving home with all the little luxuries we’ve grown accustomed to in the Western world. I was given the opportunity to pursue a wonderful education, to study ballet with great teachers, to read every book that caught my eye, to travel to faraway places from a young age, and to make friends through these experiences who I could not imagine a life without.
One thing that I’ve realized over time is that what’s really stayed with me from my childhood into young adulthood is what I took away from those experiences. While the ‘things’ were always nice, they were not essential. Of course, I do love the books, and the small souvenirs from journeys around the globe. I enjoy having good running gear, and it’s comforting to know that I have the resources to keep a supply of cable-knit sweaters and leggings, sundresses and sandals, and boots and boat shoes in my closet (the high heels I could do without!) But the memories and the lessons learned – those are what made me the young woman I am today.
I have so much more than I could ever need when it comes to the material things, and yet like many in my position, often find myself looking at, say, a new scarf, and wanting to buy it because it’s cute, it’s ‘me’, I will eventually need a replacement for what I currently have, or any number of reasons. Every so often, I’ll go on a mission to clean out my closet and donate a bag or two to Goodwill, but the amount of “stuff” seems to hold steady. So I’ve decided to do something different. This month will be one of frugality, in which I will not buy any clothing or shoes. It will be freeing, because I will not spend time browsing in stores or shopping online – giving me a little extra time to accomplish all the other goals I have in life! Since it’s February, it will be a short, four-week experiment, but who knows – I might continue!
I have friends who have done the dollar-a-day challenge to raise money for charity, and they’ve achieved some awesome results. This is a little different, because I’m doing it to see if I can change the course of my life just a little bit, letting some of the superficial ‘wants’ fall away so it’s easier to see what’s really important. I like the idea that by consuming a little less, my footprint on this earth will shrink just a tad – I do think that we should all care about our planet! And maybe with the extra focus and time, I’ll get around to finishing a few of the short stories I have filed away, or trying out some new recipes. So here’s to a frugal and free February!
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