Today, I read Journeyer's post on Wants vs Needs. I could feel her words on her past decisions as if I'd wrote them myself.
In my home, we have been working on the "Wants vs Needs" realization for the past few months. Like others, my husband's layoff (and decision to go into business for himself) last November reduced us to a single-income family. As we had always had enough for the extra wants, it is difficult for us to be at the point of saying "I'm sorry, we can't" to financial requests from our children. And, that has included having to say "I'm sorry, we can't" to the requests from our inner child too.
I am very proud of our efforts to tame our wants quite a lot. I'm just getting used to this being our new "norm". I won't lie and say that when the finances improve we will continue with this frugality, though I do believe it has reinforced the idea of "Wants vs Needs" for our family.
It has also had a huge impact on my decluttering. Rather than buying my way through a rough day, I've had to look for other sources of relief that we could actually afford. I have turned to journal writing for the times when I want to feel introspective and have rediscovered the stress relief of using my body (cleaning with fury, doing exercise, etc.) for times when I don't want to be still.
This has had a two-fold effect. I don't buy clutter that I will later have to deal with and have used my "free time" to look inward...both at myself and my home. Doing so is what prompted me to commit myself to decluttering one item each day for 365 days.
It has also allowed me to go shopping in my own home. We are on the tail-end of a major remodel and, as we lost space, stuff from one room was shoved into closets of another. While looking through my home for my "declutter item of the day", I have rediscovered these lost treasures. I admit, I've also found some of my impulse buys from my stress shopping.
Thankfully, I know that guilt over the lost money and such isn't worth it. I pass them on and know that both the physical and mental clutter they were in my life is now gone.