Why I Share Our Finances Online:

I’m writing this for people, especially those who may know me in real life, who wonder why I share our personal finances publicly, or think to themselves something along the lines of, “that’s such an invasion of privacy, I would never do that.”

Photo by Ann H on Pexels.com

Here are my reasons why:

First of all, and the most important reason why I do, is to help other people. People can see exactly what we are invested in and can watch our finances slowly grow and change month by month, it’s great. It’ll be super helpful to look back 10 years from now and see how far we’ve come, exactly HOW we did it, and the ups and downs along the way. This keeps things super transparent, relatable, and realistic too.

I have seen thousands of people’s personal financial information and helped them. If people feel comfortable enough to share their information with me, I feel comfortable enough to share mine with them. To me, it’s about mutual respect and transparency. I want to show I practice what I preach and that we are doing well financially for our ages, so people know my methods and tactics actually work.

Second, you do not need to share what you are not comfortable with sharing. If you don’t want to share you finances, don’t! Also, I can choose to stop at any time. Of course what is out there is out there, but I can stop sharing those numbers whenever I want to. -Don’t worry, I don’t want to yet.

Third, there is a large community of people online that share their personal finances as well. Most of them in the F.I.R.E. community. I have always appreciated other people that do this and found their posts helpful, so I wanted to add to the community as well. Everyone has a completely different scenario that is playing out for them. Some people make 120k/year, some make 30k/year, some want kids, some don’t want kids, some want a home, some want to travel the world, I could go on and on. So some people out there may relate to my husband and I more than others in the F.I.R.E. community.

Finally, I want to have a record for myself and me sharing it publicly has allowed me to connect with others simultaneously. I’ve really enjoyed looking back every once in a while to see how far we’ve come. It also helps keep us motivated, because we can see the progress very clearly.

Well I hope that clears any questions or concerns about this topic. No one asked for this, but I like to make sure all my bases are covered now that I’m sharing my blog with people I know in real life.

Speaking of sharing finances publicly, here is our January Financial Update that came out on Monday. 😉

As always, thanks for reading!

-Meghan Payne

  • My Financial Planning Workbook!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!

January 2022 Financial Update:

As most people know, there was a market correction in January, so our investments went down quite a bit, which is okay. If you invest, you need to expect corrections and crashes every now and then.

Not much happened in January for us, some more of our relatives got Covid and we were by someone who tested positive so we mostly just stayed home. Also it has been in the negatives outside.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Then I had one of my rare hemiplegic migraines that mimic a stroke on Monday January 24th. I’m okay, but my head hurt for a week after the event. They suck to have and are scary for those around me. I couldn’t talk or function for 24 hours and had no appetite. I even threw up for the first time since 7th grade from the pain, it made me so nauseous. I need to go to a neurologist again because this isn’t okay and apparently as I get older they will happen for longer and more frequently, which I do not want. When they happen, nothing helps. Of course I’ve had Tylenol, Advil, even Ativan and Triptans. They do nothing for the pain and I think they just make me loopy. They have prescribed me triptans, but there is actually research that says they can increase my risk of stroke with a hemiplegic migraine, so I don’t feel safe taking them. Doctors disagree on how to treat this rare migraine.

Other than struggles with migraines, I am very healthy and this has only happened 3x in my life, but like I said I lose my ability to speak and get very confused at everything. Part of me goes numb and I can’t remember the date or who the president is or write my name correctly. And it is by far the worst pain I have ever felt. Because these migraines mimic a stroke, they always say to go to the ER just in case, which I did.

I can tell when they’re coming because my vision goes funny, a little blurred or a zigzag line, then my hand goes numb, then about 15-45 min later the pain begins and lasts for about 24 hours. Then I usually panic and text Brandon at work and he takes me to the ER. I don’t know if it will ever go away or if we will find a treatment, but I hope so! I guess now we will have an expensive medical bill to pay unexpectedly this month… got to love the U.S. health system.

Edit: I have realized that the day before my migraine I ate multiple foods that can trigger one! I also didn’t eat breakfast right away which is apparently not good too and was mildly stressed, so the combination of those things resulted in the migraine! Then I also did a lot wrong when it came to treating the migraine… apparently I was supposed to put an icepack on my head, I did a hot compress. I also went out in the light, I should have laid down in complete dark and silence. Now I know!

