Minimalist Monday: Jen's Minimalist Journey

Posted by:Lindsay S. Nixon Category: Minimalist

I love hearing about your personal journeys toward minimalism, and
today I'm thrilled to share Jen's journey and hope you draw some
inspiration from her!

"A little background about me: I have been married for eight years and
my husband Mike and I just purchased a home recently. After three
apartments and too many moves, we started to lighten the load of stuff
that we had before and after marriage.

Time is always crunched for us. I work 40 hours a week, and Mike works
an opposite schedule from mine, so we only have a short time together
before he has to dash off to work. It can be difficult to sit down and
sort stuff.

We each come from different backgrounds. Mike grew up in a household
where things were stacked floor to ceiling in boxes kept in the
garage, as well as in certain parts of his parents' home.

I grew up on a farm with parents of limited means. My mother always
tried to be organized. She got by with less, not more. She would
gather up clothes that no longer fit growing farm kids and pass them
on to others. Families in the community did the same.

With this frugal background, I learned the value of hard work and
making what money I did have count.

My husband and I paid off all our debts before we purchased our home.
We agreed to go on a money diet, limiting eating out, going to the
movies, and other splurges that add up. We agreed not to make any
purchases other than necessary things like food, gas, rent, and a few
other bills.

We drove a lot less, and we agreed to a weekly allowance of $20.00 per
person to spend, no questions asked. We paid off two car loans, all
the credit cards, my husband's student loan, and that left us just my
student loan to pay, which is almost done.

We had a set budget for everything and we still manage to stick to it
fairly well. We even put some savings away for the future.

There were some unexpected things like unplanned car repairs that
slowed us down, but my husband rode the bus to work for six months
until we had enough for the repairs. I dropped him off at work if he
didn't have to go in before I got off from work.

We bought a smaller, older home that was partially remodeled by the
previous owner. We wanted to live within our means in this difficult
and unsure economic climate.  Since we know too many people in the
Pacific Northwest without employment, Mike and I agreed it would be
good to be prepared for anything.

At first, our house organization and the clutter felt like a huge,
daunting task, but we started out small. We did sell some things that
we had, plus we donated stuff we no longer needed to Goodwill.

Next year, we plan to grow our own organic garden. One of the goals is
to get a greenhouse in the future so we can grow year-round."

Thanks for sharing your story, Jen! Herbies, what are your goals on your minimalist journeys?

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