perder la vida

Learning to Live Missionally and Mindfully

If the Shoe Fits November 29, 2008

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 1:15 pm

I got an early Christmas present yesterday. I had mixed feelings about it, but I am now at peace.

Without going into too much detail (because this blog is about spending money, not about my efforts to have a more active lifestyle), I have picked up jogging and quickly realized that my 6-year-old tennis shoes just aren’t cutting it. I debated for a long time whether or not I could go a full year exercising with these shoes. I read articles and sought out advice from other runners regarding the necessity of a good pair of running shoes. But, what finally convinced me was the awful pain I experienced after running 3 miles in my 6-year-old shoes. That told me then and there that I was wearing the wrong shoes.

So, I decided to ask for running shoes for Christmas (since my mom already bought me socks, which is what I was going to ask for…). I stopped in several shoe stores yesterday while out with my cousins and got a lot of advice… and then found a great deal on a pair of Brooks running shoes that fit my foot and my needs perfectly. A few hours later, they were mine. My mom decided to go ahead and get them to prevent injury. I was conflicted about whether or not this constituted “compelling” someone to buy an item for me, but she agreed that this was indeed a gift and that I need not feel guilty about it. So, I don’t and once my muscles stop aching so much, I’ll be back on the track with my new shoes.

I think I’ve been on this clothing/spending fast for about a month now and I must say, I’m doing pretty well. I went into two or three clothing stores yesterday and found myself not wanting anything. I knew I could walk into a clothing store and not buy anything, but I was surprised that I didn’t even want anything. It was a really encouraging feeling! I have also done pretty well with my other goals. I have not wasted money on food (except for one night out at Iguana Grill which cost me $20) and am halfway through my first library check-out. I have cut my weekly entertainment/food spending nearly in half and have been saving towards Christmas and my supplemental income (which… speaking of that, I haven’t even broken the $100 my mom gave me. I never actually went to the cleaner’s…. I’m too stubborn!).

I’m prepared for this to become more difficult, but¬†now that I have my running shoes, I think it will be a while before I “need” anything. I didn’t anticipate to start this exercise program before I swore of buying clothes, so I feel like the only things I might “need” in the next year will be related to my new hobby. But, I think that’s okay – because I’m accumulating things out of need (hey, if getting healthy isn’t a need, then I don’t know what is!) instead of out of want and I’m truly evaluating every penny spent.

So, to sum this up: so far, so good!

 

challenges. November 26, 2008

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 1:12 am

I have always gotten a kick out of challenging myself. Once I challenged myself to break into the “Conference circle” – the elitist group of my peers within the Methodist Conference. Me being me (amazing, talented, funny, charming, etc.), I succeeded easily. ūüôā Haha. My latest challenge, of course, is not buying clothes and books for a year. But, I’ve got a couple of other things going on, too.

Right now, I’m challenging myself to work out more and eat healthier foods. Going into much more depth about this would be another blog entirely, so I will spare you. The other challenge is quite a funny one. My boss and I (he better not be reading this, either) have a competition going on and my challenge is to stop rolling my eyes/sighing heavily when given a task that seems daunting. I have realized lately that I tend to do this a lot – so, if I’ve done it to you… sorry! I’m working on it. I did it twice today but caught myself about three or four other times.

Maybe I have a lot of self-motivation or maybe I’m just really bored, but I really like to challenge myself. It’s fun… it’s rewarding… okay, sometimes it is challenging… but the results are always worth it.

 

Problem Solved/Prayer Answered November 23, 2008

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 11:29 pm

So I came home today to find a package of brand new atheletic socks laying on my bed.

Eek! I have never been so excited to see socks. I want to wear all of them at one time. That is crazy.

I think I am delirious.

 

The Way it Looks November 18, 2008

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 2:55 pm

Living simply in America makes living quite complicated.

I am frustrated sometimes with what I am supposed to do and how my life is supposed to look. Not that I want to be different for the sake of being different, but I really feel called to live my life differently than others. I have spent so much time trying to fit into different circles and into cerain molds, but I have realized that although parts of me fit into those places, all of me does not.

And that’s a good thing.

Not buying clothes for a year is about more than not spending money. It’s about realizing that if my life is supposed to look like anything, it is supposed to look different.

My life is supposed to be set apart. It is supposed to be against the grain.

I have come to the realization that this is who I am in Christ and I am thriving in it, rather than running away from it. I pray that those around me who already know Christ are able to accept who they are in Him and to thrive in it. I struggle with it every day because there are things in this life that I want just as badly as the next person, but I find more satisfaction in Christ and His work in my life than in anything I have ever had before in my life. We all have a call placed on our life and I pray that we are able to follow God’s voice completely and without reservation. I pray we are able to lay our lives down – our everyday lives, even – for His work and for His kingdom. May we each find satisfaction in Him and have the courage to be different even when… no, especially when it is inconvenient and uncomfortable. And when it makes us look like we aren’t doing what we’re supposed to be doing.

 

Shucks! Socks! (and Christmas!) November 15, 2008

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 12:36 pm

The other day I realized that I only own two pairs of socks. I hate socks. I rarely wear them.

EXCEPT when I work out. I wear socks when I work out. And I have been working out a lot lately. Therefore, I have been wearing socks a lot lately.

