lacurieuse + money   23

It’s about soap, but not really
A bit about a delicious bar of soap I bought, but it's more than just about the suds.
Oh!_Things!  Ottawa  Yaktivism  eco-friendly  family  household  money  shopping  stuff  GR-starred  from google
february 2013 by lacurieuse
(Saving) Dolla Dolla Bills, Y’all.
For two years now, we’ve lived quite frugally because of some life circumstances and choices. Such as a child. And a husband getting his PhD. While I start my own business. Go big or go home, baby.

This foray into living more frugally didn’t just start after Gabe and the PhD pursuit, though. I grew up with incredibly frugal parents (who don’t need to be) and a father who is a financial expert, so I had to hear financial advice since I was, like, in diapers. I’ve also known for a few years that venturing into working for myself was something I was interested in, so I made the conscious decision to live within our means with some room to spare. Room that would eventually allow us to pursue our dreams (like a PhD, self-employment, and part-time work).

Between that and never having two full-time incomes between us in our five years of marriage, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to thrive on less money.

I’m not sharing these because I think I have all the answers. Or that I think everyone should do all of these things. I’ve just had several folks ask me how we manage, so I wanted to share a few things that we’ve found important.

My Tips for Living More Frugally:
- Do what works for YOU. I’ve tried the popular cash-envelope system and it was a giant failure for us. Cash seems to burn a hole in our pockets – we spend cash much more quickly than credit cards. Credit cards are not evil. Credit cards are awesome if you pay them off in full each month. We get about $50 every two months to Starbucks via our Discover Cashback rewards. FREE COFFEE. (I could save them and do something really big, like take a vacation, but I have a short attention span.)

- Spend less than you make. Don’t borrow to make up the difference, if you can avoid it. (I’d rather live with less now so we don’t have to take out student loans or carry a credit card balance that we’ll pay interest on later).

- Use Hulu and/or Netflix instead of cable. You’ll save a lot of money, probably watch less TV, and definitely have fewer commercials that make you want to buy more stuff you don’t need. Like a Dairy Queen Blizzard.

- Do not buy new cars. Buy a used car two or three years old and pat yourself on the back for saving a ton of money. New cars are not an investment. They lose 11% in value the moment you drive them off the lot.

- Learn how to cook. You’ll eat out less, buy less (expensive) convenience foods, and eat healthier.

- Don’t go shopping if you don’t want to spend money. Period. (And if you go to Target, stay out of the clothes section!) If shopping is your hobby, find a new hobby that doesn’t involve the accumulation of new stuff. The retail therapy bug will slowly wane.

- Less disposable, more reusable. Aside from saving money on the products, this also means you make fewer runs to Target to pick up diapers, paper towels, etc – thereby saving yourself the collateral damage of just being at Target. (Your shopping bill increases 11% the moment you walk in the door.) (I totally just made that up.) (It’s probably more like 30% for me.)

 - The best budget is the one you use. I use Mint. I’ve also used PearBudget and Excel spreadsheets. I’ve had a budget since I was in 8th grade and made $100 a month babysitting. I’m a bit of a Budget Person, but I understand that some people are not. Join Mint. They do all the work for you of tracking your money. But do track your money so you know where’s it’s going. If you like charts and graphs, Mint has all kinds of fun tools to see how your spending or income has changed over time, how compare to others in your area, and so on.

- All of that said, pick your priorities and indulge. It will make you feel like you are living comfortably and not penny-pinching. Penny pinching isn’t much fun. Our priorities are: good coffee, fresh produce, and friend time – which often means going out to eat or somewhere fun. We hardly feel like we are scrimping because we aren’t thinking about how much it sucks to have just one car or how nice it would be to have iPhones.

And that, my friends, is how we manage to live on our tiny incomes and stay happy. I know lots of you are one-income families or live in pricey cities – how do you do it?




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frugal_living  simple_living  budget  money  saving_money  GR-starred  from google
september 2012 by lacurieuse
The shifting model of marriage
The day we were married. Source: Meredith Perdue

These days, I’m thinking a lot about the shifting model of marriage. Marriage is shaking up and many in my demographic (the ones who married very young and very Christian) are uneasy about how to proceed. Departing from the traditional marriage model–where the husband makes most if not all of the money, the wife stays home with the kids–is an issue that has frequently come up among my friends who also married young. We start talking about leadership, earning potential, childrearing, and power structures and all hell breaks loose. It’s perhaps a very weird time to be 23, Christian, and married. This subset I belong to is definitely in the American minority.

Here’s a large part of the issue. From anecdotal reports, in the newly formed households of my young married friends, the woman is more likely to be the breadwinner. Wives surpassing husbands in income might still be an unusual thing overall, but I get the sense that it’s an increasingly common phenomenon. (Hanna Rosin would likely back me up on it.) This is a great thing on the whole, that women are FINALLY starting to earn as much (if not more than) men, but it certainly shakes the foundation of the “Leave it to Beaver” marriage we all know and secretly idolize.

I can’t tell you how many different variations of this conversation I have had with young wives since I got married. Long conversations along these lines: I make more money than he does; what is going to happen when we have kids? What if I want to stay home but can’t financially? Will our children suffer if I work? (Side note from the Woolf scholar side of me: These are questions that men never somehow have to ask.) We’re all scrambling around, looking for a model, a standard–anything we can point to–but the bold reality is that we are being forced to make a new standard, a new model for modern marriage. It’s a topic that seems to be constantly cropping up among women, and not just the young Christian ones. I was really encouraged to know that I’m not the only one thinking about it, after having read this thoughtful piece by Jenna from Sweet Fine Day, “When You’re the Breadwinner in the Family.”

As children of the Great Recession, we are grappling with the traditional marriage model in a way that our parents and grandparents did not have to.  These days, it is often essential that both the husband and wife work; staying at home with the kids is an increasingly rare luxury.

So. Everything is changing. But maybe we’re just going back to the way things used to be? As external support, I point to a segment from Kate Bolick’s recent cover story for The Atlantic Monthly, “All the Single Ladies:”

Not until the 18th century did labor begin to be divided along a sharp line: wage-earning for the men and unpaid maintenance of household and children for the women. [Social historian Stephanie] Coontz notes that as recently as the late 17th century, women’s contributions to the family economy were openly recognized, and advice books urged husbands and wives to share domestic tasks. But as labor became separated, so did our spheres of experience—the marketplace versus the home—one founded on reason and action, the other on compassion and comfort. Not until the post-war gains of the 1950s, however, were a majority of American families able to actually afford living off a single breadwinner.

