- Personal Finance
Less is More: The 100 Thing Challenge, Simple, Frugal Living
Frugal & Loving it!
I love living frugally. When I take a look at our family budget every month, I relish stretching every dollar, making things last and living with less. But it wasn’t always this way, I didn’t always embrace the less is more philosophy. In fact it wasn’t until I stumbled upon the 100 Thing Challenge website that I was able to quiet the constant voice in my head that whispered “more, more, more,” and asked myself “what if what I have is enough…or even too much?”
- 100 Thing Challenge | A Guy Named Dave
The 100 Thing Challenge fights irresponsible consumerism and advocates alternative economies that everyone can enjoy.
A Way of Life
The author of this website, and now founder of an entire movement, challenges people to pare down their personal possessions to just 100 things, to live with less and see how it impacts their life. It is incredible and transformative and really affirms that less is more. And by this I mean; owning less, caring less about financial gains, using less of our physical and mental energy to acquire possessions frees us all to fill our lives with more meaningful pursuits like relationships and family and generosity.
On my Way
I wish I could tell you that I have successfully completed the challenge myself, but I haven’t. Although 100 seems like a big number, it’s not by today’s standards, so I’ll say I’m mid-process, but I truly believe that 100 items is more than enough. So I am trying to reduce my possessions everyday and am refusing to “buy in,” to a consumer culture anymore.
Through the 100 Thing Challenge and my frugal living ways I have discovered many unexpected gifts. My hope is that by sharing them here people will be inspired to take on the 100 Thing Challenge and embrace the less is more philosophy.
Less Money Equals Less Stress
When I had more money and more things I needed more money and more things to service the things that I had. I was on a treadmill of wanting more and needing more money to pay for the things I already had, but hadn’t finished paying for or cost money to maintain. Confusing and exhausting. And did owning any of these things really make me feel better? Nope. Did the debt of having all of these things make me feel incredibly stressed out? Yup. Less money forced me to separate my needs from my wants and let me get off the endless treadmill of acquiring more stuff. Really the less you have the less you need to worry about. Less money really does equal less stress.
Living with less has forced me to become a more resourceful person than I ever thought I could be. I’ve learned that I can live on very little money, I can grow my own food and can reach out to the ties in the community I have made through sharing what I have and that we can lean on each other to get through tough times. I can feed my mind and spirit by being out in nature with people I care about instead of mindlessly staring at a screen alone. I have the confidence to throw what I can into a backpack and hit the road to see what life has in store for me if it comes down to it and that is an incredible feeling that doesn't come from owning things or having money.
Packaged food costs more money, making things from scratch takes more time, but costs less money and is healthier for you. Gas costs money, riding your bike to the grocery store doesn’t cost money and is exercise. Watching TV every night leads to a sedentary lifestyle and isolation, going for a walk every night leads to health, well-being and seeing other human beings. I’m sure you see where I’m going here. Is having more money and a bigger TV worth your health? I’ve decided it isn’t.
When you stop owning everything yourself you find yourself reaching out into the community to see if anyone would be willing to share or barter with you. And wouldn’t you know it you end up talking with people and finding out about their lives and becoming friends. I think it’s what people used to do before texting and Facebook. It’s a strange and wonderful thing having relationships with people and speaking with them face to face.
Go for it!
If you’ve made it here why not take that next step? Get a box or a bag and walk around your house right now and find ten things to give away. Put the word out to friends and family that you’re willing to share and barter. Become a frugal ninja and grow your own food and turn off that TV. You may even go so far as to think about what life would be like if you worked less and lived more.