Small Town Simple

The Simplicity Adventures of a Mother and Daughter

2015: A Year of Thought

“When someone says, “I’m just not creative like you,” I reply “No, I just thought about it longer.”  Amy Dacyczyn, The Tightwad Gazette 

Happy New Year

Lauren and I have been discussing the possibilities of this new year that has just dawned upon us.  While having these conversations we haven’t been  making the usual list of New Year resolutions – you know the list:  how to lose the holiday weight, spend more quality time with family, de-clutter our homes, or our favorite – how to store and organize all our stuff!    Instead, we have been discussing several goals that will include some thought.  If we have goals, then how do we plan to reach these goals?  And that will actually take some thought, meaning we need to actually set aside some time for the thought process.  When we dedicate time to thinking about our goals and how we plan to achieve them, we are giving ourselves a great gift!  We are actually saying that we honor ourselves and our family and these goals are worthy of our time so we make good decisions.  So what are Lauren and I thinking about?

Lauren’s list:

  • more homemade meals – less eating out
  • more money saved – less discretionary spending money
  • focus on writing as well as other creative outlets in order to pursue a career “outside the box”

So what’s entailed in the thinking process?

  1. More homemade meals means time spent preparing a menu, determining the amount of actual prep time  and cost.  Prep time is Lauren’s biggest issue.  We’ve often joked that she needs a sous chef!  She doesn’t mind the cooking but she really doesn’t like the prepping.  So real thought will be required to determine what is reasonable and what will never get cooked, even if ingredients have been purchased.  
  2. Lauren has determined that 2015 is her year to demonstrate that she and her family can live on less and savings will rise.  This requires some old habits to be broken, a rethinking of  purchases.
  3. A dedication of time and a readjustment of schedules.  While that may sound easy, it isn’t always simple to implement, especially with a toddler in the house, but Lauren is reworking her schedule so time is provided for her to pursue her craft.       

Carolyn’s list:

  • having a balanced diet on $200 per month – (I’m feeding myself before anyone panics over that number!)
  • contribute 10% of my income to savings/growth fund
  • preparing for a move to a one bedroom apartment – I will be re-evaluating some items around my current home to decide if they make the move or not
  1. I have always found it slightly irritating that so much money can “come in and go out” simply for food.  $200 is a skimpy food budget these days which will require that I rework recipes, find cheaper alternatives to pricey ingredients and still have a healthy and varied diet.
  2. By trimming my food budget I plan on placing more money into my savings or into a growth fund.  This is in line with my plans for my retirement home in Hico, so I’m challenging myself to get my food budget really low.
  3. I’ve written earlier that at this particular point in my life I just don’t require much space.  So I will move soon and with that move a few more things will be pared down.  My goal is to determine what really has use and meaning for me and what is simply taking up space.   

Lauren and I have already implemented efforts toward simple living by shopping our town for second hand stores, utilizing on-line discount retailers, seek out free or low cost entertainment, not use shopping as a form of entertainment (we both used to be very guilty of that one).  But we know we can grow our efforts in simple living…we can be even better!  In fact, we feel like we’ve just scratched the surface.  So this year, we are going to think about our actions, our expenses and expenditures and our choices.  This year we want to get closer to some bigger goals that sit on our horizon.  We will ponder, deliberate, adjust and then proceed forward.

So, here is to a year of thinking and putting those thoughts into action!  What are your goals or resolutions for 2015?  What methods will you use to implement them?

Lauren & Carolyn

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