All of this was intriguing, for sure—but even more surprising to Coontz was the realization that those alarmed reporters and audiences might be onto something. Coontz still didn’t think that marriage was falling apart, but she came to see that it was undergoing a transformation far more radical than anyone could have predicted, and that our current attitudes and arrangements are without precedent. “Today we are experiencing a historical revolution every bit as wrenching, far-reaching, and irreversible as the Industrial Revolution,” she wrote.

Last summer I called Coontz to talk to her about this revolution. “We are without a doubt in the midst of an extraordinary sea change,” she told me. “The transformation is momentous—immensely liberating and immensely scary. When it comes to what people actually want and expect from marriage and relationships, and how they organize their sexual and romantic lives, all the old ways have broken down.” (The Atlantic Monthly)

So, if the old ways have broken down, where do we go from here? I think that’s the question that remains firmly lodged in our minds, but I have come to a place of seeing the crumbling traditional marriage model as a non-threatening event. Instead, I see it is a hopeful frontier. To be young and married in 2011! I’ve decided to see my life status as a gift, to suspend judgment on non-traditional marriage models, to appreciate the fact that we’re all figuring it out for ourselves and that it is high time to reject the cultural law that says we all have to practice marriage in the exact same way.
Family  Feminism  breadwinner  hanna_rosin  husbands  marriage  models  money  sweet_fine_day  tradition  wives  from google
october 2011 by lacurieuse
Cheap Eats — “Hakuna Frittata”
I’ve had some rather unpalatable experiences with frittatas in the past. Dry and oniony with a texture akin to a tire rubber was not a dish I aspired to recreate. But my Scrabble friend Glenn encouraged me to give frittatas another try.

The arrival of an extra half-dozen eggs in addition to the 18-pack in the fridge identified last night as my entry to the world of baked eggs.

My first stop to look for a recipe, was the ever reliable allrecipes.com website. A quick glance through the recipes (and helpful reviews) gave me a general idea of the general variation.

Eggs
Cheese
Veggies of choice, especially potatoes
Maybe meat, (sausage, bacon, etc.)

Okay. I can do that. This the kind of recipe I like making — it uses up small amounts of ingredients and can be varied to fit the needs of picky eaters. Not to mention it incorporates food that is at risk for waste into a meal.

I first peeled and chopped a couple of potatoes into small cubes and browned them in a cast iron skillet with a little olive oil. Meanwhile I finely chopped some onion and carmelized that in another cast iron skillet and then added some frozen Trader Joe’s melange a troís pepper mix until it was all nicely browned.

How I assembled my frittata:

Spread the potatoes over the surface of a buttered 9″ X 13″  Pyrex pan.
Spread the onion/pepper mixture over one-half of the pan, (picky kid issues.)
Sprinkled a handful of shredded mozzarella cheese over the entire pan.
Added a jar of chopped artichoke hearts I had on hand.
Whisked seven eggs with a small amount of whole milk and poured this over the entire pan. (Why seven? Why not!)
Sprinkled another handful of parmesan cheese over the top.
Placed in a preheated 350° oven until the center was set. For me, this was around 25-30 minutes.

The frittata was a big hit with three out of four family members, (Mom! Why did you add artichoke hearts? Why?!) and it will most definitely be making a regular appearance in our dinner rotation.

But most important, the frittata was moist and not at all rubbery.

I really liked that this meal can be concocted out of leftover bits of this and that. (A meal never to be repeated!) As long as I have eggs and a bit of cheese, everything else can be scrounged from the fridge. Ours was vegetarian, but very hearty.

Also, I really appreciated that a single meal could be prepared to address the tastes of both adult and child(ish) palates. Because, as much as I want to be raising kids who eat a wide variety of flavors, it’s not realistic to serve them meals I know they won’t like.

I’m already thinking about what else can be added to the next frittata — zucchini, leftover rice, beans, tomatoes, green beans. The list goes on and on.

And the only downside is that I still have that annoying Hakuna Matata song stuck in my head!

Hakuna Frittata, ain’t no passing craze. It means no worries for the rest of your days!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Cheap Eats columns from previous posts:

Black bean burgers

One hour bread

Burritos

Curried lime chicken satay

Pasta salad

Pesto

Tea towel salad dressing

Momeye’s coffee cake
"Waste_No_Food"_Challenge  Cheap_Eats  Blogging  Blogs  Cheapskate  Eggs  Food  Frugal  Frugality  money  Money_Matters  Money_savings  Parenting  Recipes  Simple_Living  Thrift  Tightwad  Tightwad_Gazette  Voluntary_Simplicity  Waste  from google
october 2009 by lacurieuse
A Compact Chat
My name is Katy Wolk-Stanley and I am a diehard member of The Compact, (a worldwide buy nothing new movement) and have been since I joined up in January of 2007. I buy used gifts, I buy used school supplies, Heck, I even buy used sheets.

It may sound like a source of frustration to not be able to walk into a store and quickly grab life’s necessities, but nothing could be farther from the truth. It turns out that much of what I had been grabbing were not necessities, but stuff that were simply wants.

Not buying new has actually freed my life up. Saving not only untold thousands of dollars, but forcing me to make conscious and deliberate decisions about my purchases and how I live my life.

I already considered myself a thrift store aficionado and my house bulged with clutter to prove it. Sure, it was cool clutter, but clutter nonetheless. Cool dishes, cool vintage linens, cool toys, I had it all. Unfortunately I was also buying all the new stuff as well. Combine the two, and something had to give.

A short wire service piece in the local paper in December of 2006 then caught my eye. A small group of San Francisco hipsters had spent the last year buying nothing new and calling themselves “The Compact.” They were shopping thrift stores, bartering and horror of all horrors — simply not buying at all!

“We’re just a rarefied middle-class San Francisco greenies having a conversation about consumption and sustainability.”

I went into The Compact telling myself I would give it a month. What if I needed something? What about family birthdays? A month seemed about right, not too intimidating. I could handle a month.

