In this week’s episode, we talk about how the journey of trying to become debt-free led us to seriously pursue a lifestyle that’s more simple and intentional. We decided to change up the format a little bit for this episode and did a Q & A format. Even though we are married and have the same goal, our journeys have been different.
1. Are you a minimalist, essentialist, just a huge Marie Kondo fan?
Colby: I would learn towards minimalism if I had to pick any.
Shay: All of those things and more. I take bits and pieces from all of these that works for me and create something of my own.
2. What does living this life mean to you?
Colby: It means freedom and simple life.
Shay: For me, it would be intentional. As you can tell we differ in how we view things, so it’s not a one size fits all kind of deal. You have to respect your partner and their point of view and decision on this journey.
3. What was the moment you decided that things needed to change?
Colby: For me, it was high school when I had to pack up my room. I realized that I had too much stuff and never wanted to be like that. From there I made it a goal to be able to pack all my stuff in my Jetta. I always wanted to be able to leave if I wanted to.
Shay: I read an article about how a messy house causes women to have a hormonal or chemical reaction that causes them stress. I thought it was my responsibility as a stay at home to keep the house looking good and it wasn’t happening. I wasn’t happy and my messy house seriously stressed me out. My logic was that if I declutter and get rid of stuff, it would be less stuff I have to put away and my house would stay cleaner.
4. Have you always been this way?
Shay: No, but I look back through my childhood and see how all the traveling I did and boarding school I went too it influenced me when it came to my stuff. Even though I did have a couch and bed in our first apartment, it still was pretty empty. There were signs there, just didn’t have a name to it yet.
5. How does living a more intentional life with kids look like?
Colby: Messy. When we moved to Arizona we got the kids each a toy box and told them whatever fits in there is what you keep. Books don’t count. We started with our daughter very young, to go through her toys and see what she likes. She is now used to this process, and she gives hugs to the things she doesn’t want any longer and says goodbye.
Shay: It was important for us to teach them when they were young to appreciate experiences and not attach to things. It doesn’t mean that they are born minimalistic. I hate 90% of the toys my daughter keeps, but she decides to keep them or not. We show our kids how we go through our stuff and be examples for them.
6. What’s your favorite part about living this lifestyle?
Colby: We don’t have the extra baggage, obligations, etc. Freedom of our schedule to get out and explore.
Shay: The family part is awesome but I also love the money staying in our bank account part. The way you make your choices affects your money decision. It helped us get our debt under control, but it made shopping easier, making decisions was easier.
7. What’s the hardest part about being living this way?
Colby: I can’t pick up hobbies left and right. I use to change my mind a lot but now it’s forcing me to appreciate and love the stuff that I do have and not go searching for something new. It’s getting over keeping up with the Jones concept of living.
Shay: When you make an intentional purchase, I want and have something specific in mind, and not being able to find that immediately drives me crazy. It’s the waiting process that makes me go crazy even though I know it’s worth it.
8. Has this lifestyle really benefited you or are you just making that up?
Colby: Yes, 110% but there are things that I don’t love about it. There is always give and take somewhere with everything. For the most part, I do enjoy it.
Shay: Mostly yes, but now I don’t feel the need to be extreme with my belongings, I’ve found that perfect spot that works for me. I used to feel weird when I would go shopping but I don’t have that anymore. Now that it’s more a habit, I don’t feel like I need to be so strict with myself.
9. After moving to this lifestyle, is there something that you thought would change but hasn’t?
Colby: It doesn’t matter how many times we downsize, I still feel like we have too much stuff. I thought that was going to go away. I still always lose my keys and wallet and its bad.
Shay: I thought once minimalism became a thing for you, the urge to go shopping and fill a space with stuff would go away. The urge to decorate and make a new space home by buying things. It may be just a girl thing. Also because I had less stuff, I would develop a habit of putting things back and being more organized.
10. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting on their journey toward a more simple, intentional, minimal lifestyle?
Colby: I just want to word vomit here, but just do some research into all the different lifestyles out there and find the resonates with you. And then start making simple small changes.
Shay: Don’t get caught up in the labels and rules that people have given to the lifestyle you decide to go for. Everyone has their opinion on what’s right and wrong. It’s a personal journey and what works for you might not work for someone else. Don’t compare to your journey to someone else journey. We might be on similar paths but it won’t be the same.
We hope that we could inspire you to give your life a little refresh and update. I think everyone can learn a little from all the different lifestyle out there and apply what works for you. It’s a journey that never really has an end. You will outgrow some things and find things to replace them. What matters most is to create a lifestyle that suits you, that can fulfill your dreams and in the end, leave you full of abundant happiness.