Tag: minimalism

Why You Must Forgive Your Financial Failures and How to Start

Why is Forgiving Financial Failures is So Difficult?

Some of the most profound struggles we can experience are the unseen. Emotions like regret, guilt and the inability to forgive are stubborn and painful. The mass of information available online espousing mindfulness, stress management, letting go of past regrets and self-forgiveness attests to the fact that people are struggling. This stuff is in demand precisely because people are in pain. It’s not easy to forgive others who have slighted you, but it’s even more difficult to forgive yourself for your own mistakes, especially when it comes to forgiving financial failures.

Regrets:? We All Have Them

I know I am not the only one who sometimes lies awake at night watching a never ending reel-to-reel of ?if only I had/hadn?t.? Some of them are really harsh. For example, ?if only I hadn?t been cruel to my mother as a teenager. Now she is dead and there is no turning back.? But I find that, with practice, I can learn to forgive myself for many of the foolish things I have done in the past that have hurt others and myself.

I know I am not the only one who sometimes lies awake at night watching a never ending reel -to-reel of ?if only I had/hadn?t.?

I know I am human and humans sometimes make grave mistakes. We acknowledge them, learn to forgive ourselves, and are often able to eventually move on over time. But financial mistakes such as ?if only I hadn?t been so irresponsible with my credit cards.? or ??if only I hadn?t taken out that student loan my last semester,? are much harder to get over. And there are valid reasons for this.

I find that the difference between personal regrets and financial regrets is that many personal regrets are only kept alive in our minds. If we learn to practice self-compassion, this can lead us to self-forgiveness. And this, in turn, can allow us to let go of the past. Our regrets fade and fall off of our radar as something that we have already dealt with. Time and distance allow us to mature beyond them.

The difference between personal and financial failures.

Of course, this is much easier to do when there is nothing around you to continually remind you of your wrong doings. If someone is in your face repeatedly reminding you of your past mistakes, it?s a hell of a lot harder to move on. And this leads us to the problem with financial regrets and why they are so hard to get over.

Financial regrets usually have to do with debt. And debt has this nasty characteristic of popping up every month when we have to make a damn payment. Many of us are already suffering daily in a very tangible way because of our past financial mistakes. And then, to add insult to injury, we end up re-living the pain of our financial failures each time we have to pay our bills. So it raises the question: ??How can we learn to forgive ourselves for our financial failures when they are always in our face???

Financial regrets usually have to do with debt. And debt has this nasty characteristic of popping up every month when we have to make a damn payment. How do we move on?

I know the feeling well. Sitting there each month, doling out your salary in chunks that barely put a dent in your credit card balances. The student loan balance that just seems to increase no matter how long you’ve been paying it. The feelings of desperation, frustration, shame, and regret. We tend to feel that we alone are financially suffocating while beating ourselves up for it. But here’s the thing, we are not alone.

You are not alone. Half the country is barely making it.

We try to say, ?what?s done is done.? We try to say, ?oh well, there is nothing I can do about it now.? But it doesn?t seem to lessen the pain we feel each month when our debts take a bite out of the salary we have traded hours of our life for. If this strikes a chord with you at all, I just want you to know that you are not alone. 50% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and just as many Americans are ?concerned, anxious or fearful about their current financial well-being? on a daily basis. Why are so many of us suffering from this?

We are forced to use the credit system to be able to obtain basic necessities. We really don?t have a choice.

We are virtually a nation of debtors, and it is somehow wrong. We have to have a good credit score to do anything in our modern economic system, from gaining employment to renting an apartment. And in order to build a good credit score, we have to get a credit card. We are literally trained to use credit – ie to become good debtors right out of the gate before many of us even understand what the terms APR and interest actually mean. We were just not taught about this in school. And once you?ve gotten sucked into the debt web, ?it?s a really hard trap to escape.