The first year flew by with very few Compact exceptions. We bought a new glass carafe for our coffee maker as well as gifts for home-stay families that my son and husband would be staying with during a class trip to Japan. Besides that, I really can’t think of much else that needed purchasing.

Not only was I saving money, but I was experiencing a increased awareness of how the buy, buy, buy mindset of society was affecting our lives, our wallets and the environment.

I started to make other changes in my life.

I looked around my house and decided to put a full effort into de-cluttering. I donated to Goodwill a whopping 19 times in 2007, sometimes completely filling the mini-van with the excessive belonging that had been invited into my home.

I slowly began making other changes in my life as well. I began hanging my family’s laundry on a clothesline, I turned my thermostat to 63 in the winter, (which nobody seemed to notice) mixed up my own laundry detergent and make a concerted effort to minimize my driving.

All these changes save my family money, but most importantly we’re decreasing our energy consumption. Because The Compact is not about saving money, it’s about sustainability.

Luckily, frugality and sustainability are often one and the same.

Will I ever stop doing The Compact?

Well . . . I’ve actually started buying some new stuff when the big picture outweighs searching out the used. For example, I no longer want to be storing my food in plastic containers. This has meant that in addition to the couple scores of Goodwill Pyrex leftover containers, I splurged on a brand-spanking-new set. But in concordance with my conscious spending mindset, I noted that Pyrex is manufactured in the U.S. using union labor, plus the packaging is 100% recyclable!

I don’t think I will ever stop being part of The Compact, as my life has greatly bettered and my bank account has mysteriously plumped.

What more could a girl ask for?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
The_Compact  Amy_Dacyczyn  Blogging  Blogs  Cheapskate  Compact  Dacyczyn  Environment  Environmentalism  Frugal  Frugality  Green_Living  money  Money_Matters  Money_savings  Simple_Living  Thrift  Thrift_Stores  Tightwad  Voluntary_Simplicity  from google
october 2009 by lacurieuse
Laid off? Unpaid Furlough? Here's How to Cope
by KateLiving The Frugal LifeIt seems that every time I check in on what the pundits are saying about the economy the picture has changed...a little. But overall, people still seem to be hurting. Unemployment is real for many, and scary for most everyone else. Right now some workers who still have jobs are being forced to take unpaid furlough days on a regular basis. This is better, one
Living_Well_on_Less  Budgeting  money  Redefining_Normal  from google
october 2009 by lacurieuse
My big mistake - my first attempt at self-insurance
By EilleenConsumption RebellionHello everyone,Readers of my personal blog will know that I am currently on a drive to re-building my nest egg. See, I once had a very healthy nest egg until about 3 months ago...and then I lost 90% of that nest egg.I lost it as a result of a frugal mistake - a very poor attempt at self-insurance...Have you ever wondered if it was worth insuring? I have. Especially
Budgeting  self_reliance  money  Redefining_Normal  realistic_expectations  from google
september 2009 by lacurieuse
In Defense of Productivity
I like laying around and doing nothing as much as the next person, (more likely a little bit more.) I even write entire columns devoted to the subject. But sometimes, I really like to have an entire day devoid of activities so that I can blaze through a to-do list.

Today’s was my sons’ first day back at school. I was sad about their impending absence  and even had to take a moment and compose myself in front of the school this morning. They really are such good company.

The one thing I had not realized, was now that my kids are at the same school, I now have an two extra hours every day to myself.

Let me explain.

For the last two years, one son went to school from 8:00 A.M. – 2:15 P.M., while the other went from 9:15 A.M.- 3:45 P.M. This meant I only had from 9:00 A.M. – 2:10 P.M. each day to fill. With bus schedules what they are, I now have from 9:00 A.M. – 4:20 P.M.

This is a big difference.

Even with a new parent’s meeting and futzing around the house for awhile, I still had the most enormous amount of time to actually get some stuff accomplished.

I took a long walk, which included putting money in the bank. (Found a nickel.)
Cleaned the living and dining rooms.
Did a huge grocery shopping trip, which I hadn’t done for a couple of weeks. (Found a dime.)
Chatted on the phone with my sister, which featured a good gossip about mutual friends.
Made myself a lovely lunch, (toasted cheese with fresh garden tomatoes.)
Listened to Amy Tan’s Saving Fish From Drowning.
Stopped by the library and picked up the second season of Mad Men.
Made snacks for school lunches, (chocolate chip bran muffins and rice crispy treats to use up the marshmallows bought for our beach trip.)
I also goofed around on the computer and played a little online Scrabble, (totally addictive!) and even made pizza from scratch for dinner.

What’s my point here? There is something to be said for letting downtime be a priority, but there’s also something so cathartic about knocking out that to-do list.

But I actually think I may finally have time to prioritize both the productive and non-productive sides of myself.

This may seem obvious, but I’m going to point it out anyway. I have this much spare time because of the frugal choices I make on a daily basis that allow me to work 16 hours per week.

Do you get enough time to fulfill your downtime and uptime needs? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”
Frugality  Simple_Living  Amy_Dacyczyn  Blogging  Blogs  Cheapskate  Frugal  money  Money_Matters  Money_savings  Parenting  Thrift  Tightwad  Tightwad_Gazette  Voluntary_Simplicity  from google
september 2009 by lacurieuse
What Would You Do With an Extra $100, $1000, $10,000?
I had the privilege of taking my aunt Anne out for breakfast today. It was her birthday, (which I had actually forgotten about) which made it all the more special. Our original plan had been to go out for dim-sum, but we ended up finding a wonderful little café not far from my house which hit the spot.

This aunt is actually only 15 years older than I am and lived with us for a few years when I was growing up. She has always been a true inspiration to me — gleaning fabulous treasures from thrift shops and taking me and my sister to musty old used book stores when we were at our most impressionable ages. (The smell of old books still arouses an overwhelming feeling of contentment for me.)

She is smart, funny and generous beyond a fault despite never having excessive income.

Sadly, she now lives in Florida, which means that I hardly ever get to spend any time with her.

On our way back from breakfast, (plus a couple of garage sales) she started talking about what she would do if she won the lottery. I can’t actually remember what she said she would buy for herself, but she did say that she would give us each $11,000 per year. She said this is the amount one can receive annually without having to pay taxes on it.

I started to think about what I would do with an extra $44,000 annual income, (yes, she said she would give $11,000 to each of us!)

