This week, the Frugal Babe wrote about Moving On and Letting Go. She’s done an impressive job of reducing the chemicals in her home and part of this post was about getting rid of all those leftover cleaning supplies that she was hanging onto just because she had bought them. So what if she wasn’t using them?
Having spent a few hours every week for the past few weeks going through my spare bedroom and my closets, I know where she’s coming from. I am realizing that there are a lot of things that I’m hanging onto just because I bought them. It doesn’t matter that I’m not using them. I don’t have the cleaning supplies that she has, though I definitely have more than I need, as I’m often intrigued by the newest and greatest product. My goal there is to use up what I have before buying anything else.
I’ve been doing a good job of getting rid of the clothing that I don’t wear. I find myself hanging on to some formal dresses that I haven’t worn in a while, but they still fit and a girl can dream of going to a fancy ball, right? But other things are getting a little out of hand. I have two large bowls full of paperclips and binder clips leftover from a job I held almost five years ago. Yes, paperclips and binder clips are useful. Do I need them all at my house? No. I’m considering bringing them to work to help organize my desk.
I have an extensive collection of body products as well. Lotions and soaps and all sorts of things, frequently picked up during sales. I’ve made a point to not buy any more soaps until I get through what I have, and that’s going pretty well. The lotions simply need to be weeded out. Some are probably older than I think.
It is hard to throw away things, knowing that I spent money on them. It feels extremely wasteful. But the waste isn’t tossing the products now. The waste happened back when I bought the products, knowing full well that I did not need them.
Clearing things like this out of my cabinets not only frees up space and simplifies my life a bit, but it is a reminder to only buy what I need. Stocking up makes sense, but not to excess, especially if it is not a product I am absolutely sure I will still want to use six months from now.
I wish I had kept better track of what I have been getting rid of. I know I just recently took 4 bags of clothing to Goodwill. I have no idea how many bags of trash or recycling have exited the apartment.
It’s a continual process, and a learning process, but it feels good to be getting all of that “junk” out of my home, no matter whether it’s getting donated, tossed, recycled, or sold.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.