Minimalism lite served me well this year. I’m no longer living out the latte effect. My shoes almost all fit into my organizers. There is hope that one day, my husband’s clothes and mine will be able to live side by side in one closet. That’s to say nothing of the money that I’ve made selling my stuff, clocking in at just over $1,300 for the year.
Yes, my watered-down version of decluttering and deowning was a bright spot in 2016. Until I realized that I gave away the saltshakers. Now, I’m not so sure. Continue reading “Minimalism and Losing a Mentor”
Earlier in the week, I penned a call to giving. Of course, volunteering time and talent makes a difference. I’d like to think that Mr. P and I both know that well from firsthand experience. But charitable giving matters just as much–maybe, in some ways, even more. As a result, Mr. P and I work to prioritize charitable giving as we pursue financial independence. To keep the act of giving at the forefront of our minds, we include it in our monthly budget, but we also make sure to include weekly giving when we grocery shop. Continue reading “Our Current Giving Practices and Goals”
The oxygen mask on an airplane analogy is a cornerstone in life lessons. It essentially boils down to the notion that we need to help ourselves before we can effectively help anyone else. I get it. What I don’t understand, though, is the fact that so many people feel that they not only have to have their masks positioned just so, but they must also upgrade to an elite model and make sure that they can use their own masks in perpetuity before even deigning to glance at struggling passengers. Some of whom are seated in the very same row.
My fear is that far too often we allow the notion of personal finance to become insular. Yes, personal finance is about arranging your own finances in such a way that your money is ultimately able to work for you. Not the other way around. But to what end? Continue reading “You Don’t Have to Give, But You Absolutely Should”
When it comes to making a donation to a food pantry or a food bank, I used to think it was a no brainer. My mind mapped out a Venn diagram of sorts that considered what my dietary staples included, what I knew to be non-perishable items, and then I tried to scoop up whatever overlapped. Rice, peanut butter, canned vegetables, canned fruit, noodles, pasta sauces, soups, sugar, flour, salt, in addition to other baby and personal care items*.
Still, I realize that a big part of what food banks and food pantries do besides keep people fed is to also provide dignity. With that in mind, I’ve tried to expand my donations. If you’re looking to push your giving beyond the basics, here are a few of my favorite items to donate. Continue reading “Three Overlooked Donation Options for Food Pantries”
Over the past month, I’ve gone back to clipping coupons. Not “let’s buy free contact solution even though no one wears contacts” couponing. Not “buried under a mountain of Sunday papers” couponing. I’m not even primarily couponing for things I need. I’m couponing for our food pantry. Continue reading “My Return to Couponing & How to Start”
Fresh fruit? Check. Almond milk? Got it. Brown rice? Better grab two. Each week, my grocery list includes a little something extra. Of course, I splurge on treats for myself (hello, chai tea!) and Mr. P (cheers, beer!) every once in a while. But those are not consistent extras. I do, however, routinely add items for my local food bank to my grocery list. In fact, I make it a point to purchase at least one item for the food pantry each week. The why is obvious, but the benefits–both budgetary and otherwise–might not be. Continue reading “Simple Switches: Shop for Your Food Bank Each Week”