I would most definitely eradicate any and all consumer debt, but then what? Travel? Charitable giving? Cool clothes? Savings?

What would you do with an extra $100, $1000 or $10,000?

Here, I’ll start:

$100 — I would put it in savings. (There’s nothing for $100 or less that I don’t already have.)

$1,000 — I would pay off debt.

$10,000 — I would travel with my kids to somewhere like London, Japan or Greece. Perhaps somewhere sunny like Hawaii or Mexico, (which would be cheaper and allow for leftover funds.)

Okay now, your turn! Please put your answers in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
Money_Matters  Blogging  Blogs  Lottery  money  Money_savings  from google
august 2009 by lacurieuse
9 Tips to Live a Small, Debt-Free Life
At the beginning of 2008, Logan and I sat down and made some big commitments and we followed through with our goals of living a smaller, debt free life. For us the key to staying on track was writing down our goals and checking back in every few months to measure our progress.

A number of blog readers and friends have asked me how the heck to live a smaller, debt-free life. So here are a few tips that might help you:

Follow the program in Your Money or Your Life. If you want to understand more about finance and money management, pick up a copy of Your Money or Your Life. Why am I advocating that you read this book? Economic uncertainty, layoff’s and other world events have many people stressed out about money, how to spend it, save it and invest it. This book lays out simple steps that will help you gain a better understanding of money.
Budgets? Budgets are like diets. They don’t work. To get around budgets we’ve developed a monthly tabulation sheet, that allows us to evaluate our spending and examine our true consumption patterns. Our general expenses like rent and food stay constant, but we’ve found that our monthly spending pattern is never the same. Usually there is some kind of weird expense that pops up. Even though we watch our spending, we know that it will fluctuate. Thus, it is better to be mindful of each purchase.
Live within your means. Don’t buy stuff you can’t afford. This probably sounds like cliche advice, but how many people do you know that charge stuff on their credit cards all the time? Know the true expense of items by converting the price of stuff into your labor cost to earn it.
Wear out your stuff. Before you buy something new (like shoes), wear them out first and get repair estimates before buying something new.
Plan in advance. Planning drastically reduces the dreaded impulse buyer regret. For instance, make lists before you go grocery shopping and research the best deals for things like clothing and food.
Evaluate your living situation. If you’re paying an excessive amount to “own” or rent, take some time to evaluate the value of your location and the space you use. Examples of living small in this journal demonstrate how very little we need to live.
Buy local food. Healthy, organic, and fair trade foods can be very expensive in stores. To obtain this great food inexpensively look for a local farmer’s market to save money. Farmer’s markets allow you to purchase directly from the producer without the overhead cost of brick and mortar store fronts.
Cut out the unnecessary shopping trips and stay out of the mall. If you don’t go shopping, you won’t purchase items on impulse and your wallet will stay fatter.
Before you buy anything, ask yourself these 3 questions:

A. Did I receive fulfillment, satisfaction and value in proportion to life energy spent?

B. Is this expenditure of life energy in alignment with my values and life purpose?

C. How might this expenditure change if I didn’t have to work for a living. What expenses would increase, decrease or disappear if I didn’t go to work everyday?

Via Your Money or Your Life

Living a smaller lifestyle has changed my perception of consumerism and how so many of our spending choices negatively effect the economy, the work we do, and the planet. I wish I’d stumbled across the concept of small living earlier in my life.

Would you add anymore tips to this list?
Issue_12:_Small_Spaces_and_Finances  downsizing  finances  financial_freedom  issue12  money  RowdyKittens  Tammy  from google
august 2009 by lacurieuse
Like A Bike — A Must Have Item
I am very interested in the paradox of must-have consumer items.

If they must be had, where were they a few years ago?

A good example of this is the Like-A-Bike, an all wood and rubber kiddie two wheeler. These $315 training bikes are The. It. Thing. for the Portland, Oregon junior set, which brings me to ask:

“How did generations of kids ever learn to ride their bikes without them?”

I am first to admit that they are very cool looking, I get that. But aren’t they just tiny bikes without pedals, albeit cleverly designed ones? For my sons we just removed the pedals from their tiny bikes and then replaced them when they were ready.

No fuss, no muss, no $315!

Like the $600 stroller and the $20 water bottle, it’s in my category of keeping up with the Joneses.

What do you think, am I being too harsh and cranky? (I am tired, and my mother always told me that, “Cranky sounds like tired to me.”) Am I being a total killjoy? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
Frugality  Simple_Living  Affluenza  Amy_Dacyczyn  Bicycles  Bikes  Blogs  Cheapskate  Frugal  Keeping_up_with_the_Joneses  Like-A-Bike  money  Money_Matters  Money_savings  Parenting  Tightwad  Tightwad_Gazette  Voluntary_Simplicity  from google
august 2009 by lacurieuse
“How to Live on Nothing,” a Review
We recently enjoyed the privilege of hosting Christopher, an old college chum and his family for a couple of nights. They were wonderful house guests bringing both engaging conversation and an armload of delicious looking home canned goods from their garden.

On the last evening, Christopher suddenly remembered that he had forgotten to give me one last hostess gift, which was an old dog eared paperback of Joan Ranson Shorney’s 1968 classic How to Live on Nothing.

I expected this book, which features a super hippy-dippy looking family on the cover to provide some laugh aloud material, but the information between the outdated covers proved to have  classic, never go out of style advice.

Quotes include:

“This is not to advocate thrift for thrift’s sake, nor is it the sentimentalization  of undernourishment as a source of inspiration. It is the advocacy of a method of lowering the high cost of living so that you can clear the path for what you really want — namely the good life.“

“When you use something ordinarily thrown away you can be extra proud –proud that that you’ve avoided spending money you cannot spare and proud that you’ve done the national economy a service by cutting down on our national vice — waste.”

” ‘Save on luxuries,’ said a wise man to me once, ‘and you’ll find that luxuries become necessities. To save money, you must save on what you consider necessities.’ “

Most of the book is specific advice on how to fix household belongings, make things last longer, and avoid living expensively. And yes, there is certainly a fair amount of laughably outdated tips such as what to do with empty typewriter ribbon boxes, (decal them and use for paperclips, snaps, thumbtacks, etc.) But most of this book is pretty much timeless.

