Is quite a challenge! I'm not going to lie to you and fluff over it making frugal living out to be really easy to do. I'm very early into this journey towards living more simply and I want to be as honest as possible, so a) I can read back on this blog sometime in the future and remember what it was like in the beginning, and b) so anyone else reading this blog gets to see the journey from my perspective truthfully.
In the past few months I have been reading a lot of books and websites on living more simply and frugally. The reason a lot of them suggest we do this is to do our bit towards saving the Earth. This has lead me to be a bit more passionate about environmental issues recently. Now things like, seeing someone using disposable cups and plates or driving just down the road, really irks me! What a change that has been in me. It used to be me doing those things, not that long ago!
It goes to show that it doesn't take long to change your ways once you change your mindset. Changing your mindset is the biggest change you can make and always the first. Once I discovered the path I wanted to take with my life, I found it really easy to find out lots of websites, courses and books on the topics, I connected with people that had walked the same path and had the same ideas, I was able to decide on some goals and am able to use those resources to decide how I am going to achieve them. But it was that initial decision to not just give in to my every whim, not 'treat' myself because I was feeling a bit low or because I got paid or just because it was the end of the working week that was difficult!
Living frugally and simply is a goal of mine to lessen the impact I have on this Earth, to connect more with nature and to live a life more meaningful to me.
I have been taking small steps to live more efficiently and aware. I have chosen to use public transport to enable me to save momey, car emissions, and to reconnect with nature as I walk the 40 mins to the train station in the morning. It's such a simple act but has had so many benefits. I have also chosen to not buy any new clothes for (at least) 6 months, to learn to make my own green cleaners, to grow as much of my food as I can, to lessen my electricity use, to learn the lost arts of crocheting and sewing, which will enable me to make my own clothes and create gifts. These things I have begun to do while still living in my near-city unit, with no lawn, while still working a 9-5 job and without changing too much to be a drain on my energy. It's the little things that you make a habit that I think have the biggest impact. The things that you would normally do everyday without thinking. So once you have decided that you are willing to change, the motivation kicks in and enables you to make these small changes.
I work close to the city where the streets are lined with clothes shops, cafe's, trinket stores, supermarkets, and generally places where I would normally spend a large proportion of my money. The temptation is definitely there to just go into a shop and see what they have and usually walk out with some junk that I didn't need. But really what is the pont of that? That's just me being another mindless consumer! It's part of the culture. These shops wouldn't be there if people didn't go into them and buy STUFF.
So I have found that making the decision to be frugal is quite hard, making the initial changes aren't so hard because you have the motivation, but when you are then constantly bombarded with the consumer culture it is quite difficult to maintain those small actions. I sometimes catch myself looking at the racks of clothes from the shops lining the streets on the walk from work to the train station and thinking "oh they're only $10, I can afford that." It is a hard task to keep on track but I have found that being almost 'obsessed' with my goals, by going over them constantly and looking at more ways I can live frugally, really helps to keep those goals in the forefront of my mind and, so far, keep me on track.
Let me know what you do to keep on track. I'd love to know what methods you use.