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What Minimalism Means to Me

homeandgrace.net

I was a very unwilling convert to minimalism.

It wasn’t trendy to be minimalist when I began my journey and blogs were just starting to talk about it. The KonMari method was years away from reaching American shores. Tiny houses weren’t a thing.

So I learned minimalism on my own and in a rather unconventional sort of way. And only because I had to.

My husband, Ryan, and I moved to Hungary in 2009 and because it would have been outrageously expensive to ship boxes, we only brought what we could fit in two fifty pound suitcases and two carry-ons each. Continue reading

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More with Less: The Freedom of Debt-Free

Freedom of Debt-Free

 

Welcome to the series More with Less where we look at various ways we can live a more abundant life with fewer possessions. I hope this series helps you to rethink how you view your money and possessions. You can read the intro My Journey with Money and previous installments: The Four Purposes of MoneyGive Your Money AwayCultivate Contentment, Own Less Stuff, and Fear, Faith and Money.

Today we make the Ryan’s final master’s degree tuition payment. It’s a day we’ve been working hard towards for over two years and, oh man, am I ready for it!

Before Ryan was accepted to his program we decided we would not take out loans to pay for his education. We knew it would mean big sacrifices, from making major cuts to our grocery budget (and spending in general) to moving back to Oregon. We knew it would be hard but going debt-free was best for our family1.  Continue reading


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More with Less: Own Less Stuff

Own Less Stuff.jpg

Welcome to the series More with Less where we look at various ways we can live a more abundant life with fewer possessions. I hope this series helps you to rethink how you view your money and possessions. You can read the intro My Journey with Money and previous installments: The Four Purposes of MoneyGive Your Money Away, and Cultivate Contentment.

In the six years since we got married, Ryan and I have packed our lives and possessions into two carry-ons and two checked bags each and moved on a plane to a new country three times. We’ve done it with one kid and we’ve done it with two. And with another international move somewhere on the horizon I’m starting to cast a sideways glance at everything we own. Continue reading


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More with Less: Cultivate contentment

Cultivate Contentment

Keeping up with the Joneses.

Bigger is better.

Supersize me.

We are constantly surrounded by messages that life tell us our lives will be better when we have more toys and our homes are filled with certain objects.

There’s a strong undercurrent calling the bluff, proclaiming that more stuff actually makes you less happy and living small is better for you, everyone else and the environment. But it’s still the undercurrent and even if you share these ideals, living them out in a materialistic world can be hard. Continue reading


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More with Less: Give your money away

Give your money away

Welcome to ‘More with Less’, a series about living an abundant life with fewer possessions. This series normally runs on the first Friday of the month but life threw me a curve last week and it’s a bit late. I hope you enjoy today’s installment and I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section!

The biggest asset in my family’s money management arsenal might surprise you.

It’s not being thrifty, going without or wise investments.

It’s giving money away. Continue reading


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More with Less: The 4 purposes of money (and one non-purpose)

purposes of money

Welcome to the second post in the series ‘More with Less’! This is a bonus installment as this series will usually run on the first Friday of the month. But I am so excited to get it going I want to lay some more foundation before we jump into the practical aspects of living more with less. If you missed last week’s post ‘More with Less: My journey with money’ I suggest you read it first before diving into today’s post.

For most of my life I thought money was meant to buy me stuff and allow me to have fun. Yes, it was also meant to pay mortgages and buy toilet paper but those were definitely secondary. Oh man, was I wrong! When God made it clear that I needed to become frugal and recognize my dependency on him the biggest change hasn’t come in my spending habits, though the change there was pretty drastic. The biggest change is how I think about money. It is no longer the ticket to fulfilling my wants and desires; it is a tool used to enable me to live the life God calls me to, one of abundance with fewer possessions. I’ve slowly come to understand the purposes of money and as I do I found the freedom and joy I didn’t experienced when I used money only to please myself. Continue reading


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More with Less: My journey with money

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Welcome to the series ‘More with Less’. On the first Friday of every month I’m going to share a simple, effective way I’ve found to save money and live a meaningful life with fewer possessions. It will range from recipes and DIYs on making things you would normally buy to cultivating contentment (but no coupons – I don’t do coupons). But before I begin sharing about the practical aspects of how to live more with less, I’d like to share my journey with money and how I came to my views on frugality, money management and finding joy with fewer belongings. Continue reading