I started with this challenge when I find myself too overwhelmed with stuffs at home that I find myself unable to obtain new usable stuff which I really need to due to space constraint. What really trigger me to start it off was the timely HIP at my estate and the article that I came across.
And with this, I started off my first challenge last Nov, posting my progress on daily basis through my personal FB account.
SDC = Spending Detox Challenge … a challenge I made to myself with no spending on :-
1) new clothes (i have actually enough wear in the closet, probably you have too but we always said we don’t have clothes)
2) new accessories (same as above)
3) new shoes (there are some new ones yet to wear some more :P)
4) new bags (too many to use, they just don’t spoil. good one can last forever too 😉 )
5) new toys and stuffs that are impractical …
Differentiate between essential and non essential :-
1) food (3 essential meals … challenging myself to $5 for breakfast + lunch during working hours. dinner outings probably once a week depending on ‘urgent’ situation but must not exceed the overall expense set for a week. no purchases of TIBITS!! if someone treat it’s ok 😉 )
2) drink (to cut off expenses on bubble tea and cafe drinks)
Anyway here’s the article that inspired me. I’m only trying out for a month first. With the living standard in an urban city, bills are unavoidable, so it’s difficult to live like how the article mentioned.
I’m in the midst of de-cluttering and de-owning my stuffs to make way for a better kept home. This challenge came in at the right time! Many people are supporting me. Will you too? 😉
The result wasn’t too bad for a starter as it turned out to be below my budgeted amount for the month. But still there are rooms for improvement.
As much as I wanted to start another month of challenge, it seemed a bit hard as there will be numbers of gatherings and celebrations during Dec seasonal month. I decided to start a soft one off in Jan instead as Chinese New Year fell on Feb this year.
JAN is a mth of spendings — Family birthdays + CNY stuffs. As my full SDC can only be fulfiled in May, I would like to start out a soft opening first. There is 半天斋, and here’s a 半天SDC. 😉
The reason why it exceeded the budgeted so much was because of the many Chinese New Year goodies that I wanted to share with my dearest family members and friends. And seasonal goodies weren’t cheap at all. 😦
Strangely to say, I have been looking forward to May challenge since. Probably because I knew I would be spending substantially during the 2 week-long trips in early Feb and end Mar, plus there will be a long halt trip coming in Oct. >.<
Family members, close friends and colleagues of mine had been informed beforehand of this challenge. And they were very supportive by not tempting me with gatherings until Jun. 😀
And there goes the longawaited! I was pretty long-winded in my ‘opening message’ this time.
Once again, SDC means Spending Detox Challenge. It does not mean dieting in any way. It is rather the reduction of spending, where essentials should overpower luxuries. And in most cases, spending on food played a big part in our daily expenses.
Eating well and be happy while spending less is not impossible. Rather than linking it to monetary, my main concern is wastage. It can be both physical wastage as well as psychological wastage.
Buying too much that led to having too many things in a house can face space constraint. When you found something useful that you really need to have but at the back of your mind, you know you do not have enough space for it, that’s when you feel stress. Imagine the amount of time spent on maintenance, when you can actually have more bonding time with your family and friends as well as fond hobbies. ‘Maintenance’ would means cleaning, sorting, packing, or in another word, de-cluttering process. By the time everything is done, we would feel physically and mentally exhausted. Weekends will no longer be weekends anymore.
And more than not, quarrels occurred due to maintenance. Why things are not kept away after use? Why were these not properly cleaned? Why were those not done? … Every day of maintenance takes time. Everyone would hope the other party is doing it, or someone to do it. It takes a lot of physical strength and mental stress to deal with, thus everyone is starting to feel unhappy, which maybe not be now but later a strain in relationship.
So instead of getting gadgets to help with the work, why not start with de-owning? I was thinking.
I ever read an article on Forbes that says “we spend money on spending, then we spend money to warehouse and organise the stuff we spend on. Then we pay to discard it. Then we pay to maintain the landfills where it sits for ever and ever.” Yes, it stays forever! It will never be evaporated into thin air and gone forever. Can you imagine what our descendants will have to bear with in future? Or if there is reincarnation, it will come back to us.
We are constantly wasting our planet resources for our temporary desires. Retail therapy can save you from temporary stress, but the aftermath of it is actually taking a longer time to recuperate, be it environmentally or financially.
Living in a suburban city, where everything costs money, whether you like it for not, bills have become a part of your necessity. Household, transport, insurance, phone … how much left to save has becomes so insignificant. It hits hard on me when the medishield insurance cash payment increased almost 50% last year. And just not long, I received news that the premium will increase again, which means I have to fork out more cash. But it is such an essential thing where you cannot avoid not having.
The HIP has led me to realise (though I knew that long ago) that we had too much (I simply not able to count them) stuffs at home that are wasting our attention. Worst than not, there are far too many stuffs that were actually long forgotten. Being a sentimental fool, I kept a lots of sentimental treasures which are well kept/hidden in boxes and cupboards. The sentimental stuffs can be quite a burden at times as they took up quite a substantial amount of space in my room.
Thus this round, along with the SDC, I am challenging myself to de-own 1000 items in a month time to start with. I called it the “1000 Items Less Challenge (1000ILC). I will try to clear 250 items per week by catergories.
I remembered reading an article that says charity is not a dumping ground. I do agree but not all of it though. It is not about giving a new or old item, but more on the functional condition of the items that we are giving. It would be a shame to waste but it would be even shameful to trash it. If the other party can use it, why not give it out.
Whatever it is, to reduce such a waste, buy only what you need and not what you want. No one is stopping anyone from following trend but you can choose wisely. Do not buy thing on impulse and discard after that.
So to say, I’m going to go through my mountain of stuffs now. Gosh! >.<
I was very persistent this time not to be sway by temptation and having home-cooked dinner throughout the month. Everything falls within my budget and I could saved almost two third of my expenses. :))
Even though I was very persistent in my expenses but alas, I failed on my 1000ILC. 😦 I guess I need more time for this as it wasn’t easy to simply discard away things I kept for years. I shall give myself another 2 months. Let’s see how’s the result by Aug, after my next SDC in Jul! 😉