I like to challenge myself. To test the way I live my life. Just because I started doing something a certain way at one point, it may not be the best way for me to do things today. A large part of our lives just happens on autopilot.

My monthly challenges to myself are a part of this. During this year I’ve been a little more structured about it than usual (I’ve been doing a Happiness project together with friends, more about this in a later post). This year – one month at a time – I’ve abstained from carbs, alcohol, screentime, shopping. And instead I’ve challenged myself – one month at a time – to get to bed earlier, spend more time with my husband, move my body more, remember to rest.

To be extremly frugal is a challenge. A challenge that helps me see what kind of choices I make regarding money, for myself and together with mr L. The easist way for me to be frugal is to just stop buing things. Except for food and medicin (and fuel, and electricity and other stuff that are necessary for life to work – we haven’t relocated to a cabin in the woods).

This is not a very big step for me – for long stretches of my life I haven’t had any choice but to weigh every expence carefully, since money was scarce. The last years have been a little different – and in order to understand that I actually challenged myself to buy stuff I wanted during one year, to treat myself.

What I learned from that experience is that I really don’t care that much about stuff. What I want is a life that just works, so that I can du whatever I want to do at the time without being hindered by stuff that’s not functional. If I buy something I want it to meet my needs and solve a problem. And it’s by no means certain that the best way to do that it buy buying something new, it may just as easily be solved buy buing something used, or adapting something thats already there. Or sometimes changing my way of doing things.

I’ve also noticed that it’s very relaxing not to shop. Not shopping leaves a lot of time to other things. Like spending time with the people I care about – som much more fullflling than a new gadget. And to slow down, relax and give myself time to realise what my needs really are, right now.

A month isn’t such a long time, why not give it a go yourself? What happens to you and your life if you avoid buing things?