Project: Press Pause on Spending

Cultivating Simple: Press Pause on Spending

This course is about creating more space in your home and in your life. Keeping that in mind, it doesn’t make much sense to be putting all of this energy into clearing out your space, and all the while, continue bringing in more clutter … right!? 

So I’d like you to try something while you’re working through this course: consider testing out a temporary spending freeze. 

Pressing Pause

Think of a spending freeze as akin to pushing the pause button on the conveyer belt that keeps filling up your home with stuff. You need and deserve the peace and sanity that pausing the in-flow of clutter will bring you.

If this is sounding a bit scary, don’t worry. This doesn’t need to be painful, and rest assured, I’m not asking you to forego spending on necessary items like food and regular bills. Getting your child new shoes when the old ones are too small? Go for it. But new shoes for you just because you spotted a pair you love on your lunch break? Maybe not.

And because our purpose here is expressly related to clutter, I would encourage you to treat yourself to a few experiences when you feel the need for a splurge — a day at an art museum feels like a real treat, and won’t add clutter to your home! Let’s take a look at a few more examples — but remember, the lists that follow are by no means comprehensive or one-size-fits-all, so do what makes sense for you

Feel free to buy:

  • Groceries

  • Textbooks

  • Gas for the car

  • Rent, mortgage, and other regular bills

  • Birthday gifts for an upcoming event

  • Expenses for a trip you’re planning

  • Experiential treats (museum tickets, fresh flowers, good chocolate)

Avoid buying:

  • New books and magazines (try the library instead)

  • New clothes, bought just for fun

  • Kids’ toys

  • Home decor

  • Photo printing

  • Organizing products

  • Impulse purchases

  • Free swag

  • “Stocking up” on anything

Beware “Free” Stuff

A side-effect of your spending freeze may be rather significant savings. Hooray! But really, the ultimate purpose of this practice is to slow down that endless in-flow of stuff … and that includes free stuff. So while checking out library books is wholly endorsed and recommended, bringing home a bunch of stuff simply because it’s free is not in keeping with the intended purpose of this spending freeze. Practice saying “no thank you” to conference swag, unwanted hand-me-downs and other items you might find yourself accepting just because it cost zero dollars. The real cost isn’t financial: it’s a cost you’re paying for with your precious space + time.

Ideally, aim to keep up with your spending freeze for as long as you need to work through the rest of the course material. Having this break from impulse purchasing and frivolous spending can be incredibly freeing. And when you do shift back to a normal spending pattern, you will likely find that you have naturally become more mindful about money … and about the stuff you choose to bring into your home!


We officially begin on Monday, April 1

If you haven’t signed up yet & want to join us, be sure to do so by March 30, when registration closes. We won’t be opening registration again until Fall!

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