Did this book teach me anything new? Not really, but it was still an entertaining read. And free entertainment is certainly a big part of a life aimed toward living on nothing.

Do you like to read old books and have one to recommend? Please share your sources in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
Book_Reviews  Frugality  Simple_Living  Amy_Dacyczyn  Blogging  Blogs  Books  Cheapskate  Compact  Environment  Environmentalism  Freegan  Freeganism  Frugal  Green_Living  money  Money_Matters  Money_savings  Reading  Sustainability  The_Compact  Tightwad  Tightwad_Gazette  Voluntary_Simplicity  Waste  from google
august 2009 by lacurieuse
Calling All Spendthrifts — Keep it Up!
The following is a reprint of a previously published post. Enjoy!

As most of my readers know, I am a member of The Compact, a worldwide group that elects to only buy used. I do this for a number of reasons, but mostly because I choose to define ourselves by my actions, not my purchases. In doing so, Compact members hope to bring awareness to how the current consumer lifestyle affects our lives, our finances and our planet.

I have two sons, ages 11 and 13. They are used to Mommy’s soapbox antics. It doesn’t faze them to wear secondhand clothes and receive secondhand gifts. The 13-year-old really gets it, and the 11-year-old is okay with it, as long as it he still gets toys. (He’s very stuff-motivated.)

The 13-year-old is growing like a weed, and is constantly needing new clothes. This time it was jeans. So I headed out to my trusty Goodwill thrift store yesterday on said mission. I quickly found a brand-new-looking pair of Gap “carpenter jeans” in just his size. They were $4.99, but had a purple tag, which meant they were an additional 50% off. Score!

When I got home I raced to scope out the Gap website. Had I gone to the mall, I would have had to fork over 35 bucks.

Ah hah! A perfect opportunity for a parental teaching moment.

“So who’s smarter?” I queried. “The person who paid $35 for the jeans, or the person who paid $2.50?”

My son turned his gaze upon me and replied with that look only a teenager can truly master. (He’s precocious this way.)

“Mom, if someone hadn’t paid $35, we wouldn’t have been able to pay the $2.50.”

Oh yeah . . . .

Will there ever be so many people doing The Compact that there won’t be enough secondhand goods to go around? Based on the long line of of cars at Goodwill awaiting their turn to donate. I’d have to say a resounding no. But my son’s response gave me pause. Someone has to start the consumer cycle.

But who do you want to be? The person who spends $35 on a pair of kid’s jeans? Or the person who spends $2.50?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
Parenting  The_Compact  Amy_Dacyczyn  Blogging  Blogs  Cheapskate  Compact  Dacyczyn  Frugal  Frugality  Green_Living  money  Money_Matters  Money_savings  Simple_Living  Sustainability  Thrift_Stores  Tightwad  Tightwad_Gazette  Voluntary_Simplicity  from google
july 2009 by lacurieuse
Are You Using the Envelope System?
Heather Beauty That MovesThe envelope system for budgeting one's money/cash has been written about very nicely in many places on the web. If you are not familiar with this system please check out some great info at the following places:The Simple MomEnvelope System TutorialFor quite some time I have wanted to implement this system for our family. Part of what has kept me from getting started (
Living_Well_on_Less  Budgeting  money  Handmade_-_Sewing_and_Mending  children  from google
june 2009 by lacurieuse
Don’t Buy Stuff & Un-Broke Cribs
Click here to watch a hilarious Saturday Night Live skit entitled, “Don’t Buy Stuff.”

It’s all about a couple (Amy Poehler and Steve Martin) who can’t figure out their finances, and are helped by a book/pamphlet titled, “Don’t Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford.”

Simple yet effective.

Click here for the hilarious  Funny or Die video “Un-Broke Seth Green Cribs Edition.” The bit about how the “pool is straight filled with hose” makes me laugh every time.

Both videos inject a little humor into the theme of living within one’s means. Enjoy!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
Frugality  Affluenza  Amy_Dacyczyn  Blogging  Blogs  Cheapskate  Frugal  Humor  money  Money_Matters  Money_savings  Simple_Living  Thrift  Tightwad  Tightwad_Gazette  Voluntary_Simplicity  from google
june 2009 by lacurieuse
Small changes really do add up!
By Frugal TrenchesA little more than 6 months ago, I was a city girl living in London, working around the clock (often leaving my flat at 6am and arriving back sometime after 9 or 10pm), I was frequently flying for the day to Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh or taking trains across the country for meetings. I had a never ending list of things to do that I simply didn't have time to do. My weekends
Living_Well_on_Less  money  Simple_Living  work  from google
june 2009 by lacurieuse
This Reader’s Driving Tips May Save You Money at the Gas Station
The following is pulled from the comments section from NC-A reader Chuck, whose driving tips deserve their own column.

Thanks Chuck!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Good guest post (and good blog, been reading since JD linked you a few weeks ago).

From the perspective of an engineer with a pretty automotive-heavy background, I can add to and expand upon the information above a bit. While commuting in my old Mustang for years (currently parked), a car the EPA now estimates at 15mpg city, 22 highway, I was consistently able to average 21 to 22mpg commuting to work through a tunnel with a 20 minute delay both ways, and often averaged 25 to 27 mpg on the highway. My current commuter, a late model Miata, sees 30/32 despite an EPA estimate of 20/26. I am by no means a slow driver.

The first and most important paragraph is the advice to drive slower and smoother. However, many people misinterpret and misapply this advice into driving as if they had an egg under the gas pedal – I’ve actually heard this exact rotten (pardon the pun) advice given. This can be beneficial at times, but can just as easily reduce your gas mileage at other times.

It all comes down to basic physics. There is a certain amount of energy associated with your vehicle at a given speed, depending on its mass. In order to get to that speed from a stop, we have to generate that energy using the engine – and with normal efficiencies, you burn two tablespoons of extra gas for every tablespoon that actually gets turned into usable energy. In order to stop, we have to get rid of that same amount of energy, usually by burning it off into heat using the brakes. Brakes, unlike engines, are perfectly efficient at what they do. The first lesson to learn is to avoid using the brakes (or engine braking by downshifting, which is just as detrimental to mileage) whenever it’s possible to do so safely – every watt-hour of energy you burn braking represents three watt-hours of energy coming out of your gas tank. Instead, coast early when you know you’re approaching a stop, letting the wind and rolling friction slow you down – this is energy you’d have to spend anyway, and when coasting to a stop, you can basically consider it “free” energy, as opposed to burning gas to generate this energy and then hitting the brakes to burn it up and stop.