The stigmatized financial failure is incorrectly identified as a social deviant, sinner… In other words, the fiscal failure is a misrecognized cultural creation of a credit-debit system that supports the accumulation of wealth and depends on the existence of debts. -?Beyond Failure and Forgiveness: The Debtor’s Place in American Fiscal Identity, Bankruptcy, and Capitalism

Car payments, mortgage payments, credit card payments, student loan payments. When wages haven?t increased in years but interest rates and the cost of living most definitely have, we end up struggling to stretch our earnings. We end up struggling for time. Time=money=chunks of our life. We truly are fighting for our life.

Depression and Anxiety are the most Common Illnesses in America

I sometimes wonder whether the explosion in the antidepressant pharmaceutical market isn?t related to the fact that living this way can make people depressed. Nearly 20% of the adults in America suffer from anxiety and/or depression. Why? We live in a first world country with conveniences people in developing or war-torn countries only dream of. What is wrong with us? Could it be that our financial system is contributing to depression and anxiety -? the most common illnesses in America? I think about this a lot.

We live in a first world country with conveniences people in developing or war torn countries only dream of. What is wrong with us?

We are trained to believe from a very young age that we are not enough.

Acceptance, the first step in any kind of forgiveness practice, is particularly difficult when we are bombarded with messages from all kinds of media that tell us we just aren?t enough unless we have ?this new thingy or that new thingy.? We can try reason it away, but the messages still get through whether or not we are paying attention to them. We are raised to be good consumers before we are even able to talk.?

Companies pay a lot of money to hire slick advertising agencies that study consumer psychology to get to us. We are no match for them if we are not vigilant. The principles of what psychologists call ?social norms? help advertisers to tap into our innate preference to follow the crowd. Marketers are good at making it seem like a product is already really popular. Our innate desire to be ?accepted? by the status quo does the rest of the dirty work. We are driven by survival instincts that dictate our drive for acceptance by others. We are hardwired this way and marketers know this.?

Our survival instincts can work against us.

But here’s the thing. We are no longer mammals in a forest that need to cling to each other to survive. Nor will we die if we are alone. How many FB friends we have, “likes’ we get, people who admire us for our house, car, or clothes… this is a shallow and fleeting type of happiness. It does not stick.

Just look at how media glorifies a celebrity one week only to vilify them the next. People are fickle. We are living in an age where we have to turn to ourselves for happiness first. We have to learn to believe that we are already enough. Think about it this way, people are drawn to innately happy people. If we are truly worried about acceptance and we learn how to take responsibility for our own happiness first, the rest will follow.?

Awareness opens the door for self-compassion

We really need to analyze?what types of messages are getting in and laying low in our subconscious. What we are experiencing from all platforms of media is, in effect, a type of war for our minds. The struggle is real, it really is. The messages we receive from media that tell us we need more, and the reminders of our own personal financial struggles every time we pay the bills can make up a strange type of circular hell.?

The messages we receive from media that tell us we need more, and the reminders of our own personal financial struggles every time we pay the bills can make up a strange type of circular hell.?

However, knowledge truly is power. So, I?m just gonna say it. Our financial system is ridiculous. Consumerism is out of control and unsustainable and most of us are deeply embedded in it, both financially and psychologically. The very fact that we have to go into debt to educate ourselves at the beginning of our adult lives speaks to this.?

Understanding this might help you be a bit kinder to yourself. If you keep this in mind, while it might not help you get out of debt faster, it may help lessen the sting of being in debt already and allow you to practice some self-compassion which can lead to self-forgiveness. And that is what we are after because the inability to forgive yourself is a barrier to your own happiness.?

Learn to believe that you are enough.

Realistically, it may take years for many of us to pay down debt. It’s a sad fact that some of us may not even outlive our debt. So, if we continue to keep our happiness pegged to our financial situation, what kind of life are we living??

I do not believe we were born simply to stress and worry ourselves sick about money. We have to learn how to reprogram our mode of self-reflection and stop judging ourselves based upon our how many debts or assets we have accumulated. And we have to learn to forgive our financial failures by practicing self-compassion.

If we continue to keep our happiness pegged to our financial situation,?what kind of life are we living?

Practicing self-compassion around financial mistakes means that we acknowledge that, in our capitalist society, the cards are stacked against us. Advertisers exploit our emotions — our need to ?fit in,? our fear of exile, our unending quest for ?the good life,” our desire for the perfect mate.?Once we understand this, we can work to squash this mindset. We can learn to believe that we are enough regardless of the car we drive, the house we live in, the phone model we upgrade to and the clothes we wear. This is an inside job and only you can do it.?

