It’s hard to believe that we are already in July. So, with half of the year already behind us and we are still eight weeks away from the start of the busy back-to-school push and slide to the holiday season, I thought it would be nice to take this month to slow down and focus on several projects in my life that desperately need attention.
First, I want to re-focus my commitment to my family, and in particular my homemaking capabilities.
For as long as I can remember, I have viewed housework as an unending thankless job. Since transitioning from working in a corporate setting to the domestic sphere, I have frankly had a negative view on many aspects of domestic life. The same chores to do, the same tasks to accomplish, the same issues with family. The same outlook at my home. Mind you, since becoming a minimalist, the lack of clutter in my home (and using the daily Motivated Moms Planner) has helped to brighten my perspective on my home. But I also want to view my role as a homemaker not as a job, but as a calling.
This month I will be focusing on utilizing products already on-hand in my home to create a series of DIY, nature-centered posts each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in July. My goal with this series is to learn to create basic home goods, so that moving forward I have not only learned a valuable new skill-set but will no longer have to purchase these good locally as well.
The schedule will be as follows (per week):
- First Aid Products
- Hygiene Products
- Cooking Products
- Beauty Products
I know there will always be dishes to wash, laundry to fold and put away, and clutter to stay on top of every day. But this month I am seeking to find the joy in this daily routine. I am seeking to learn to find joy in the simple blessings of every day life at home, and I hope that I will feel even more blessing and honored to be a homemaker in the coming weeks ahead.
For those who may want to follow along, I will be demonstrating live to Periscope each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this month as well. I’d love for you all to join me live for several awesome, budget-friendly, natural demos!
My second focus for the month will be slightly more simple in nature. I will be participating in a month-long challenge to refuse single-use plastic in July.
Plastic Free July, a growing international movement, aims to raise awareness of the problems that the volumes of single-use disposable plastic create in our lives, in our environments, and for wildlife the world over. Keep in mind the statistic that convicted me to sign up for this challenge: By 2050 its estimated there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans.
As a result, we as a family as signed up! Also, another neat part of this project is that you can sign up for a day, a week or the whole month. The point is just to refuse all single-use plastic. As a family we are seeking to refuse and rid our home of all plastic bags, water bottles, single-use coffee cups, and straws. We hope this will be pretty basic as we are a mason jar loving people, as is!
I will be posting about my experiences with this campaign in July on my Instagram account. For those who may also wish to join, click here for more information.
My third focus this month will be on my gardening. This year, my husband and I have fully utilized our home’s backyard tiered garden layout and have planted a wide range of vegetables and fruits, including tomatoes, various legumes, potato and sweet potato towers, corn, and Autumn ornamental selections such as corn, pumpkins, mini pumpkins, and jack-o-lanterns. We’ve expanded our vegetable selection this year as we reside in Mississippi and are blessed with three full planting seasons each year.
Keep in mind, our garden consists entirely of upcycled, free, natural, holistic, and organic gardening methods. We plan to use this year as a learning venture for our tiered system, and hopefully use this years harvest to learn to pressure can legumes, beans, and low acid foods to put back for the winter.
As well, I will be posting all of my daily gardening challenges, victories, and bounties on my Instagram page for those who would like to follow us on our gardening journey this year.
My fourth goal this month relates to finance. For the month of July, I will be participating in a personal No-Spend Challenge.
The rules are pretty simple:
- No spending on anything beyond absolute necessities.
- Eat from your pantry & freezer as often as you are able.
- And make changes to the way you purchase and consume goods, services, and commodities in your home.
- The idea of the challenge is to keep up with your daily activities,, but the main goal is simply to stop spending.
- This challenge can be a life changing experience, as you may just be amazed at how your mindset and perspective will change after just a month of seeing how you can enrich your life, without spending more!
There are a few exceptions to the rule as follows:
- Unavoidable expenses related to employment, such as gas, are okay.
- Unavoidable school related expenses.
- Doctors appointments, veterinarian appointments, co-payments, family/pet prescriptions, and therapy sessions are okay.
- Do keep existing service and repair appointments that can’t be rescheduled to “Spending” months, such as hair appointments, lawn care services, trash removal, in-home repair services, etc.
- Do keep existing tithing and charitable giving.
- I will continue to use my envelope saving system to fund app rebates for fresh produce and milk as needed.
- And it goes without saying, we will continue paying for monthly insurance, utility payments, banking fees, etc.
This No- Spend month is not just about a decrease in spending, but a challenge to find ways to live well, live better, find new sources of joy, will spending less. This month proved to be a time of being able to a life rich with family, friends, and creative planning, secured by fiscally responsible measures. This month was made all the better by the amount of encouragement and accountability shared by all of my readers, too!
I’m not gonna lie, there will be tough moments, but the rewards far outweigh the issues. During my last no-spend month in December of last year as a family we saved a total of $1,021.34, and this month all funds saved will be allocated to pay for out end-of-year minimalist family holiday needs and expenses.
Some ways I plan to do this is by:
- Pantry Organization
- Learning Home to “Dine Out At Home”
- Rain-Check Shopping for next month’s needed staples and groceries
- Learning ways to better clean my home
- Selling unneeded items on Facebook Local Groups, Craigslist, and eBay.
- Should a need come up, I’ll be referencing my past materials from Ruth Soukup’s No-Spend October 2015 Challenge.
All-in-all, I am super excited for this month’s No-Spend Month Challenge! I’ll be posting about my victories and challenges this month on my Youtube channel each Wednesday, for those who would like to follow along!
Well folks, those are my plans for this month! So, do you have any awesome plans this month? Perhaps a vacation, reunion, or the like? I’d love to hear about it below,
Here’s to summer,