Okay, that’s enough about my migraine problem! It’s the only interesting thing that happened this month. On to the finances!

If you haven’t checked out my financial planning e-workbook yet, I suggest you do! It’s a great tool that will make you and/or save you thousands of dollars, if not more, for only $9.99. I’m really proud of it and know it will help people so much! Feel free to click here to read more about it!

Our Partial Financial Independence Goals:

  • $0 Debt.
  • Brandon works part time at his job.
  • I am self-employed. I can choose how much or how little I want to work & when.
  • We need $2,000+/month in income, whether that comes from investments, Brandon’s part time job, my blog, my workbook, etc. it doesn’t matter.

Our Current Numbers as of February 1st, 2022:

  • Roth IRAs (Betterment -SRI Sustainable): $24,470.66 and $21,457.76
  • My small Traditional IRA (From an old 401(k) rollover -Betterment): $1,783.86
  • Tesla: $837.61
  • AYRO (Free Crypto from signing up with Robinhood): $1.13
  • Bitcoin: $1,041.91
  • Total Invested: $49,592.93
  • Savings: $18,003.18
  • Debt: -$120,983.82 (Mortgage)
  • Just Brandon is working full time.

For me, investing in Crypto & Tesla is gambling. I invested that money knowing full well that I could lose it all and be okay with that. I also don’t include the value of our house & car in our updates, any random cash we are saving up for house projects, or how much we have saved up in credit card rewards.

As always, thanks for reading!

-Meghan

  • My Financial Planning Workbook!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!

Do You Fear Change or Crave It?

I’m addicted to change. I can finally acknowledge this and say it out loud. I’m not talking small changes like dying your hair or painting a room. I love big changes and accomplishments, like moving, getting married, starting a new business, traveling, having a child, going back to school, etc.

I’m not sure whether this is good or bad, or neither & just how I am.

I’ve noticed most people hate change, and try to avoid it unless it is one particular thing they really want or need to do.

Again, I don’t know if this is good, bad, or just how some people are.

Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com

I crave change. I’m obsessed with being outside of my comfort zone. I have this deep need to constantly be growing and learning, in intense ways. Because of this, the last two years have been challenging for me. They have been very stagnant, to me.

I’m only 23, already married, own a home, have a 2 year degree, have started different business ventures, and have traveled quite a bit for my age. I’m longing for the next adventure.

All I’ve done over the last two years is work alone in my house either for my former job or on my own business. I also read a lot. But that’s it; no major life events, very little travel, no formal education other than my insurance license, etc. I want to do more, I want to be challenged again. It doesn’t help that it has been averaging at 0 degrees Fahrenheit here in Minnesota and all of our family has been getting Covid, leaving us often alone at home. Losing my job in October & focusing on my business was a challenge, but I’m craving a different kind of challenge, something new.

Options I am highly considering moving forward:

  • Going back to school for my bachelors degree. I’ve already talked with an advisor at a local university and applied. I am 90% sure I am going back to school starting in May of 2022. I want to learn more again in a formal setting and meet new people. I might do a work study and travel study as well.
  • I want to travel again in 2022. I haven’t seen my best friend and my uncle since 2019. One lives in Oregon and one lives in Germany. I want to make my best effort to see them this year.
  • I will for sure keep working on, improving, and adapting my business. My main focuses are this blog and selling my workbook.
  • Brandon and I want to become extreme minimalists. We actually have tickets to see THE Minimalists soon in person!! We are so excited!
  • Having a child, sometime over the next 3 years. This really depends on school and if we decide to move or not, which leads me to my final idea…
  • The most wild thing we are considering for approximately 1.5-2 years from now, is moving to another country and renting out our house, most likely Germany. This one is a HUGE maybe and really depends on how the next two years go and what we want to do about a year from now.

See what I mean by saying I’m obsessed with making big changes? I’m not saying all of these will happen, but maybe they will. Life is unexpected and uncontrollable. We may decide against a lot of these options, you never know. All I know is that I want to learn and grow as much as I possibly can in this life.

Do you relate to this? Do you hate change? Do you love change? Have you ever moved to a foreign country and are you glad you did? Tried minimalism? Let me know in the comments!