An Alternative View

There is a movement today of people who are practicing frugality and minimalism. Frugality turns the old ?keeping up with Joneses? on its head and says, quite frankly, ?I give zero f^cks about what others think about my lifestyle.? And when you think about it, this is a much healthier way to live. But it takes practice. You will notice some resistance from old belief systems, but this is normal and it will pass over time. When you encounter resistance, deconstruct it. Ask yourself why it is there. You will see that it is illogical.

Breaking down our inner fears.

I remember how embarrassed I used to be when I would drop my son off at school in a 1979 beat up Datsun. It made me cringe. Personally, I didn?t care what car I drove, but when waiting in the roundabout in front of his school amidst so many BMWs and Mercedes, I felt less than. And this feeling would double back on me in the form of regret. For if I hadn’t had that massive student loan payment, I would be in a nicer car. I remember carrying this feeling with me throughout the day. It affected me deeply, but it was only in my mind.

We don?t want people to look down on us. We are terrified of being deemed a ?scrounge or a loser.? These are words that were thrown at us in elementary school. As adults, we carry this garbage in our heads throughout our lives. My grandmother used to be horrified about what people would think if I wore jeans with holes in them. This stuff is handed down to us through generations of poverty-fear. It?s ironic, we are afraid to be seen as debtors so we become good consumers and stay in debt!

It?s ironic, we are afraid to be seen as debtors so we become good consumers and stay in debt!

My Wake Up Call

One year ago I began to suffer from chronic stomach problems and severe cluster headaches. I was working an extremely stressful job that paid me just enough to keep a certain lifestyle and manage my debts. Although I was terrified to let go of that job, I knew I had to change something. Stressing out over trying to maintain a certain lifestyle coupled with the haunting pain of my financial regrets was killing me. Something had to give.

For awhile I just didn?t know what to do. How was I going to survive? No matter what angle I looked at it from, it kept coming back to this:? Downgrade or die. And to be honest, in order to feel good about downsizing, I had to forgive myself for my financial failures at the same time. I couldn’t keep up the game of kicking myself for being in debt while simultaneously pretending that I was financially viable enough to sustain my lifestyle. It just didn’t make sense anymore.

I couldn’t keep up the game of kicking myself for being in debt while simultaneously pretending that I was financially viable enough to sustain my lifestyle. It just didn’t make sense anymore.

At first it was scary. It was a huge lifestyle and mindset change. But once I got used to living with less, I found it did not make a difference. I didn’t miss ‘things.” I felt that I had developed a secret insight into our inane consumerist patterns that gave me leverage and freedom. I still have debt but I need so much less. So, I don’t have to trade huge chunks of my life away toiling under duress because I think I am supposed to live a certain way.

I also discovered that nobody really gives a shit that my jacket is 10 years old. People are more concerned about whether you are kind to them than whether you look better than them. I no longer judge myself by the clothes I wear or the electronics I use. Think about it. Do you care if your friend has a brand new pair of boots? Do you really care? No, of course not. Nobody cares!?If anyone actually does treat you differently because of where you live, what you wear, or what you drive, they are not worth your time.

If anyone actually does treat you differently because of where you live, what you wear, or what you drive, they are not worth your time.

People are overly worried about how they themselves are perceived in terms of the material. This can cause them to continue to spend money they don’t have on products they don’t need and then feel bad about it – for an illusion. Can you see the insanity in this?

Living with regret spoils pleasure in the moment and it prevents being mindful.?Whether you are struggling to pay down debt, or are just keeping your head above water to maintain a certain lifestyle like I was, you need to make sure that it is not making you sick. Stress is the biggest killer in our country. Financial stress is the king of stress. While some economists have posed alternatives to our current economy, we just can’t depend on some outside force to disrupt our economic system and turn it into something healthier. We can’t wait for change, we have to create it.