The second place you lose energy (and gas), beyond braking, is in friction. This comes in the form of rolling friction from your tires, and air drag. At cruising speeds, particularly on the highway at around 45mph and up, drag is far more important than rolling friction. Drag increases with the square of your speed. In other words, accelerating from a 60mph highway speed to 65, despite being only 8% faster, can cost you up to 17% more per mile (it will fall between 8% and 17%, largely depending on how much of your energy burn is rolling friction and how much is drag). This equation holds true no matter how aerodynamic your car is – you always lose energy disproportionately quickly as your speed goes up. Lesson two, therefore, is to slow down a bit on the highway. Even a few miles per hour, if consistent, will make a difference.

As for the egg-under-the-gas-pedal driving style, your engine is actually normally most efficient at around two thirds power, somewhere right around the middle of its operating speed. This is efficiency in producing energy to accelerate, not efficiency in terms of cruising, where other things come into effect. In reality, you have to produce the same mount of energy to get to a certain speed, whether you do it quickly or slowly. All other things being equal, it’s better to produce that energy as efficiently as possible, which means letting your engine work it its efficiency band. In other words, go.

In summary, when you start off from a stop, look ahead. If there’s another traffic light or stop sign right in front of you, take off easy, and don’t bother trying to get to maximum speed – the faster you go, the more you’ll use your brakes at the stop, and the more energy you’ll waste. If there’s nothing ahead of you but miles of open road, put your foot in it and get up to cruising speed – your wallet and car will thank you. If you want to save, lower your cruise speed, since this is what determines your highway mileage, not how grandmother-slow you can get up to that speed. It’s really that simple.

Happy motoring!
Frugality  Green_Living  Blogging  Blogs  Cheapskate  Driving  Environment  Environmentalism  Frugal  Hypermiling  money  Money_Matters  Money_savings  Thrift  from google
may 2009 by lacurieuse
How to Save Money on Gas — A Guest Post
The following is a guest post from Alison Wiley of diamond-cut life.org. Enjoy!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

The way we drive has a huge impact on what we spend on gas. The cool thing about saving money on gas by using less of it, from the perspective of the diamond-cut life, is that we reduce our carbon emissions at the same time. And all of us would prefer to subsidize our own bank accounts rather than the profits of oil companies.

Drive slower and smoother. A gentle right foot when driving around town can cut fuel consumption by 27-35%, according to Edmunds.com. This can mean getting 31 mpg instead of 22 mpg. Specific examples: accelerating slowly from green lights and decelerating slowly when approaching red lights. The smoother a car’s overall motion, the more gas money we save. The more herky-jerky the motion, with faster starts and stops, the more gas money we are throwing away.

Carpool. When I carpooled to work with five others, we each spent fifty cents per gallon of gas by dint of taking turns driving (based on current gas price of $2.48/gallon). Now that I’m in a vanpool, I’m also extending the life of my vehicle by driving it so little.

Streamline your vehicle. The aim is minimal wind resistance. Keep the windows and sunroof closed, especially at higher speeds. An engineer I know told me he gets 5-7 more miles per gallon when he takes the rack off the top of his Subaru Outback. “It’s the wind resistance, much more than the weight,” he reports.

Use your body for short trips: bike or walk. This is easiest and the most fun in nice weather. Treat most destinations close to you, whether groceries, social opportunities, dry-cleaning or restaurants, as your top picks. Even if they charge a bit more, using no gas to get there may make it the cheaper choice overall. To get a sense of how walkable your neighborhood is, use this “Walk-score ” website.

Use cruise control on the highway. The single, consistent speed can improve mileage by almost 14%. It’s easy to forget to use cruise control, if I am any example; I should put a post-it reminder on the dashboard.

Pick up the phone. The humble telephone is a powerful money-saving device. Does the Home Depot across town actually still have that item you want in stock, or are you just hoping it does? It takes a few minutes to call and ask them to check for you — but it takes much longer, plus several dollars in gas, to drive over and check yourself.

Try using public transit. In many cases, the fare is less than you’d pay for gas. If you like to read, work or knit while riding, you can come out ahead overall in time-use. In congested areas where parking is difficult, transit may be faster than driving alone.

Reconsider the air conditioning. Using it reduces fuel economy by 10-20%. However, that applies to in-town driving. At highway speeds it’s more cost-efficient to roll the windows up and use the a/c, due to the lowered wind resistance of being more streamlined.

Turn off the engine rather than idle for 20 seconds or more. I’m amazed by people leaving their engines on, burning precious gas, while waiting four minutes for a bridge here in Portland to let a ship through. Also, don’t “warm up” your vehicle for more than 20 seconds. It’s a myth that modern engines get any benefit from this.

Find places for privacy and solitude other than your car. Many people unknowingly use their cars for needs that have nothing to do with transportation. The needs are legitimate and human; using cars and gas to meet them is costly both to the person and our shared planet. Nature, libraries and a designated room in one’s home can be good places for privacy and solitude.

Make only right turns. Doing trips this way takes some forethought, but again, our gas-tanks literally pay us for using our brains. (I must modestly admit I had figured this trick out many years before UPS did :).

Build your collateral in things other than your car. Cars (unless they are hybrids, apparently) depreciate rapidly in value. Spending money on a car’s appearance, performance or accessories may not be in your best interest as much as if you were to invest in your relationships, education, character, spiritual life, home, garden, investing skills, etc.

Keep your tires properly inflated and your engine tuned. These practices improve your mileage by 3% and 4% respectively, according to fueleconomy.gov.

Declutter your vehicle. Less weight means less gas used to haul it around. I finally took our winter chains out of our trunk last Friday. (I left the first-aid kit and gallon of emergency water in, though.)

Photo courtesy of Sonny Side Up
Green_Living  Blogging  Blogs  Cars  Cheapskate  Driving  Environment  Environmentalism  Frugal  Frugality  Gas  gasoline  money  Money_Matters  Money_savings  Simple_Living  Sustainability  Thrift  Tightwad  Tightwad_Gazette  Voluntary_Simplicity  from google
may 2009 by lacurieuse
What Makes Me Happy
The following is from a previously published column. Enjoy!