My Link Tree! -All of my links. -Including affiliate & referral links to my workbook, BetterHelp, ThriftBooks, Betterment, Back Market, and my business email. 🙂

Things We Still Buy as Minimalists:

A lot of people think minimalists don’t buy anything except needs like food & shampoo, but that is not true. We have hobbies and unnecessary things we like to buy too. It’s about cutting out all spending that is not important to you and prioritizing how you spend your time and money.

My husband and I used to be terrible with overspending, I was the worst. We would go shopping every weekend and eat out multiple times a week. We have finally realized what matters to us and brings us joy.

Here are some things we spend money on that aren’t necessities like cleaning products:

  • Used books from ThriftBooks -I love reading and learning. I believe that books really change your life and everyone should read more. If you struggle with reading, audiobooks are a great way to go too. I just personally love having physical books, I like to share them with friends and family.
  • Secondhand tech -When we need a “new” phone, laptop, or Apple Watch, we go through Back Market to get great refurbished tech. We aren’t the kind of people that buy a new phone every 1-2 years, but when our tech can no longer function well, this is our go to.
  • Disc golf equipment -Brandon LOVES disc golf, so each year he buys, sells, and trades his discs all through the spring, summer, & fall. I’m not a fan of the sport, but I often go with him to walk around on the different courses to get outside and exercise.
  • Video games -We each have different video games we enjoy playing. Brandon plays the PS4 and I play on the PC. Sometimes we buy physical games, sometimes we just download the game, it depends what is more cost effective.
  • Home improvement stuff -We could leave our home as it is and be content, but we enjoy slowly improving our home to make it more our style. We often check the Habitat Restore first, then go to Menards for what we need.

Other than that, we don’t buy things anymore, we have everything we need and more. If we do spend money it is on experiences like concerts, museums, or canoe rental.

The main idea is thinking about what you would be willing to sacrifice spending money on so that you can reach financial independence faster and have more time for what matters most like taking care of your health and relationships.

If you’re a minimalist, what things do you still buy?

My Link Tree! -All of my links.

My Financial Planning Workbook!

Trying to Break the Social Media Addiction:

Two years ago, I took two month long breaks from social media. It was glorious and I missed nothing while I was off of it. There were many benefits, which I described in my blog post: 9 Reasons Why You Should Quit Social Media. Yet somehow I’m back scrolling on Instagram and TikTok like I was before… It weaseled it’s way back into my life. This is because I am addicted. It didn’t happen all at once, I slowly went on it more and more.

I have quit and started up again about 5 times now. The problem is, I am an all or nothing person, it is the way my brain is wired. I can’t set time limits for my socials, I just ignore them. Luckily, I am not addicted to anything else and don’t have an addictive personality, but social media for some reason is my Achilles heel.

I listened to an episode of The Mad Fientist Podcast where he had Dr. Cal Newport on, back when the episode was released. This led me to watch Cal’s TEDx talk about social media. Right after watching the video, I deleted all of my social media apps. In 2021, I even bought a book called “How to Break Up with Your Phone.” It worked for a while, but not going cold-turkey right away just doesn’t work for me, there were some amazing tips though and I highly recommend the book!

The main reason I went back on social media was to try to promote this blog. I am a writer, not a social media influencer. This doesn’t mean I’m a good writer, but I still am one ;). It turns out though, most people on social media want to stay on social media, not go find new blogs to read. I’ve also noticed I am spreading myself too thin again. Being active almost daily on Instagram, posting multiple times a week on TikTok, a weekly blog post, and writing & publishing a new e-workbook and site; it’s too much. It doesn’t help that if I open Instagram or TikTok once, I will be opening it 10 more times that day, wasting hours of my day.

I had a long conversation last night with my husband about this and I’ve decided to quit socials again, he is too. I will create Facebook ads to promote my new workbook, but I’ve never really liked scrolling on Facebook and don’t plan on sticking around after I make them. Once they are created, they just run automatically too. The only other reason why we use Facebook is to sell our belongings on there, which we will probably do once we complete our major spring declutter we have planned.

