Minimalism for the New Year: A Six Month Plan

A new year is a new start, which is why I am going to plan out a whole year of minimalism and spending. I started dipping my toes into minimalism last year by adopting the mindset of a stress-free living and creating a capsule wardrobe. Now I am ready to take it even further by applying it to all my spending habits and decluttering my entire apartment. That will be quite a feat.

I have also gotten out of touch with minimalism since I have been receiving a higher income. I caught myself buying things I didn’t need or duplicates of what I owned. When it came to assessing my collection of belongings, I kept telling myself I needed one more specific item before I can halt my spending again. Well, that was a lie. By no means do I have a lot of items of any kind, but it is the fact I was pursuing to acquire too much and I was draining my income. I was getting unhappy.

My plan is to appreciate everything I own instead of neglecting my belongings. When I sort through my apartment this month I will keep only what I actually use. This includes books, movies, magazines, art supplies, and clutter such as pens and pencils that may be broken. After this process, I will limit my spending to assure everything doesn’t creep back up on me. Throughout the year I will have a period where I will allow myself to buy new clothes for my capsule or a big purchase to treat myself. It will be smart purchases instead of mindless ones. These next six months will need a plan to adhere myself too, so here it is.

Some tools that will keep me accountable is a shopping list and a spending tracker. For each purchase I make I will write it down in my Bullet Journal. Just knowing I will have to write down a purchase will deter me from impulsive shopping. With these two tools, it will make it easy to stay on track.

So here are my plans for minimalism for 2017.

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January

I plan on completing the 101 Decluttering Challenge listed at the bottom of this post. I will have plenty of downtime before my second semester of college starts, so I might as well use my time wisely. Everything that doesn’t belong will either get donated or thrown out. It will leave a freshness behind of clearing out stress and burdens to make way for efficiency. After all, a mindset of minimalism is that having too many possession wears people down.

I will be planning out my new capsule wardrobe and even a capsule makeup collection. There will be a future blog post for both of them.

February

This will be No-Spend February. My only expenses besides bills, groceries, and gas will be replacing anything I run out of. I am interested to see how much I will save. Also the time I would spend mindlessly shopping can be spent doing activities I love. Around this time is when I start saving money for a shopping spree I always take in May. Unlike my usual sprees where I bring way too much money and blow it all, I will save only $200. I will put side $25 each paycheck until I meet the quota.

March

After not buying anything in February I will make a list of things I really want that I know I will get good use out of. These will be considered smart purchases.

April

Spring has arrived. With this change of season I will assess all my expenses to see where my money is going. I will have wrote down all my purchases for the past few months to see where my money is going, which will help me make a decision with how to proceed.

May

I will be planning my summer capsule and filling in any gaps I have in my possessions. My summer capsule won’t have too many new pieces, as in Northern US it is often chilly until June, and gets cold again in September. There will be a budget for how much I am willing to spend.

This month is my birthday and also the time I go on a shopping trip in a couple cities. I will write a list of things I want that are not available in the area where I live. I imagine I will pick more expensive items, but I don’t foresee myself needing anything at the moment. My budget will be around $200-$250. I plan on having some leftover money to put in the bank.

It is also my boyfriend’s birthday, so I will set aside some money for a big purchase.

June

Since I spent more money than usual in May, this will be another no-spend month.
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The spread of this seems feasible. I imagine I will be saving a lot of money throughout these six months. When it becomes late spring I will write another plan for the remaining six months of 2017.

declutter-challenge

 

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