So, what’s a girl to do? Technically, I could say I need socks and go buy a pair or two. But, I’ve settled upon this solution:

I will wear my socks for two workouts instead of just one and pray I don’t get foot fungus. When I have worn both pairs, I can a) wash them or b) borrow a pair¬†from my mom. So, socks delimma: RESOLVED! (I am asking for socks for Christmas, though!)

Speaking of Christmas, things are going to go down differently in my house this year. I am putting about half of my weekly spending money towards my Christmas gift fund throughout November, but I am not really planning to buy much for anyone. I am not asking for much either. So far, my Christmas list only contains one item: socks. I want a yoga mat and an exercise ball, but I have an item I can exchange at Academy Sports to get those items for “free.”

My mom and I are planning to do Christmas differently this year. My grandmother died back in March and because of that,¬†our traditional big-family-Christmas is looking to be an unlikely event. So,¬†she and I are planning to spend our morning and/or afternoon visiting nursing homes or other areas of need. And, we’ll go see a movie as we always do.

So… wearing work out socks twice in a row is a bit inconvenient and potentially dangerous to my podiatric health, but I’m not too worried about it.

NOTE: I am looking to borrow Blue Like Jazz from someone. I want to read Penny’s story. I own the book, but I couldn’t tell you where it is. I think it got lost in one of my many moves.

 

$pending Money November 10, 2008

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 11:05 am

Today I will spend the first portion of my supplemental income.

When my mom and I went through our storage shed, I collected a basket full of winter clothes that I needed to have dry cleaned. I have since weeded through the basket and decided that I really only need one coat cleaned for now. So, I’ll take it to the cleaners today and spend part of my official supplemental income. After this, I think I will be pretty much set for a while.

Most of my friends have been very supportive of my little venture. One in particular was very discouraging and told me I couldn’t do it, which is just more of a drive for me to succeed! Carla Jean sent me some links for free/cheap books and I also read up on http://www.littlebrowndress.com/, which was a project that even I wouldn’t dare to do.

 

Where it All Began November 9, 2008

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 1:32 pm

Last Saturday, I spent the majority of my afternoon helping my mom clean out our storage shed. As I sorted through boxes of stuff, I thought about how much money was spent on these items that now sit – untouched and forgotten – in cardboard boxes. There is a thrill in finding an item you forgot you owned, but there is also a guilt that comes along with it. I tried to think about how much money I have spent on items I just “had to have” but then abandoned after a time of ownership. The thought scared me. So, I started thinking about ways to cut the amount of money I spend on¬†arbitrary possessions in order to break the cycle of careless spending and save up for more long-lasting investments.

I realized that I spend most of my money on two non-essential items: clothes and books. So, those are the things I’m going to cut first. I have come up with certain rules and guidelines and they are as follows:

¬†¬†¬†¬† 1. CLOTHES: I am not going to buy clothes for one (1) year. That’s 365 days of wearing clothes I a) already own or b) have obtained free of cost. This is going to take a lot of creativity, discipline, and self-control. I cannot compel people (mainly my mother) to buy things for me but I will accept gifts (within reason). I can also borrow items from others or accept other people’s “hand-me-downs.” When I absolutely MUST have a particular item mended or repaired or need to purchase something (after first trying to do so without cost), the following rules apply:

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† – Any money used toward mending, repairs, or purchasing a piece entirely must be SUPPLEMENTAL income. This is defined as being an income other than what I receive from my job (working 20-22hrs/wk) and the money I get for cleaning my mom’s house ($150/mo). I can work extra hours at work (over 22 hrs) or pick up extra chores, babysit, clean someones car, rake a yard, etc. I am starting out with $100 in supplemental income that my mom donated to my cause.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† – Any item purchased must be justified and must be obtained from a secondhand or thrift store OR at a very, very reasonable price from a regular store. I’m going to say $20 is about the most I will allow myself to spend. At this point, I cannot thing of any item of clothing I will absolutely need – I have a pretty well-stocked closet. So, any purhcase within the next year will only come after much deliberation and out of pure necessity.

     2. BOOKS: For one year, I will drastically change my literary purchases. To me, books are worth owning moreso than clothes, so the rules are a little different.

          РI am not allowed to buy books directly from the bookstore. If I want to read a book, I should first check it out from the library or borrow from a friend or relative. If the books i unavailable from those sources, I may purchase it under the following conditions:

               РThe book must cost no more than $15 (including shipping) and purchased from a used bookseller whenever possible. The money used to purchase the book must be supplemental income.

               РI am not allowed to buy a book unless I am READY to read it! No advance purchases!

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† – For me, owning a book is a way to remember what I have read and what it meant to me. So, in order to have a tangible record of my reading experiences, I will take a picture of each book and paste it into a journal, where I can write a little paragraph (or more… or less!) in order to remember the book.

These rules seem easy right now but I am expecting challenges. I am a spender at heart and I am sure I will try to justify spending in other areas (eating out, going to concerts, going to the movies, etc) and though I’m not ready to make specific rules at this point, I know I will need to be aware of my spending habits.

Essentially, I am realizing that my parents made a lot of poor financial decisions and I am following in their footsteps. I need to be much more cautious of my non-essential purchases so that I can make more worthwhile investments with my money.

Right now, this feels like it will be a breeze. But, I know myself and I know this is actually going to be a difficult year. But, I can do it. And, who knows, maybe it will change my life!