Mar 24, 2009

give it up!

I read this book but didn't finish it. It is good if you need a strategy to test/analyse yourself in terms of wants and needs, but if you already had done that this book would be good for reading about someone who tried it and stuck with it.

The author gave something up on a monthly basis for an entire year. It wasn't all material things she gave up. There was a month she gave up cursing. After this month I don't know if she fully stopped. I'm sure she didn't but the point is analysing why we do things and how they become habits.

I found her no-coffee month something to be curious about. Do heavy coffee drinkers experience THAT much headache after stopping for a day or two? That must be extremely impossible to give up. I thought I couldn't but when I got pregnant I did because my body didn't like it. I slowly introduced it in my third trimester by having mochaccino first.

The good thing about beginning the life of frugality for me is that I didn't have to stop shopping for clothes because I don't shop unless I don't have anymore decent clothes to wear. I've had the blessing of having a mother who STILL loves to shop for her children! I'm not kidding! When we went on holiday 3 months ago, I brought home a bag full of new clothes collected from her shopping awaiting my arrival. Even my kid benefited from her graciousness. I think J and I only bought 5% of his clothes. We're lucky.

Our daily life now is pretty much on frugal living. Despite browsing through sites for home improvements, nice fuel-efficient cars, and all those things we'd like for our family, we just allow ourselves to salivate because it's not realistic to even stop looking. We call that research :) I am so desperate to be debt free. I'm glad that somebody made a guess to receive my $100 pledge! It made me think if we can really pay only $7k by the end of the year. I was hoping to really halve it to ~$9k but maybe the first guesser has a more realistic view than I do. Hmm... challenge!

I'm also glad to share that J and I have lost weight. I realised that we ate more than the portion we each need. I cooked meals that were good for a family of 6! Although we portion them to last 2-3 meals, it limited us from eating fresh food like salads. So now when I cook pasta, I only cook 250g for one meal for the 3 of us. Surprisingly that's enough for us. We end up with more variety and use the items sitting in the pantry for a while now. I can see the other end of my pantry now! It means that we're not over shopping and that means money saved.


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  2. I haven't read the book (or heard of it before) but let me assure you the cofee thing is soooo true! I was bullied by a friend to give up caffinated coffee, for my health no less. And the headaches were unbelievable but I can say I feel better for it. I now drink only Douwe Egberts decaf coffee and probably too much of it. It is a more expensive brand but as I don't pay for it that is no problem.

  3. That book sounds interesting. My wife and I are very frugal and try to live our lives in a way that is towards self-sustaining and simple. It's not easy but each step leads us closer to that goal. We know that living simply and frugally is our insurance for our future. We are working on building our wealth but hope to continue to incorporate these values regardless of which tax bracket we are in.

  4. I completely know that the author will have had big headaches for three days after stopping drinking coffee. I switched from normal coffee to decaffeinated about 2 years ago and for the first three days it was horrible.

    The thing is, after that I didn't feel that I needed that 'high' and in fact, had way more constant energy over the course of the day.

    Also, I have slept like a baby ever since and I always used to think that I had some kind of sleep disorder.

    Cutting out caffeine has been a highlight for me for quite some time now :)