Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury - to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best for both the body and the mind.At first I was just trying desperately to get our spending under control. I embarked upon a year long journey to see how little stuff I could acquire (food not considered). That was shortly after I went on a mission trip to Guatemala and saw how little people can really live on, and not just get by on but really live lifetimes, generations; there are entire cultures of people who just don't have much of anything. Not long after, this blog began and I started to really budget all of our spending, track it, and try to get it lesser and lesser. I've come such a long way.
"It's what's on the inside that really counts." Remember your mom trying to tell you that when you were an adolescent and you were crying because someone said you were fat or ugly or that you would be cute if it weren't for your 32 chins? (someone really said that about me in the fifth grade) Who cares what really counts when what everyone really wants is more, bigger, better, smarter, and prettier.
Twenty years later and my heart, what's on the inside, screams with a peaceful sort of sound, "a simple and unassuming manner of life IS best; it is what's on the inside that really counts."
I remember wanting things when I was young. I remember before getting my first paper route I lost a pair of earnings that I adored. Goodness they were long. I think they actually touched my shoulder. Us 80's kids were the coolest. I remember crying and crying and asking my mom if she would "please, please, please buy me another pair." She refused. I'm sure she said something about me needing to take care of my things (in truth my younger brothers were responsible for the loss and destruction of most of my things). I remember screaming something like, "I hate you. I wish I had a job. I wish I were an adult." I cried and cried. I do not remember what I said but the memory of losing those earrings and wishing with all my heart that I could fast forward time and be an adult and have a job and buy my own stuff and be responsible for my life, that is a vivid memory for me even today. I remember the feelings I had in that moment, the ardent desire to grow up and work and have money and be able to buy stuff.
I wish I could take it back, that feeling. Do you ever think about going back and telling your little kid self something, a message, like words of wisdom or some advice on how to handle a certain situation? I think I'd go back to that very moment. I'd tell myself that childhood is a gift (I did not spend very much of my childhood being a child; my childhood ended when I was 10) and to try my very hardest to enjoy it and appreciate it. I'd tell myself that stuff is not important that it could never make anyone happy and to start there and then looking for the lovely bits of life. And of course I'd tell myself that I was VERY special and that it really is what's on the inside that counts. I suppose if I'd had listened I would probably have a very different life then the one I have now. Maybe that's one of the reasons we can't go back (you know, and the fact that time travel isn't possible).
This was going to be a quick little post. Oops. All that to say, less is more. Simple is better. It is what's on the inside that really counts. Things and money and stuff really aren't all that they're cracked up to be.
Spending rundown today: $17.89 on groceries.
My budget for the month is $436 which leaves $111.58
Average daily spending for 2015: $17.97