How to Fight Back

Try to keep an open mind. Ask yourself some honest questions. Is it really impossible to change your lifestyle? Perhaps you don?t need to live where you are living. Perhaps you don?t need to pay a huge full coverage insurance premium and a hefty car payment to drive the car you are in. You have to ask yourself what metrics you are using to judge yourself. Only you know the answer to these questions.?

1 – Learn to practice self-forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not a one-time event. It is a practice. Get help from outside sources if you need to. As I mentioned above, there are a ton of free resources, books, websites and forums available on this topic. You don’t need to spend a bunch of money for a therapist. Google is your friend. Know that you are not the only one suffering. This is an epidemic. A whole movement of people is trying to rid themselves of these nasty negative emotions. Again, you are not alone.?

When we are held prisoner by our own past actions, or the actions of others, our present life cannot be fully lived. The resentment, the partially experienced pain, the unwelcome inheritance?we carry from the past, all function to close our hearts and thereby narrow our worlds. – Sharon Salzberg, Loving Kindness

2 – Change the way you look at consumption

Learning to live with less is a process. It doesn?t happen overnight. Start by asking yourself if the things you think you can?t live without are actually worth the financial stress you are suffering. What would really happen if you let go of them? There is no ?right? lifestyle anymore. It’s all subjective.

For me, getting rid of things I didn’t use was the first step in learning that I could live with very little which had the knock-on effect of changing my spending habits. And I will just add this important fact:? sooner or later we will all have to change our consumerist lifestyle en masse because the planet simply cannot sustain it. So why not start now?

It takes a while to reach this level of anti-consumption, but if you keep it up, you?ll get there…You will suddenly realize why depression and health problems so often go along with debt problems. ?You learn about yourself because you?ve shed your skin of consumer culture. ?You?ve taken a step back and you can finally see yourself and everything around you much more clearly. ?You figure out what matters and what doesn?t. ?And, you learn this much earlier than most people which means you have the rest of your life to be happy.? – Mr. Money Mustache

No matter how far in debt you are, you are not powerless.

You have the power to forgive yourself. You have the power to need less, downsize and live more frugally. It is possible. You can improve your quality of life whether you have debt or not. Don?t let your debt define you. Reclaim your mind from the status quo and detach your self-worth from the claws of our economic system. In the end, we aren’t going to care about the things we owned, we are going to care about the time we have left to live. Don’t wait until the end.?

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From Frugality to Financial Freedom: A Path for All

A Growing Shift in the Way Americans Think About Money and Life

When Kristin Hanes decided to move into her boyfriend?s car to pay off her debt, she said she felt a lot of negative emotions. ?I often felt ashamed and scared, not wanting to tell people I lived in a car and camped in the mountains.? But she didn’t let that dissuade her.?And when she later lost her job at a radio station and was unable to find employment, she moved into her boyfriend?s sailboat and began writing about experiences. Today her blog, The Wayward Home, which chronicles her lifestyle change, is a huge success and allows her to live anywhere. Though her initial goal was debtless financial freedom, the continuation of her lifestyle change resulted in much more. Complete Financial Independence (aka FI).

Escaping the Hamster Wheel

It may be an uncomfortable truth, but Americans are becoming increasingly aware that the days of working for a company for 40 years and retiring with a fat pension, or 401K, and a gin and tonic on the porch of your paid-for house are long gone. Dreams of retiring in debtless financial freedom seem further away. Millennials in particular are woke to this and many are taking matters into their own hands. There’s a growing movement of people who are seeking to completely disrupt the status quo and do things differently. They gather online to share their ideas, successes, and failures. Their goal? Complete financial independence.

More and more people are seeking creative ways to escape the hamster wheel. They are learning that they can do with less and not notice. And they are discovering an unexpected freedom in living more authentically. Add to this the DIY spirit of the internet and the gig economy, and you have a complete disruption of the lifeplan?story taught by the Traditionalists – the generation on the way out. Put simply, the idea of settling down, working for 40+ years, buying a bunch of stuff that sits in storage, then dying, doesn?t sit well with today?s generation. And they are actively seeking a different way to live.