In light of these changes, I have updated my 2022 Goals post. I am only going to focus on this blog, improving the site for my e-workbook & creating ads for my e-workbook, and checking emails 3x a week. Other than that, I will be focusing on my health and relationships, that’s it.

I am so excited to say goodbye to social media, I hope it is the last time I do this.

As always, thanks for reading! ❤

My Link Tree! -All of my links.

December 2021 Financial Update:

Cover of my Financial Planning E-Workbook

Happy New Year! Let’s hope 2022 is a bit kinder to us than 2020 and 2021… Honestly, for me, 2020 & 2021 were neutral, boring years. I really didn’t do much other than work, read, & write. January 1st, 2022 is my two year anniversary of running this blog! So, thank you for reading & providing support!

I’ve decided to try my hardest to make 2022 the best year of my life, so far. I personally have never had a “best year of my life”, I’ve had amazing moments, but they were usually balanced out by not so enjoyable things happening too.

We didn’t do a whole lot for the holidays. A lot of our family members have been getting Covid over the last month and my side of the family was actually gone in Hawaii for Christmas.

I have some exciting news though!!! I have published a financial planning e-workbook for beginners! It is now up for sale!

In this 34 page printable e-workbook, we will organize and analyze your current financial situation, and figure out your goals! Then we dive into how to achieve them.

Included in this workbook: How to get a raise, sections to track your progress, a glossary to easily reference financial terms as you work through the book, and so much more!

It also works great if you just want to make a financial plan for 2022 and have all of your information in one convenient place! It would mean the world if you decided to purchase my workbook. I put a lot of effort into it and got feedback from many different people with appropriate career and education backgrounds, on how to make it great. I know everyone will learn something from it and/or use this helpful tool to reach their financial goals.

I love writing blog posts and creating content for my easeyourfinancialpayne social medias, but people need financial advice and a financial plan that is tailored to them and their specific needs! This workbook accomplishes that!

Anyway, on to our financial update!

Our Partial Financial Independence Goals:

  • $0 Debt.
  • Brandon works part time at his job.
  • I am self-employed. I can choose how much or how little I want to work & when.
  • We need $2,000+/month in income, whether that comes from investments, Brandon’s part time job, my blog, my workbook, etc. it doesn’t matter.

Our Current Numbers as of January 1st, 2022:

  • Roth IRAs (Betterment -SRI Sustainable): $49,038
  • My small Traditional IRA (From an old 401(k) rollover -Betterment): $1,801
  • Tesla: $1,044.58
  • AYRO (Free Crypto from signing up with Robinhood): $1.61
  • Bitcoin: $1,303.15
  • Total Invested: $53,188.34
  • Savings: $18,001.65
  • Debt: -$121,652.54 (Mortgage)
  • Just Brandon is working full time.

As always, thanks for reading!

-Meghan

  • My Financial Planning Workbook for Beginners!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!

2021 Reflections & 2022 Goals!

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

I’m going to hold off on the cliché: “I can’t believe another year is gone! It feels like 2020 just started!”.

I set a ton of goals for 2021, and I (we, for some) accomplished all of them! There were a few that I ended up crossing out because my values/priorities changed.

2021 goals that I accomplished:

  • Spend time with friends or family members once or more a week.
  • Read 10+ Books
  • Visit one new place I’ve never been
  • Update the living room and hallway
  • Meditate/pray/manifest 5x a week
  • Get a raise
  • Keep up with finance blog
  • Buy a newer phone
  • Start my financial literacy TikTok
  • Start the Money For Everyone Podcast with Eric
  • Leave my job

Financial Goals we had for 2021 (all accomplished):

  • Pay off the car
  • Build up an emergency fund to $18,000+
  • Max out our Roth IRA contributions for 2021
  • Hit $100,000 Net Worth

I’m really proud of myself and Brandon for following through on our goals.

Our 2022 Goals:

My regular goals:

  • Healthy eating, with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, & protein. -continue my vegetarian diet.
  • No social media.
  • Move my body mindfully daily, usually yoga.
  • Daily meditation.
  • Read 24+ Books.
  • Start a fruit & vegetable garden in the Spring.
  • Totally declutter the basement.
  • Post weekly on my blog.
  • Focus on making The Money Parent site better & selling my e-workbook to help others.
  • See my best friend that I haven’t seen since 2019.
  • See my uncle I haven’t seen since 2019.

