Things have just worked out that way. It’s been the case for some months, but it’s truly hit a new low. A good low.
(Yes, it’s terrible sometimes, bursts of occasional horrifying anxiety spirals, oft brought on by awful legislation proposals, but) I really prefer and love the way I’ve been living. I’m thinking far more carefully about how I spend my money, and I’ve reached a conclusion that’s the literal antithesis of everything I was ever taught. And it’s simplified the hell out of everything. Erased a lot of difficult questions from my mind.
I don’t actually need most of the things a person is supposed to need.
I have always, always hated spending money on necessities. Those expensive or frequently-replaced items that add no real (color? happiness? dare I say fun?) to my life but seem to sap my bank account alarmingly quickly. It’s. ..sad. To watch money you could be using for a this-is-why-I’m-alive experience slip away for the sake of something you buy because you should. But I have no children. I don’t own a car. I live alone. So in a lot of ways, I’m able to be quite flexible.
And I would much rather put my money into something that makes my life a little richer -a concert, a book, lunch with my best friend. Some good tea or a really quality lipstick. Those things matter to me, and the less money I have, the more I want to spend it on things that feel like investments – in self care, in experience, in moments that feel good.
I can’t afford a microwave. Or rather, I’m not willing to shell out that much money for a kitchen appliance I can technically go without. My new place didn’t come with one, so I looked at some blogs to be sure there were other ways to heat up food and make frozen things unfrozen. There are.
For the past week I’ve been sleeping on the floor of my new bedroom, my top half bundled in blankets and the rest of me stuffed into an $8 sleeping bag my best friend bought me. And I’ve really been enjoying it. It’s surprisingly comfortable, I sleep better than I did before. So why waste the equivalent of my rent – money I truly cannot spare- on a mattress when I have this cozy space I’ve cultivated ?
My laptop recently succumbed to its charging issues. That’s okay, my tablet works. I want to take dance classes, but I’ve been practicing ballet in the empty room at the back of the house and I love it. The lack of clutter. The single aloe plant. One me. One screen with a youtube tutorial on it. It’s nice.
I don’t have any chairs, but I’ve been sitting under my big front windows, coloring, listening to podcasts, unworried. I feel good here, without any furniture yet or any of the decorative nonsense I couldn’t get in the move, stuff I’d previously felt obligated to find space for simply because I owned it.
I honestly don’t want much more in my home than what little is already here. Living without some of the things people would say I need has opened up space in my world, and in my budget, for the things that I really want.
So, without further ado – here’s my blueprint for the the next several months. Commence the experiment.
Things I’m Not Going To Buy
- A Microwave or a Toaster (a cheap toaster oven or just the oven should do)
- A Bed (cute bargain area rug to replace the quilt I’m using as a base, a few throw pillows and all the blankets I’m currently under)
- A Couch (ENORMOUS BEAN BAG SQUISH – yes they do exist, yes it is way cheaper, yes I am 100% trying it.)
- A Full Set Of Dishes (Just a few plates and bowls will cut down on dishes.)
- Paper Towels (I go through so many of these. I can’t wait to replace them with reusable cleaning cloths)
- Cleaning Chemicals (Ew, major OCD trigger. I’ve already long since traded these in for vinegar and baking soda and lemon juice.)
- Washing Machines (I’ll only be taking my towels and pajamas to the laundromat, and I’ll be doing the rest in the tub.)
- Meat (I’ve wanted to fully go veg for a long while, plus meat is frustrating to cook and damn expensive)
Things I Am Going To Buy (when I’m able)
- Some new bras, first and foremost
- Meals with friends
- Tickets to Concerts/Live Podcast Shows/Musicals/The Museum I now live down the street from
- A few new pieces for my tired wardrobe
- Treats and candy for adventures and depression days
- Fun, unexpected experiences
So, here goes a lifestyle I think might lack some of the stress I’ve been carrying around.
Also, you know. For The Aesthetic.