 

 

I am happy.

I am a happy person with a great life. And no, it’s not dependent on the price of gasoline.

Here’s what’s currently making me happy:

I didn’t have to work today.
Dinner tonight was healthy, cheap and well received, (pizza from scratch).
I did most of the dishes, but no one cares if I finish up tomorrow.
Both my kids had friends over after school today, and there was only minimal whining about no video games.
My 12-year-old has been drawing more since I took away said video games.
I have four great movies from the library right now, and three whole weeks to watch them. (Juno, Charlie Bartlett, Extras: Series Finale and Star Trek: Enterprise, the Second Season.)
I gleaned a perfect Swiffer today from a neighbor’s garbage pile. I can use it with towel rags, which work perfectly.
My husband just got his dream job, which he’s been working towards for eight years.
The rock wall in my backyard is almost done.
I was able to get all the rocks for free from craigslist.
I picked up a check for $92 from the children’s consignment shop today, for clothes I had dropped off months ago and forgotten about.
I can beat my book-smart older sister at online Scrabble. Sometimes.
I played the word, “egads” today for 34 points. Egads is simply a terrific word.
I can beat my ten-year-old at Sorry, and he doesn’t cry or pitch a fit.
I got four beautiful zucchini from my friend Nadine, and have worked them into dinner two nights in a row.
I went to The Dollar Tree store today for shampoo and conditioner, and nothing else snuck its way into my basket.
The book my ten-year-old son wants read to him at night, is actually really good. (The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan.)
I am reading a great, funny book from the library right now, and it can easily be enjoyed in short spurts. (The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World., by A.J. Jacobs.)
My pants are kind of loose around the waist, (although it may simply be because they were line dried.)
My mom lives in town and was able to drop by today for a cup of tea and a homemade muffin.
I found a great second hand birthday present for my little sister at the consignment shop for only $2.
The humidity from all the rain meant my 12-year-old’s thick, platinum blond hair was all wavy with curls at the bottom. Like when he was a toddler.
My husband took the kids to a nighttime soccer game in the pouring rain. And let me stay home, warm and dry.
When the news on NPR got to be too much today, there was great music playing on the other stations.
Both my sons are still really snuggly.
No one has found out yet where I hid the video game system. Although they may have found a few holiday gifts.
We only produced half a grocery bag of garbage last week.
Apparently having a swanky grocery store being built up the block will increase the value of our house “up to 17%,” according to an article in the newspaper.
It’s flannel sheets weather, and I love my Garnet Hill flannel sheets. (Purchased pre-Compact.)
I’m suddenly back in touch with almost everyone I went to college with, and we’re all much more bearable now. Pretty much.
I have a job in the health sector, which is pretty much immune to economic roller coaster rides.
My neighbors will stop to have a chat, even in the pouring rain.
I have wonderful friends, who bring me garden surplus. And are always happy to stop in for a cup of tea, and maybe a scone.
No one in my family gives a rat’s tuchus that all their clothing comes fromGoodwill.
I have seat warmers in both my cars.
I still have lettuce growing my my wheelbarrow.
My couch is long enough to fully stretch out on. 
My four-year-old $45 washing machine is still going strong. (Yeah, craigslist!)
Both my kids eat a wide variety of foods, even if it’s just a no-thank-you-bite.
The Japanese teacher we hosted a few years ago is pregnant with a boy. And she’s going to be an incredible mother.
She once told me that Japanese mothers don’t kiss their kids as much as I do, (my kids are irresistible!) but she had decided it was something she would do.
Wool socks.
Having neighbors that admire my clothesline, instead of reporting me to a homeowner association.
The friends, (Max and Julia) I’ve made through being part of The Compact. (Buy nothing new!)
Being able to say I turned down an offer to be on the reality TV show Wife Swap.
Knowing I have regular Non-Consumer Advocate readers in Tanzania, The Czech Republic, Canada, England, Scotland, Australia and France.
Singing the Sisters song along with my Puppini Sisters CD. Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters!
Being 40-years-old.
Knowing, that by choosing to buy nothing new, I am not contributing to all the environmental mess that comes from unnecessary manufacturing.
The health of my family and loved ones.

What makes you happy? Tell us your list in the comments section below.
Katy Wolk-Stanley
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
Frugality  Parenting  Simple_Living  Amy_Dacyczyn  Blogging  Blogs  Book_clubs  Books  Cheapskate  Compact  Dacyczyn  Environment  Environmentalism  Food  Food_Wastage  Food_Waste  Freegan  Frugal  Green_Living  money  Money_Matters  Money_savings  Movies  The_Compact  Thrift  Thrift_Stores  Tightwad  Tightwad_Gazette  Voluntary_Simplicity  Waste  from google
april 2009 by lacurieuse
Have You Joined the “Waste No Food Challenge?”
When I started up the waste-no-food-challenge last May, I had no idea how much food waste I would be able to divert from our well fed compost pile. 

No longer do my leftovers languish in the back of the fridge. Gone are the days when my heads of lettuce transformed to liquid. (C’mon, admit it. I can’t be the only one to have conducted this particular science experiment!)

I have made many positive changes in how I buy, store and use/re-use food.

The most important change I’ve made is to be realistic about how my family eats. My ten and 13-year-old sons are more open minded eaters than most of their friends, but they still balk at certain meals.

Mom, is that a microscopic piece of onion in my bean burger?!

You get the picture.

Here’s the best techniques I’ve found so far in avoiding food waste:

I no longer cook up huge batches of food. Yes, I’m happy to eat leftovers once. Twice? Not so much. Our freezer is not big enough to store large amounts of leftovers, so I try to only cook enough for two meals at a time.
When buying lettuce, I immediately wash and chop it, and then store it in a salad spinner. Because the inner basket sits above the outer bowl, this prevents the lettuce from getting soggy. This technique has greatly helped our now nightly salad habit.
I include leftovers in subsequent meals. For example, I chopped up some roast chicken for use as a pizza topping a few nights ago. 
I no longer buy jars of salsa or barbeque sauce, as I noticed these were frequently wasted items. I now buy El Pato brand enchilada sauce to use as salsa. These small cans are the perfect size to get used up before going bad.
I store leftovers in clear containers as much as possible. Out of sight, out of mind is unfortunately very true for me. But if I can actually see the contents of my refrigerator, then I’m much more likely to eat the food I’ve bought.
I serve smaller portions to the kids. If they want seconds, then they’re welcome to help themselves. I’m also putting smaller portions in their school lunches. I find this helps in my quest to scrape less food into the compost and garbage from their plates. 
I’m buying less cereal. The days of half-eaten, completely-forgotten boxes of whatever-o’s are behind us.