Brandon’s regular goals:

  • Cook more.
  • New flooring in living room & hall.
  • Fix the fence in the backyard.
  • Help with garden & basement decluttering.
  • Read Beau Mile’s Book.
  • Get a raise.

We have a few other goals, but they are more personal, so I don’t feel like sharing them.

Our Financial Goals:

  • Put all of our extra money after expenses on the Mortgage.
  • Get the Mortgage down to $110k or less.

I may get a part time job to make sure we reach these financial goals. Everything in our life is really up in the air right now, so we’ll see.

I’m looking forward to 2022 and what it holds, I know even if it is challenges, it is for good reason.

What are your 2022 Goals? 🙂

Feel free to comment below!

Quit Being Realistic

Reality is created by the mind. We can change our reality by changing our mind.

Plato

First of all, “reality” is just perception. Two people can witness the same event, but the reality of it is different for each of them. So we have billions of people running around on Earth that each experience their own version of reality. What is unrealistic in your world, can be entirely realistic in another’s.

For example: the Wright brothers. In their reality, getting humans to fly was possible, in the vast majority of people’s realities (at the time) it was not. Often, the people who have more advanced realities, in my opinion, are viewed as crazy, radical, or unrealistic people during their time. If they had listened to all the people that told them how unrealistic they were, we wouldn’t have modern airplanes & air travel.

If we as individuals listen to the realities of the majority, we will remain stuck where we’re at.

This idea can be applied to any area of your life. With all of this being said, it is important to acknowledge the reality of the majority and do real research based on fact. If you keep trying, anything is possible.

For example, if you’ve done the math and figured out you can retire at 35 and people keep telling you how unrealistic that is, what they say is irrelevant because you’ve crunched the numbers. You have proof that it will happen, if you want it to.

When you say something can’t happen for you, it won’t. You’ve already stopped it from happening in your mind. So if you have a goal or dream that seems “unrealistic” just keep trying and trust that it will happen. It make take 30 years, or a couple weeks, but if you stay focused on it, it’s just a matter of time. This becomes easier when you remove distractions and really limit what you give your time and energy to.

Stop limiting yourself.

  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • Mint -Great site/app to manage all of your finances in one spot!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!

Stop Forcing Yourself to Like Things Just Because Other People Like Them..

Recently, I have realized many things I thought I liked as a teenager & college student that I actually dislike/hate.

It’s wild how society will have you thinking you want something when you actually don’t.

So here is a list of things that most people love that I dislike or hate:

(Disclaimer: It’s okay to change your mind. You grow over time, what you want changes, and your values/morals may change. Permission to change your mind. In fact, it’s probably a good thing.)

  • Travelling (I love some destinations though)
  • The Ocean/Beach
  • Shopping
  • House Projects
  • Cooking
  • Elaborate skin/body/hair care routines
  • Hanging out with people frequently
  • Giving & receiving gifts
  • Working out in the gym
  • Coffee
  • Decluttering
  • Eating/Food (For me, I eat to survive, it’s not that pleasurable to me..)
  • Having a lot of décor/clutter
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Going out/parties
  • Having lots of clothes/shoes, especially dressy ones.
  • Staying up late
  • Eating meat, I’ve never really enjoyed it.. 
  • The idea of having a big house/mansion
  • Professional massages/getting my nails done/things like that
  • Having an expensive car & 1 vehicle per adult in the household
  • Living somewhere with only warm weather.

What I ACTUALLY love:

  • Being home
  • Being alone
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Cleaning
  • Organizing
  • Having less items
  • Tea
  • Watching Netflix/YouTube/Twitch
  • Personal Finance -Particularly helping others
  • Planning!
  • Anything comfy & warm
  • Playing Board or Card games!
  • The Sun
  • Environmental Sustainability -Helping others live more sustainably
  • Yoga
  • Going for walks (If its not super cold or super hot)
  • Going to a waterpark
  • Animals, particularly cats.
  • The Morning/Day Time
  • Having a minimal wardrobe and dressing casual
  • Mindful/Present time with my friends or family
  • Not eating meat
  • I want a small home, less to take care of/manage/pay for.
  • A vehicle that can get me from point A to point B, preferably a hybrid or an EV and sharing one vehicle with my spouse.
  • Being in the forest
  • Concerts!
  • Living somewhere that has all 4 seasons

Essentially, I want to change the world, but from the comfort of my own home. 🙂 (INFJ Life) I am a house cat trapped in a human’s body, it’s challenging. 

