Welcome to a new interview series, DESIGN YOUR LIFE. In the months ahead I will be asking people of all walks of life what their intentions are, and how they design their life to fulfill those goals. Because when you think about it, everyone is a designer of their life, and we might all be better if we share our inspiration.
Meet Jill, of The Good Life For Less, a blog about all things related to living well, raising a family, saving when possible, daydreaming about designer duds, and the occasional splurge at Target. Below are 10 ways she lives out her intentions (I am loving #6).
1. I quit working this past fall to spend more time with my two pre-school aged children. I love these sweet, lazy days with the kiddos before they are whisked away to school for the rest of their lives. This cut our household income dramatically and has had a HUGE effect on how we live. Even without the extra money we have found that our quality of life has dramatically improved!
2. We recently downgraded (or upgraded!) to only one vehicle. My husband has a 8-5 office job only 15-20 minutes from home. Counting this as a luxury, we turned in a leased vehicle last month (perfect timing for the lease expiration) and decided not to replace it. We are now forced to plan our days and errands accordingly. It certainly cuts down on vehicle expenses every month (insurance, car payment) but most importantly eliminates any “I am bored I’ll take the kids to the Target” spending. I do have to say that I live in a great community with lots of moms, kids and parks within walking distance. This helps tremendously We also chose a high quality vehicle that we both love to drive, it is easier to justify the extra cost and makes us happier (in, admittedly, a very materialistic way: when we are carpooling around on crazy days, we have an oasis – or at least heated seats – to sink into).
3. I execute the “keep, sell, trash” practice often. Mostly because I have the time now, but also because it is a regular reminder on why NOT to spend frivolously. I find that we have so much stuff around the house that we don’t use or need. This way the clutter is out, the house is organized and sometimes I make a little cash too! I find that my mind is clearer any given day with less “stuff” around.
4. I plan a weekly menu and shop accordingly. I post the menu for the week on the fridge and there is never any more “What’s for dinner?”. I love it.
5. I blog about my dreams and my realities. I find that putting my ideas in black and white organizes my life. A lot of my blogging is selfish – I feel so blessed that others enjoy it.
6. I have two go-to brands for beauty, skincare and hair products. I never veer away from them because I trust the ethics of the companies, I trust the ingredients they use and I trust that they will work. It eliminates impulse purchases and medicine cabinets that are overflowing with products I won’t use.
7. I plan play-dates. I need time with other moms and my kids need time with other kids. Sometimes it feels like another thing on the schedule but I am always refreshed afterwards.
8. We rarely eat out. I find that eating out is a downward spiral that is hard to get out of so we just avoid it. (oh, but how I love to!)
9. I make time for my hobbies: reading, knitting, blogging. I make them a priority and can feel it in my bones when I am behind on one or the other of them. It’s my therapy!
10. I quit soft drinks and started drinking a lot of tea. I love the process of making tea and the calming effects of drinking tea and also the health benefits!