I’m simply keeping an awareness about food waste up front in my mindset. Not only is food waste a huge waste of money, but it’s also an unacceptable practice in these economic times. And the methane gas produced from landfills full of rotting food is hardly a big plus either.

Put your name in the comments section below to add yourself to the waste-no-food-challenge.

Are you increasing your awareness about food waste in the home? What have you found that helps or doesn’t help for you? Please share your ideas in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
"Waste_No_Food"_Challenge  Simple_Living  Frugality  Environmentalism  money  Money_savings  Green_Living  Parenting  Amy_Dacyczyn  Tightwad  Environment  Cheapskate  Frugal  Voluntary_Simplicity  Food_Wastage  Garbage  Blogs  Blogging  Money_Matters  Food  Rubbish  Waste  Tightwad_Gazette  Thrift  from google
april 2009 by lacurieuse
Mastering the Art of the French Five-Piece Wardrobe
First, a confession: I have a lot of clothes.  I got hand-me-down closet transfusions from my stylish older sister for years, and it completely corrupted me. I can’t imagine wearing the same few pieces week after week. Still, I’ve had a couple of readers email me asking for information and advice on simplifying their closets (and clothing budgets).  So for anyone who’s ever longed to open up the closet door and absolutely adore every immaculate piece inside, this is a concept worth considering.

I’ve found a few different takes on the idea of the French wardrobe, but here is the core of it: your wardrobe each season revolves around a handful of key pieces: a pair of well-cut trousers, an elegant shirt, a classic coat, a great pair of shoes, and so on. These are your staples, and you’ll wear them in and out, day after day. From this core of classic pieces, you add just a handful of new items into your wardrobe each season to keep it fresh. The end result is a closet that is minimalist but high on style.

Pulling off a French Wardrobe in Real Life
It takes a very different attitude to pull off this kind of wardrobe. You officially have to stop judging “style” by trends and the number of different outfits a person can wear in a month. You need to get comfortable wearing the same pieces over and over and feeling confident in those pieces.

While it seems like U.S. style is about sporting something new and different all the time, don’t be afraid to change the rules.  After all, what’s the harm in having people see you in your favorite outfit once a week instead of once a month?  Don’t worry that people will be thinking, “Wow, she really wears that blouse blouse a lot.”  Since you’ll keep truly amazing items in your slimmed-down wardrobe, they become signature pieces. Every day, you’re wearing outfits that make you shine inside and out. The overall impression you give off is, “Wow, she looks so sharp every day.”

The Rules of a Minimalist Wardrobe
Working within a minimalist wardrobe requires a few changes in perspective, as well as a few core guidelines.

1.  Stick with one color family for the most part.
You don’t need to have all neutrals, but it’s a good idea to make a conscious decision to focus on a few key colors that blend well together.  For instance, if one of your core pieces is a red wool coat (I love mine!), then the classic blouses and scarves you buy should look good with red.

2.  “Fit” and “fabric” are the words you live by.
Only buy items that fit you fantastically. The jeans you buy should go with nearly all of your tops, not just a certain subset.  This is a great budget saver, since you only need a couple of pairs of killer jeans, not one pair to go with your long shirts, another pair that you can wear with short shirts, another pair to tuck into, and on and on.  It also makes getting dressed less of an exercise in closet calculus. (Well, if I wear these pants today, then I can’t wear any of these tops for the rest of the week…)

Fabrics that last also matter more in a limited wardrobe.  Long-wearing fabrics like cotton, wool, and cashmere do much better over time than crappy acrylic pieces. (I truly hate acrylic.)

3.   Accessories are more important.
When your clothes are simpler, you rely on great accessories to complete a look. These don’t have to be expensive, but throwaway purses and jewelry don’t add much to this kind of style.  Cheap fixes become wardrobe noise to a degree.

4.  Clothes need to be multi-functional.
Reconsider items that only work on Fridays after 5 p.m. (or whatever other arbitrary restrictions your wardrobe components have).  The clothes you keep need to work for daytime, evening, casual, and dressy situations. Items don’t have to be perfect for every occasion, but there should be room to dress pieces both up and down.

5.  Have casual and dressy options for both top and bottom.
You can get more mileage out of fewer pieces if you can mix dressy jackets with casual jeans and elegant trousers with casual tops.  On the other hand, if you have all formal jackets and pants and only casual tops, you’re kinda screwed if you need to switch things up.

6.  Spend your clothes budget on items that you truly love.
So what if that top on the Target clearance rack is kind of cute?  Kind of cute is not good enough for this system. You can have a dozen items that are kind of cute and kind of fun to wear, or you can save up and get something that is awesome—the kind of item that makes you feel like you’re walking out of a magazine, regardless of how much it cost.

7.  It’s not about price, it’s about quality.
This goes two ways: you might end up spending a bit more on a blazer that will last for years as one of your core items of clothing. On the other hand, the price of an item is irrelevant; if the perfect dress is $20, it’s better than the $200 dollar one that’s fab but trendy. (I fully believe that price does not dictate style; the dresses I get complimented on most on are either things I sewed out of bargain fabric or bought off a clearance rack. No joke.)

Yeah, But…
So if it’s so great, why don’t I have this kind of minimalist French wardrobe?  To be honest, after doing the research and writing about it, I’m not so sure anymore…

What are your thoughts? Is a French wardrobe, based around a handful of pieces with only a few new additions for each season, doable?

Photo courtesy of Vincent BoiteauSimilar Posts:

How to Use Big, Dramatic Pieces to Simplify Your Home and Wardrobe
A Simple Wardrobe Packed with Style
Four Ways to Purge Your Closet
The On Simplicity Guide to Packing Light
Quick & Dirty Closet Raid

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Decluttering  House_&_Home  Simple_Living  fashion  money  Organization  Style  from google
april 2009 by lacurieuse

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