LIFE IS A JOURNEY, ARE YOU READY?

OVERCOMING MY INERTIA TO FRUGALITY AND MINIMALISM IN BABY STEPS

I think it is absolutely brave for people to unplug from materials and live minimally. I yearn for that, I want that. But... I am not that courageous. I live in a first world country where people are rich and snobbish that even charities are choosey with what they receive as donations. I have things that I don't need. Presents that I don't use, impulse buys, hand-me-downs...etc. It would be such a waste to "donate" them to the charities when in actual fact they would bin them because they are not exactly 'new'. I am faced with these dilemmas everyday. Where and how do I find new homes for things?

I am not brave enough to bin everything, nor do I feel that it is a responsible thing to do. So amidst all the random thoughts, I would pen them down to hopefully make sense of them.


  • REGIFTING.
    This is sometimes difficult because not everyone will find your 'junk' useful or charming. I am slowly ridding my stuff by regifting but I am very selective in who I gift. I do not wait for birthdays nor special occasions. It could be a small gift to say 'hi' or 'thank you'. I usually find a gift that relates to a conversation topic or cause which the recipient will find related to. Sadly, this is going to be a bit slow, but I know I will not be buying new gifts with my will to minimalism.
  • A LUNCHBOX A DAY.
    I vow to bring a lunchbox a day to work as much as I can. There are many reasons for this. I like to cook. I like to do something organic after work, so I cook my dinners and I make my lunchboxes. It saves a lot of money. I work in the central business district and lunch prices are high here. Healthier options are usually pricier. I bring my lunchbox with food that I know I like and that are of a healthy, balanced diet for myself. It cost a fraction of what my colleagues are spending. Many of them head out to get takeaways which cost the environment of packaging wastes. I also come to work later in the morning, work through lunch and leave on the dot. Win-win.
  • WINE AT HOME.
    This is my guilty pleasure. I drink. But drinking in a bar is expensive. I only do that on social events to meet friends. Otherwise, I have a wine card that gives me discount on the bottles I purchase. I am also not fussy. Table wine is ok for me.
  • TRAVELING WITH CLOTHES TO DONATE.
    I am engaged with contract work now. But I am sorting out clothes that I don't want anymore into a backpack. I usually do short trips to neighbouring developing countries where I will leave these clothes at. They definitely do not turn their noses up to such donations. I also return with a lighter backpack which I usually use to stock food products.
  • LEAVING OLD BOOKS AROUND.
    Libraries will not take old books. At least not in the yellowish conditions that I have. Secondhand bookstores will buy each book for 10 or 20 cents and then sell them with shit loads of profit. I don't support that. I usually write a post-it note saying 'Free book. Pass it on.' and leave them on buses when no one is looking. The other way is to leave my books at backpacker's hostels. The frugals will find free books charming no matter how old the books are.
  • STOP HOARDING.
    I would like to say I don't hoard but I do have a lot of nonsense lying around. Things that I would perhaps one day find uses for. I am precious with things that are not broken and that I could one day use, so that I do not need to go out and buy a new one. It is always Murphy's Law that I would throw something out to then need them very soon. I also like to hoard on cheaper toiletries or cosmetics when I go traveling. I would then find I have more than I could ever finish using. I have to stop being cheap and only buy when I am low on supplies.
  • MULTI-PURPOSE.
    I used to have loads of beauty products. Serums and oils for my hair, all kinds of lotions for my face and body. It wasn't until I started backpacking that I realised some products are multi-purpose and are actually good for my hair and skin. Natural oils. Yes, coconut oil, jojoba, argan...etc. I am still trying to finish some lotions and products. But I love the idea of making my fragranced oil with essential oils like lavender and lemongrass. There is nothing more satisfying to see a nightstand with just one bottle sitting there. Loads of breathing space, no clutter.
  • MINIMALIST COOKING AND EATING.
    I used to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I would spend hours cooking and washing, and then get extremely exhausted I would laze for the rest of the day. That would be my typical weekend. That is no more. I am learning how to minimise my time in the kitchen, minimising the number of ingredients in each dish and the cost as well.
  • CHANGING MY DIET.
    I am not strict nor do I adhere to any form of dieting. I eat whatever I want. But some things are expensive depending on where we are in the world. No doubt meats are expensive. I have reduce my intake of meat not only because it saves me money but it is also healthier being on a more plant-based diet. I will eat meats and I still have my cravings. Just some food for thought.
What are some of your tips and tricks to easing into frugality and minimalism?

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