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100 days of less Challenge Complete! Journey to Minimal Living

In starting our journey to minimal living, we did the 100 days of less challenge (our rules). After completing this challenge, we realized that practicing minimalism was much harder than we thought. We did well with our eating out only twice a week rule (this usually kills our budget), but we couldn’t go 100 days without buying anything. We would always find reasons why we needed to buy something.

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We bought the following 4 items within the 100 days of less challenge:

  1. Water flosser – I hate flossing, so i considered this an investment on my teeth.
  2. Humidifier – we needed one while we were sick since California has drier climates.
  3. Olive oil from napa valley – a souvenir from our trip.
  4. Travel jewelry roll – Was looking for this for over 3 years, and finally stumbled upon it while holiday shopping.

Our 100 days of less challenge / shopping ban and journey to minimalism. living simply blog. minimal living. simple living blog. simplify your life. Live simple. Living a simple lifestyle. Living on less. Simplify your life. Simplifying your life.Pin

The first two I felt were justified, because they are health related. The olive oil we accounted for in our grocery budget. For the last item, though, I could have had more self control. Not that I have buyer’s remorse, but I know I could have. I’m not going to beat myself up about it anymore, because overall I think we did pretty well considering how much we normally spend. We are better than we were before. When we try next time, we’ll just have to be even better!

First of all, I’m thankful that we’re done with the challenge. :P But I am also thankful for a few other reasons:

  • It kept more money in our pockets, so that we can give more and also spend it on things that are worthwhile.
  • It helped us be more mindful and aware of where our money is going.
  • We learned to evaluate whether something will really be beneficial to our lives before buying them.

Next, we will be trying out Project 333 where we pick out 33 items of clothing, including accessories, bags, and shoes and use only those for 3 months. Anyone want to try it with us? Wish us luck!

What’s something in your spending that you would like to cut back on to make room for something better?

This is week 19 of practicing gratitude on my blog. You can see all my other gratitude posts by clicking on the banner:
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This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. Shannon Kennedy

    I’ve been trying to minimize and get rid of things I no longer need. I did once month without any excess spending and I did alright at that, but I still have things I purchase that I don’t necessarily need. I’m incredibly guilty of buying new language learning books when I still haven’t even opened the ones I already own.

    1. esther julee

      Story of my life! I feel like I’m constantly getting rid of things.. but somehow more things accumulate!! I guess that’s why decluttering and spring cleaning is a process that needs to be repeated… FOREVER!! *sigh

      1. Shannon Kennedy

        Absolutely! I’m thinking about trying the “one out, one in” method, but I think I need to get a few more things “out” before I allow anything else “in.”

        1. esther julee

          That’s a good start! Which reminds me I have to take two things out!

  2. Yun Mi Park

    I’m finally catching up on all my blog reading, and I absolutely love this post. We have been trying to downsize/get rid of the unused or unnecessary items in our apartment but not buying anything for 100 days is tough! Good on y’all!

    1. esther julee

      haha we tried!! didn’t make it with nothing.. but now hopefully we can stick to the rule of if we buy something, we have to toss something out. PLUS, we just moved into a smaller apartment with significantly less storage & closet space.. so we’re trying to figure out how to downsize some more.. countertops are all full now.

      1. Yun Mi Park

        I hear ya! Our move to Boston forced us to downsize significantly, I’m talking 800 sq ft significantly with very little storage. It’s good practice, though, to cut off the excess, the fat as I say. All good things! :)

  3. Erika

    Way to go! You guys were very successful! I’m not sure I am down with the minimalist (it’s the hoarder in me, haha) but I definitely need to downsize and get rid of some things. I think I get a little too attached, though, since I’ve moved a lot and have gotten rid of a lot of my stuff over the years. But I do like the underlying message of minimalism, which is: love what you own. A lot of times, we don’t even care about the stuff we have. To have a home filled with things we really enjoy or make us happier or are beautiful is better than a bunch of stuff that we impulsively buy, keep and don’t use!

    1. esther julee

      i’m glad that you know where you stand. this was a great challenge for me to learn where we are at. i think the message is great, and i am trying to live more and more by it. i do love stuff, so i’m not sure I can ever be completely minimalistic, but i’m starting to think more quality over quantity.. and i’ve also noticed that the style of clothes and the home decor i pin on pinterest has a very minimalistic style to it. i def can’t achieve it unless i get rid of some of my stuff.. or have a storage facility to store my stuff haha.

  4. do you realize that under travel jewelry roll, you wrote, “was look for his for over 3 years…” when i read that i thought, “jacob wears that much jewelry?” LOL

    1. esther julee

      oops! :P i guess i need more than one person proofreading for me. jacob didn’t even catch that haha

  5. Tidy-Up Gal

    Wow, had never heard of a water flosser until now. How cool! You did great with your challenge! Even if you still bought a few things here and there at least you’re more aware. I spend a lot of money on beauty products and eating out, and I need to cut back. It is even more crucial that I cut back because our wedding is in a few months!

    1. esther julee

      I love my water flosser. :) It’s hard to go cold turkey on anything.. but I think it’s better to start somewhere! Ooh yeah.. weddings are so expensive! It was so hard figuring out how to budget everything while we were wedding planning. What has helped me lately is.. I’m trying to have the mindset where I’m not telling myself that I’m depriving myself of something I want and instead I’m telling myself that I’m putting it towards something better. Thinking of it as substitution rather than being unhappy that I don’t have X.

    1. esther julee

      I do! it helps so much.. especially when you’re sick. It is super dry out in Cali. I’ve never had to use face moisturizer until I moved here.

  6. Esther, this is an awesome challenge! I feel like I need to work up the self control to do something similar because I’m sure it really paid off in the end, especially in examining your habits and what is really important to you. Well done!

    1. esther julee

      Thanks Amy. I think you can do it!! I rarely have any self control, and I’m pretty impulsive about most things in life – even shopping. Slow and steady always wins. :)

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