Okay, by a show of hands, who loves working a stressful, hateful job for 30-40 years, to pay off a massive mortgage, only to die of a heart-attack?at your desk or be laid off without a pension??Anyone? Anyone? – Millennial Revolution

On FIRE

FI/FIRE stands for Financially Independent/Financially Independent Retire Early and is a movement of people who are focused on spending as little as possible, and hence needing as little as possible, while investing wisely so that they can quit working as soon as possible.

The birth and spread of the online FIRE community is especially reflected in the Reddit thread ?r/financialindependence. But it is also seen in popular blogs such as Mr. Money Mustache – Financial Freedom Through Badassity which explores ways to live a frugal lifestyle in exchange for freedom. He retired at 30 after saving most of his engineering income.

Remember this ? money is not for showing off or spending on consumer shit, it is for making you more money to buy freedom and happiness. – The Escape Artist

Who are these Trailblazers?

FI/FIRE enthusiasts come in all colors. Some are working high paying jobs, investing carefully, and have set an actual timeline for retirement. Others are more interested in working less, living more, and learning how to live below the material expectations of our consumerist culture. Highly focused spreadsheet geeks share how they are maximizing their retirement accounts. Families share how they cut their cable bills by negotiating. FI groups and blogs have a wealth of information on ways to maximize dollars.? ?

In the winter we wore sweaters around the house instead of jacking up the thermostat. We used bikes to get around town whenever possible and tried to use public transportation for our commutes. All of these little things added up and we were well on our way to saving for our goal! – Freedom With Bruno

FIRE and ALICE: Why it Matters (and why it doesn’t)

Meanwhile, there is another acronym popping up in the news – ALICE. This United Way acronym stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. According to the United Way ALICE project, 43% of American households, though employed, can?t cover a basic monthly budget for housing, food, transportation, child care, health care and a monthly smartphone bill. When we truly break down all of the expenses required in our country simply to retain a job that pays less than $20 per hour, it?s not impossible to understand how this can happen.?

It really doesn?t matter that the unemployment rate is low if employment doesn?t cover basic life expenses.

For the ALICE group, the old system doesn?t fit anymore, either. College grads are shocked to find out that their degree isn?t worth the student loan they owe. Middle-aged, experienced professionals who find themselves priced out of the market are working 2-3 part time jobs to make ends meet and be able to cover their health insurance. The ?American lifestyle? has become too expensive, too confusing, and too demanding. People who are struggling to find financial balance and get out from under consumer debt are looking at creative changes they can make in their life to simplify everything, just as Kristen Hanes did when she moved into her car. This, too, is reflected in social media groups such as Living in a Van where people from all economic levels share ideas on how to live rent, mortgage, or location free.

Same Approach, Different Purpose

So we are seeing an interesting parallel across the board. Whether you are a 25 year old engineer, living in a box truck in the Google parking lot and trying to estimate when you can retire, or a 65 year old retiree, living in an RV and supplementing your Social Security with seasonal jobs across the country, your lifestyle adjustments have similarities, though your purpose is different. Lifestyle shifts are helping people realize they no longer need what they used to believe were necessities. And today, more than one type of person is looking for change for more than one reason.

This cross section between millennials focusing on financial independence and those merely trying to keep their head above water is unearthing a plethora of ideas that anyone can implement to help achieve personal financial goals. The?minimalism, sustainable living, and zero-waste movements are increasingly being interwoven into lifestyles in different ways by people from all walks of life who are searching for less stress, less waste, more time, and more freedom.

C?Mon, Isn?t Frugal Living a Wealthy Privilege?

But there is a difference in mindset between a person who chooses to elect a particular lifestyle choice (FIRE), and a person who feels forced to adopt a lifestyle change (ALICE). And that difference can make or break a person’s success. While there are plenty of reasons why clearing the clutter and materialistic focus out of your life can bring you both personal and financial freedom, adopting a more frugal lifestyle is best done out of choice than necessity. For many, it has become a fun game: ?how little can I get by on? ?But if you already feel deprived, the idea of having to go with even less isn?t inviting.

