Lately I’ve been having discussions back and forth with Josh. We have a lot in common and our sense of living is definitely on the same level — we’re torn!
I love living in more of a city-like atmosphere because everything is a quick walk away, there so much to do, it’s nearly impossible to be bored, you always have places to take visitors, there are many people to meet and stories to tell. It’s just…exciting!
On the other hand, a country life appeals to me as well. It forces you to use what you have naturally, enjoy nature as it was intended, and lacks the stress of city life.
I think right now I’m very young. I grew up in a country scape away from the suburban parts of town… There was never anything to do, it took a 15 minute drive to reach town, and I got bored quickly. I love the quiet escape and the runs I used to have. Where else would deer come out at 8pm to run beside you before they disappear? It’s lovely, but also lonely and dull. I prefer a city life for now, but when we get older I’d say we’d go buy a cabin somewhere in the middle of nowhere and enjoy ourselves just as we are.
A lot of things come to mind hearing the word “minimalism,” but the topic of beauty isn’t usually one of the top ten. Lately I’ve been thinking about what it means trying to be a minimalist woman in today’s society.
I think the ultimate extreme of this is not wearing make-up, shaving my hair off, and wearing a cloth robe every day with no shoes. Hence the addition of “today’s society.” How do we take that into modern times?
When I think of minimalistic beauty I think of creating a routine for yourself that is fast, easy, and doesn’t require too many resources. A woman who looks effortless but put together is beautiful, in my opinion. Here’s how I would imagine minimalistic beauty for a woman who may look simple but still looks gorgeous:
Long hair. I had this internal debate for a while, but I’ve finally made up my mind. Long hair is the easier. I never have to think about it; I don’t even remember the last time I cut it! Shorter hair, while you may think takes less time to take care of, ends up being high maintenance when it comes to both trimming and style.
Natural make-up. While it would be great to purchase only cruelty-free make-up (it’s not hard ladies, really!) I think every girl needs a make-up routine that they can get done in five minutes. (Ten, tops!) Make-up should be about accentuating your natural look, not dramatizing it. It’s always great to have fun with make-up, but I usually save that for special events.
Conscious clothing. Be aware of what you’re buying. Whenever I buy clothes I ask myself if it’s a need or a want. Most of the time it’s a need, and if it’s a want I swap something out of my closet that I’m sick of and donate it. This way your clothes are kept at a minimum, but you can still enjoy shopping.
Quality accessories. I find that I only wear jewelry that has value, otherwise it gets tossed in a pile that I later give to a family member. Have only a few accessories, but make them special.
Necessary shoes & bags. I’m not a shoe person, but I admit that I have a thing for bags. Either way, I only keep an item that has a purpose. For example, one pair of sneakers, one shopping bag, one pair of brown heels, one tote bag, etc. Having a collection of shoes and bags in every color is just a no-no for simplicity.
What’s your idea of minimalistic beauty? Do you consider yourself a minimalist or do you indulge when it comes to beautifying yourself every day?
Living within your means is the secret to success. Right? I disagree! I think living below your means is the way to go. Be the cheap-o, the coupon-er, the deal-getter. Be conscious of where your money is going.
Josh and I drove from Florida to California to start a new life here right out of college, and it hasn’t been easy. We adjusted to living within such a small income because we had to. Since then, Josh has gotten a pay raise and I’ve also started working. But it doesn’t matter, because we generally try to live the same way we did before all of that happened.
You may think I’m crazy. Most of the time I would agree, but here’s why I think this works and how you can get there.
Savings. Spending a lot less money than what you’re making means you will have money left sitting in your bank account. This lets you save for essentials like emergencies (you should always have an emergency fund!) and also lets you save for goodies you may be wanting to buy in the future.
Quality. When you’re keeping an eye on your money, you’re probably paying more attention to what you’re buying. You buy things knowing they will have a purpose and it’s truly what you’re looking for.
Purpose. You’re not buying things just because you have the money to, while others go without. And that’s a pretty good feeling.
Donating. Maybe you even have enough to donate to something you feel strongly about. Wouldn’t that be better than buying something you didn’t really care for?
Smarts. I go into places with coupons and walk away paying less than the person in front of me who paid full price. I also notice a lot of people don’t read the fine print on coupons and don’t realize when stores accept expired coupons or if you’re allowed to use more than one. Know your stuff! You can end up saving a lot just being savvy.
How to do it
Don’t adjust. Did you get a pay raise? Congrats! But still stick to your current budget. It’s easy to adjust to your income level, but once you live below what you’re making it’s easier to stick to than to stop when you’ve gone too far.
Prioritize. Savings or credit card debt should be taken care of the minute you get paid, not at the end of the month. That way it’s taken care of. Because it is, after all, the most important thing next to food and the roof over your head. You pay rent every month, and you should pay your bank account too!
Cut out. Look at what you pay for every month and see how you can alter or cut out some things that are keeping you from being under budget. For me this is usually subscription services and gourmet coffee.
Save up. When I want something expensive I put money in a special place to save up for it. Paying a few bucks each month is easier than paying the entire chunk at once. Can’t wait? Sell your valuables online and see if you can make up for some difference, or try and look for a savings deal in your area.
Treat yourself. Finally, it’s okay to buy a few things that make you happy. That is of course after you put money into savings and make sure you’re out of debt. Otherwise, those things should take priority. Once they’re taken care of for the month, there’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence! (Which in my case, probably still involves coupons.)