So with all that to say, I am developing my "Money Rules" to live by in 2011 (and...for the rest of my life really):
1. Will spending money bring me pleasure through experience, not things (ex: a delicious latte in my reusable cup on a winter day in a coffee shop with a good book, crafting supplies, a concert, etc.)
2. Will spending money bring pleasure to someone else (i.e. buying someone a cup of coffee, giving to a good cause, giving someone a gift, etc)?
3. The money is being used towards my personal health/hygiene (i.e. toothbrush, toothpaste, running a 5K, etc)
4. Will spending money fund organizations or businesses that are good for human beings and the planet (Pick up a copy of one of my favorite gifts given to me by a friend: The Better World Shopping Guide: Every Dollars Makes a Difference)
5. If I give a gift to someone, my gift will follow the abovce rules (i.e. will be socially conscious, or will provide someone with an experience verses a thing)
Obviously, these are loose guidelines. But all that to say, I've been thinking about how incredibly short sighted we are. That $25 dress that doesn't seem like a big deal. An extra pair of shoes. Another pan for cupcakes when you already have one. Before we know it, all of these "little" things add up to very big things. I was even thinking today how we are even short sighted when it comes to our sufferings in life (we lose sight of the vision that God might have for us--we get mad when we could just get over it, we don't give more when we could, etc). That is my goal: to keep my eye on the prize, and keep running the race! No really. Literally--the 5K I'm running is coming up and I need to get my butt in shape.
Some of my favorite minimalist blogs:
Favorite Social Conscious Gift Giving Sites:
www.roozt.com (it's like groupon--but for socially conscious businesses!)
Or: give to a cause in someone's name!