It doesn?t matter how much money you make if you spend it all. This is why we always hear about bankrupt NBA players and musicians. – Retire by 40

For example, if you’ve been struggling already and someone tells you that you now have to get down to $2 per meal, it may not sound like a fun game. Yet the $2 meal topic was so hot in one Facebook FIRE group that within one hour of the initial post, 138 responses popped up addressing this question: ??One of the hardest things to get on board with is $2 per person per meal. What is the community doing and how can we get better??

Of course, the realities of layoffs, healthcare emergencies and student loan bankruptcies are front and center for many.? But there are things that can be controlled and others that cannot be. So we might as well focus on what we can control. Spending is one of those things. People who are focused on the idea of financial independence experience excitement rather than deprivation when they discover ways to slice their overhead. And they are sharing their discoveries.?

Money Stories: How to Unlock Your Joy

Those who elect to adopt a more frugal lifestyle and make it fun have a better chance of making it work than those who do so grudgingly.?For those in ALICE, the $2 meal may feel more like a mandate than a choice, and this lays at the crux of the issue. The actual activity of shopping for, cooking, and eating the $2 per meal is generally the same.

Your mindset is one of the most powerful forces behind your decision-making process. – Think Save Retire

1. The Money Stories We Adopt Are Powerful

Part of this enigma lies in the stories we tell ourselves. Our ideas about money and possessions are integrated with our self-perceived value. It may feel pretty cool living in a van, eating a can of tuna, while socking away tens of thousands a year in 401(k)s, IRAs and other investment vehicles.

But in the van parked next to?you, you may find someone who’s lost his job and is in transition,?eating the same can of tuna, and feeling like a failure. While the former is finding joy in how much she’s saving, the latter is perhaps ruminating about how low he’s fallen. She feels free, he feels trapped. We empathize with him. They are both presently?eating, sleeping, and showering?in a similar fashion.

2. Our Cultural Money Stories Might Just Be… Marketing

If part of your story is that successful people drive expensive cars, you will equate older, cheaper cars with unsuccessful people. So, if you happen to be behind the wheel of an older, cheaper car, you’re going to feel like a loser. Meanwhile, another camp looks at expensive cars and wonders why anyone would spend tens of thousands on a machine that will depreciate as soon as they purchase it. According to their narrative, buying an expensive car, especially if you have to finance it, is the loser move.?

I?ve always been a bit disturbed by the American consumerist mentality. We live in a disposable society. Some people will trade in a perfectly good car just because they want a new one. – 1500 Days

3. Which Money Narrative Do You Choose?

Everyone?s got their own money narrative. Mr. Money Mustache?s narrative incorporates a bit of?stoicism when he says that overcoming one?s own insatiability will lead to a good life. He makes a clear distinction between happiness and pleasure. He says that by??focusing on happiness itself, you can lead a much better life than those who focus on convenience?(and) luxury.? But to do this, you can?t follow the ?lead of the financially illiterate herd that is the TV-ad-absorbing Middle Class of the United States (and other rich countries) today.?

Happiness comes from many sources, but none of these sources involve car or purse upgrades.?MMM

Whether you are trying to escape ALICE or going for FI/FIRE, the practical application of frugality and minimalism is the same. If people who are struggling can learn to look at frugality as a lifestyle choice rather than a necessity due to perceived lack, it could be a game changer.

The Even Bigger Benefits of a Simpler Life

The benefits of simpler living go way beyond financial freedom. People from all demographics and for all different reasons are learning to shed their super-consumer lifestyle for a simpler, easier road, regardless of where their particular road is going. And many are finding solace in realizing that, by needing less, they are rewarded with more than a sense of financial freedom.?

With frugality, there?s often a double or triple benefit. It?s not just saving the money. You?re going to reap an advantage in some other way. – Mr. Frugalwoods

1. How Not Giving a F**k Brings us More Joy

So, how do we get from always thinking we need more to learning to need less? For Mr. Money Mustache, the key to this transformation is a technique called Negative Visualization. By imagining that you have less than you already do, and that your life is more difficult than it actually is, you can train yourself to be grateful for what you already have. By practicing voluntary discomfort, such as experimenting with how long we can last on a hot day without the AC, we can work on “broadening our comfort zone while eliminating our fear of discomfort.”

