living simply

A recent blog post by my close friend Fiona has got me thinking. Could I live with just 100 belongings, not including shared items and necessities?

I suppose it depends upon what you call a necessity. My Tiffany bud vase (and indeed my iPad) are not necessities, and yet I love them, not to mention the limited but carefully-selected bookshelf of books I allow myself in our space-challenged home.

Never mind my three dozen or so pairs of shoes, including countless pairs of spangly flip-flops (all different colours of course).

This might be more difficult than I thought.

I have been thinking back to recent purchases. Apart from necessities like groceries, toiletries and the like, what else have I purchased in the past month or so for myself – that is, not gifts for others? It’s not exhaustive but here goes:

  • a new red singlet top for our holidays (hmm not a necessity I suppose)
  • spray-on waterproofing for our backpacks (necessary in pre-hurricane season Mexico)
  • water purification tablets for our holiday (necessary)
  • a new scented candle – no, make that two (I shall admit one is challenging, and two is a luxury)
  • new specs which I have not picked up yet (definitely necessary)
  • three basic A5 notebooks, one for my holiday journal and two for work (necessary)
  • a new fountain pen (an indulgence given I already have three)
  • quite a few books, maybe 6 or so (necessary for the soul, I believe, and also I give the vast majority of books away when I have finished them)
  • half a dozen iPhone/iPad apps (an indulgence, just like my i-devices)
  • a new necklace and two new pairs of purple-stoned earrings (definite indulgences)
  • a new winter hat (necessary even in Australia, unless you count the three or four I already have…)

Not awful when I list them, but there were quite a few unnecessary purchases in there including the jewellery, the candles, the hat and the fountain pen.

I am satisfied that I only spent $3.40 on one basic red singlet top as additional holiday wear: everything else I have packed I have owned for quite some time. So no pre-holiday splurge. And for me, it is easy to be frugal in terms of purchases when travelling, as anything I buy has to fit in my 65 litre backpack and be carried by me.

Perhaps when I get home from our trip I will see how long I go before my first non-necessity purchase. A winter of frugality, maybe.

Or will I wimp out?

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