Cost Neutral Living – could you do it?

You may have seen my recent post about my quest to clear 1,000 things (C1000T) from my house. Although the aim of this exercise was to clear the clutter, a by-product has been that I have made cash from the things that I have sold.

Although the money raised is a fraction of what I paid for the items originally, it has made me think differently about the way I earn and spend money. I was, I suspect like most people, in a cycle of earning my wages and then spending it without much thought for the other things I could be doing with that money. Buying stuff was my reward for working hard and being out of the house all day.

Many of my friends are now stay at home mums having giving up their full time, well paid jobs to care for their beautiful children. As an outsider, it’s been really interesting to watch their transition from consumerist beings in the cycle that I am currently in, to those who spend more consciously.

From the outside at least, all of these women seem happy with the shift and although not a new thought, it has compounded my growing realisation that perhaps the stuff doesn’t make you happy. I am hoping that I don’t need the major life change of having a child (or losing your job, relationship breakdown or illness) to make a shift in my attitude to spending money.

So, for the next six months, I am going to approach my budget in a new way. At the start of each month, I will allocate a fixed amount to cover my outgoings. However, anything else I want (a cocktail night with the girls, a new dress etc) will need to come from money I earn from other sources.

I like to think I am a savvy shopper and frequently use cashback websites and other sources to earn income on my purchases. Also, I still have a lot of stuff to get rid of as part of C1000T which I am hoping to use to top up my allowance and help to reduce the clutter.

When choosing something to buy, I know have to get rid of a number of things to make way for this new purchase, which will challenge how much I want it and what I am willing to part with to fund it. Part of the decluttering process has also highlighted to me, how many things I already own and the amount of unfinished sewing and clothing projects I have. If I completed all of those, I would have at least ten new items in my wardrobe!

The overall idea is that I live ‘cost neutrally’ both in terms of money and also the number of ‘things’ I bring into the house. Could you do the same? Do you spend consciously?



One thought on “Cost Neutral Living – could you do it?

  1. I think we are fairly conscious. As the crow flies I think our house is bam smack half way between two supermarkets. We did a “big” shop last week and spent about £80 which minus milk, bread and fresh veg which are replenished each week it should last us 2 or 3 weeks. When Chris and I got in the car we “guestimated” what it would have come to at the other supermarket and I think we were on about £200 easily. Some things like the Free From food we have to go to the other supermarket – although a lot of the “normal” items pass for free from anyway. For example BBQ Sauce – one supermarket puts gluten in theirs the other supermarket doesn’t. I think we are still able to afford extra treats and bits like that but I do think that most of the time we’re pretty good at being conscientious.

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