The other tip: learn to stop worrying about things that are out of our control, and focus instead on those that we have a direct effect on.? For example, instead of stressing out about potential health problems you may run into in the future, throw that nervous energy into taking better care of the body you are in today.

2. The Other Weight Loss:? Having Less Stuff

Those who have given themselves permission to withdraw from the ?new shiny thing? addiction of the status quo are experiencing levity across the board.?Instead of “I can’t afford it,”? they say “what can I do differently?” For example, many save thousands because they no longer consider a high-end cell phone upgrade every year a given and have opted for a used model and a budget sim.?For FIRE, these thousands may go into their retirement fund. For ALICE, these thousands could free them from the slavery of consumer debt.?

When you stop caring about whether or not you appear to be in poverty, and cleanse your brain of the notion that your value is reflected in your possessions, you find more freedom, more time, more money, and more joy.?

3. Bonus:? Creating a World that Doesn’t Suck

Our motivation in buying as little stuff as possible this year has less to do with money than it does with wanting to be environmentally responsible …?and with recognizing that we already have everything we need. – Our Next Life

And, as it turns out, needing less also helps to create a world that we would actually want to leave to our children. For another uncomfortable truth is that our addiction to products and services is hurting our planet. And we really can’t afford to ignore this fact anymore when it comes to our daily habits. It’s not someone else’s backyard, it’s ours.

So think about the stories we tell ourselves. How can we do things differently? It’s not about depriving you of what you need, it’s about learning to need less. In the long game, our personal, financial, and planetary health all depend on us changing our stories from ?he who dies with the most toys wins? to something more like:

Can anything be so elegant as to have few wants, and to serve them one?s self? -?Ralph Waldo Emerson

Photo: Tommy Lisbon

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Declutter Your Life and Make Money

Why old phones end up in a drawer (or landfill) forever

Have you ever tried to recycle old electronics for cash? Turns out?it actually costs money to get rid of hard-to-recycle electronics. No wonder our old phones end up in a drawer forever. Now think about all of the new electronics people purchase every year. Where are the all of their old phones going? It doesn’t paint a pretty picture for our planet.

Related content: 7 Ways to Make Your Home a Sustainable Source of Income

Now you can get paid to recycle your stuff

The good news? You can now turn your old electronics into extra cash and help the planet at the same time. We found a company that helps reduce electronic waste by buying, fixing and selling electronics secondhand.?

Decluttr?simplifies the whole process. And it doesn’t just apply to old electronics. Sell your old phones, CDs, DVDs, games, Blu-Rays, books, and even LEGOs on Decluttr?for extra cash, while helping reduce planetary waste. If Decluttr can’t sell your old electronics, they simply use them for parts to help repair other phones.?How cool is that? This company helps us reduce and reuse our waste.

How it works

    • For electronics: provide the condition of the product and receive an instant price quote
    • For other items: enter barcode on CDs, DVDs, Books and games and receive an instant price
    • Decluttr will pay you the day after the item is received at their warehouse
    • Payment method: check or direct deposit?
    • Shipment: pack into box, attach free shipping label and ship your items
  • Check out the “How it works” video on Decluttr’s website for more information. They’ve made it really easy to by and sell used items.

Related content:?Trash to Treasure – This Company Takes Recycling to the Next Level

Why sell with DeCluttr?

We like?Decluttr? because they:

  1. Have no auction fees
  2. Provide next day payments (after items reach warehouse)
  3. Offer their Decluttr Price Promise (guaranteeing their initial price quote)
  4. Provide free shipping on all orders

Why shop at DeCluttr?

The company doesn’t just take in your old items. They also sell electronics, books, CDs, LEGOs and more. Here are? 5 good reasons to consider shopping with?Decluttr:

  1. 12 Month Limited Warranty on all mobile phones
  2. Free shipping on all orders
  3. Pay with Visa, Mastercard or paypal
  4. Offer a Refurbished Quality Guarantee
  5. Their model helps us reduce and reuse our waste

Want more ideas for using your home to make extra income? Check out out article 7 Ways to Make your Home a Sustainable Source of Income.

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