Saturday, May 28, 2016


We are competing in the Boston Questival!! Please support Team Zeus

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Journey Towards Minimalism

Living Large for Less

At some point in the last few months, I came to the realization that I simply had too many things. It did not surprise anyone who knew me when I was able to fill two walk in closets in my new apartment with all of my clothes. I had so many clothes that nothing else would even fit in the closets! I live alone in an apartment with about 1,000 square feet, but I felt like I was drowning in my things. So I began the very sad task of adding up the quantities of everything that I owned. Some of the highlights: about 300 T shirts, 12 jackets, 10 bathing suits and about 40 pairs of jeans. And yet despite all of this, I kept routinely jaunting off to the mall and returning with new bags of stuff. Something had to change. 

First night in my new place!

Where to Start...

I knew that Step One was just realizing that I had too many things, but that was as far as I got for a while. I was onto something, I just didn't know what. And then one day I found this finance and general life blog and I realized where I was supposed to go.

I looked at all of my things and slowly started to ask myself if any of them added any meaning or value to my life. At first I thought that they did. For example, I could hold up one bathing suit and imagine myself wearing it on some tropical island, while another I would envision wearing to a family pool party. And so on until I got to 10 different occasions and color combinations "requiring" different outfits. Step Two: realizing how ridiculous this was. 

I suddenly understood that I did not in fact need 10 bathing suits. This may seem insignificant, but to me it was huge. For the first time ever I realized that my life would be no different if I bought one more article of clothing; and in fact, my life might actually be easier if I had a bit less. I didn't actually want to get rid of anything at this point, but I convinced myself that I could sell some of my stuff and make some quick money on eBay. So I did.

Reduce, Reduce, Reduce

In the first week of "reducing" as I'll call it, I listed close to 100 articles of clothing on eBay. Not everything sold, but I still made about $100. The first time I went to the post office to send my beloved items away, I felt very sad. I thought about all of the money that I had spent on everything and all of the times I had worn these things and I was angry that for less than $100 I was giving it all away.

But after a few more rounds of this, something started to change inside of me. I started to feel happy when someone would pay me $.99 for an old T Shirt that I hadn't worn in years. I started realizing that I actually didn't need it at all, and I didn't even want it. Slowly, my closet started emptying and a few dollars would enter my bank account here and there. And better yet, I stopped buying new things. For the first time in my life, I felt happy with what I already had! 

Budding Minimalism

It was amazing: I suddenly cut my spending, got rid of extra stuff I didn't need, saved money for a downpayment on a house and felt happy at the same time. But the best part of all was that I could see an immediate reduction in future consumption. I knew looking forward that I could save even more because I would continue not to need the things that I realized I didn't need today. The entire facade of our culture of materialism and consumption began to fall apart right before my eyes. In essence, I had discovered minimalism

To be fair, I have only just begun this journey, and I have no idea where it will take me, but I do know that I have made a substantial change in my present life to the benefit of my future self. I hope that as I move forward, I will continue moving in this very new and very positive direction. 

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Friday, January 16, 2015

My 2015 Resolution - Buy a Home

Taking the Plunge in 2015

So I realize that I have been a little lax on the blogging and that New Year's happened a few weeks ago at this point, but I did make one important resolution for this year that I think will be helpful to share. My thought process is that if I blog about this and tell everyone that I'm going to do it, I'm more likely to actually make it happen! Based on where my life is at, I think that this would be a good year to purchase my first home! 

Perfect Timing

If I think back to my life one year ago, I never imagined that I would be where I am today. I was suffering through a miserable senior year of college, living in a ramshackle house with little to no heat and I often struggled to figure out how to pay my (very small) bills. But, given the fact that I was a 20 year old student, everything seemed on the right path!

Since then I've graduated, landed a job and become a lot happier. And so rather than focusing on the short term, I can start honing in on some of my long term goals. My biggest goal as of now is to retire young, but more on that another time. So I've set my sights on buying my first home, hopefully right here in Worcester!

The Hard Part - Saving

Abstractly, the idea of buying a home sounds awesome: space that I can use for anything, no more rent payments, maybe a dog! But getting from here to there will require me to save like crazy. So far I've got about $1000 saved, so clearly I have a long way to go. If I actually want to save enough for a downpayment in one year, I have to have a really solid plan, so here it is: save 50% of my income this year.

This may seem crazy, an on some level it probably is, but I'm on track so far. I'm trying to learn to appreciate what I have and find happiness from myself rather than from possessions, again more on that later. As of right now, this all seems pretty much like a dream, but I think that if I really focus, I can make it. This post is really just a collection of some of my high level and as of yet undeveloped ideas, but hopefully I'll be back with some progress in the coming months! 

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