Have you fallen into this same trap?? Or am I alone in this? lol

I’m sure I’ve left something(s) out, but this is everything I could think of.

Feel free to reflect or comment below! I would love to hear about you evolving as a person.

Also, no hate to people that love what I don’t like! We all love what we love and that’s great!

-Meghan 🙂

  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • Mint -Great site/app to manage all of your finances in one spot!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!

How to Declutter SUSTAINABLY:

I follow many people (on social media & YouTube, not real life, that would be creepy.) who create Minimalism content, which I love. There is one problem though that sticks out to me and is never fully addressed: What they do with the stuff they declutter. Most of them say they donate it, but is that a sustainable option?

Let’s look up the facts:

  • Donated Clothing: “While you may donate your old clothing to charity, the truth is, even then, a whopping 84 percent of our clothing ends up in landfills and incinerators, according to the EPA.”
  • “Goodwill does recycle lots of what it can’t sell. The nonprofit reuses textiles and refurbishes some broken electronics. But last year, it threw away more than 13 million pounds of waste — technically other people’s garbage — across its locations in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.” 13 million pounds for just 3 small states… I can’t imagine what the waste is like from states like California or Texas.

Clearly, donating isn’t as sustainable as we think it is.. It seems like the source of the problem is over a billion people buying stuff they don’t need or won’t want long-term, particularly in North America & Europe.

The next problem seems to be people donating stuff that should really just be thrown away. Examples: Anything that’s broken, clothes with holes or stains, etc. I went on to a subreddit and someone who worked at a Thrift Store also said if you don’t wash things before donating them, they will be thrown away. The item is going to end up in the landfill either way, so don’t waste gas & your time driving to the thrift store, and the worker’s time.

The best place to start is to stop buying things you won’t want to keep until they totally wear out/break. You can also refuse free gifts, like a goody bag at a work conference.

When first decluttering, just throw out (or recycle/compost) obvious trash first like expired food, items that are broken beyond repair, or paper clutter.

Then you can reuse, repair, repurpose, & refurbish.

And finally, Recycle the items properly instead of donating them. No one is going to want the TV that’s been in your basement since 2000.

Now, what if you have items that you just want out of your house, but don’t want them going to the landfill?

  • The first & best option is to sell it! Even if you have to give it away for free on Facebook. This way you know exactly where the item is going. Also, if someone is willing to come meet you somewhere to get the item at least, it shows they really want it. Keep in mind that the majority of your donations are probably going to be thrown away.
  • Have a good, old fashioned garage sale. 🙂 -Most towns have an annual one, or you can just do one.
  • See if any family members or friends want the item(s)!
  • Host a clothing swap with your friends/family.
  • Then if no one wants to buy your item, or take it for free, then I say donate it. Give it some time before you jump right into the donating, maybe 30 days, but also don’t let it stay in your house forever, hoping someone will buy it. Put a time limit on how long you will keep it.
  • Think outside of the box for donating. Most people just default to Goodwill because it’s the only one they know of in their town, but even in my small town we have multiple thrift shops, I think the younger generations just don’t know about them. So do some googling for in your area! You may be surprised. The different thrift stores in our town even specialize in selling different items! This will give your item more of a chance to be properly used.
  • Think about WHEN you’re donating certain items. I would not recommend donating all of your unused Christmas décor AFTER Christmas. The Thrift Shops won’t be able to put it out for another year and will most likely not want to take up a lot of their storage space with it. The best time to donate seasonal items (again, after you’ve exhausted your other options first) is right at the start of that season. For example, now would be a great time to donate Christmas décor! (Mid-Late November when I’m writing this)

That’s everything I can think of on how to declutter as sustainably as you can! Of course, no method is perfect, but it’s about all of us doing better. I hope this helps!

-Meghan 🙂

  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • Mint -Great site/app to manage all of your finances in one spot!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!