Preparing to Move: Thoughts About Stuff & Consumerism

I’ve been living back in Wisconsin for almost six months now and am finally reaching the point of looking for my own apartment.  I was fortunate enough that when I suddenly decided to leave NYC (after being driven out of my apartment by bed bugs and cockroaches) that my parents allowed me to temporarily move in with them.  Well, I (and I think they) envisioned this temporary arrangement last two or three months.  We are now in month six.

I spent my first two-and-a-half months in Wisconsin figuring out what I wanted to do with this next life chapter, brainstorming what business I could launch, and job hunting, until I was finally hired part-time at a retail job selling jewelry.  Around the same time I took on a temp job for six weeks, as well.  With time (about a month after the temp job ended), the same employer hired me on to a non-temporary position in another program.

So now, with a slightly higher paying job (though it’s only 30-hours a week, so I’m still working retail) that offers a little more job security, I am finally coming to a place where it makes financial sense for me to look for my own place.  Finally.

But as I work on my moving budget, I am reminded that moving entails saving for a lot more than just your first month’s rent and security deposit.  Considering the fact I got rid of pretty much everything I owned during my last two moves, I have nearly nothing to move into a new space with.  This partially makes me very nervous as I picture the price tag that accompanies furnishing an entire apartment, but it also makes me feel excited at the prospect of living a more minimalist lifestyle.

There are basics that I have to get– a bed, dishes, some towels.  But then there are all the “extras” that society makes us all believe are essential– coordinating six-piece bedroom set, enough dishes to have a dinner party of eight people (I never have dinner parties and if I ever did, we’d figure something out), matching embroidered hand towels, a living room set complete with more seating than I have close friends, kitchen gadgets that I don’t know or care to learn how to use, decorative lamps that provide little light, and the list goes on and on.

So as I prepare to move, I am making a realistic list of items that I will actually use on a daily basis and should, therefore, spend money on.  As usual, my preference will be on used items (with the exception of my mattress because I’m scared from my bed bug experience despite having a new mattress then too) to save money, help the environment, and add a bit of personality to my living space.

Basically, I refuse to consume for the sake of consumption.  There are so many more things I could do with my money, such as pay of my student loan debt and start saving to build my Tiny Home.

To help me stick to my plan, I ask: What is on your Essential Living Space list?  I will share mine in a later post after I give it more thought, but share your suggestions in the comments below!

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