Washington, DC is a notoriously expensive, high-stress, Type A, materialistic, appearance-is-important type of a town. My husband and I moved to a Northern Virginia suburb of DC three years ago after spending most of our lives in the Midwest. Some initial differences were obvious: more luxury cars, the urban dress code, and the fact that my original housing budget of $1200 a month put us squarely in the tiny-apartment-in-a-crack-house range. We’ve since gotten over our initial sticker shock and have fallen in love with the DC area. It is a wonderful place to live and the people here are fantastic, but I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in myself. It seems that the longer I’m in DC, amid the politics, high-earners, and go-getters at the center of the capitalistic world, the more I feel like my six-figure+ salary isn’t enough. With work, family and other activities, I feel unbalanced and perpetually behind.
I know I’m not the only one.
I’ve always been hyper-aware that I had the most fun when all of my possessions fit into the back of my parents’ Honda Odyssey. There’s something exciting about knowing you can pick-up tomorrow and go anywhere without anything holding you back. When you have less, you spend less, and without the pressure to earn as much, you have more time to explore.
Things have changed a lot for me in the last 10 years. I have a family, a mortgage, two cars, a job that I enjoy; in short, I have a lot to lose. What I don’t have is freedom: the ability to structure my days and future the way I really want to. My husband and I make more money than we ever dreamed possible, but with our move to DC and the births of our two daughters, our ability to build up liquid savings has disappeared. I aim to change that.
To that end, I’m taking up a minimalist journey with an aggressive goal:
In one year, I want to “earn” $25K by reducing spending, getting rid of things we don’t need, or earning a little extra doing something I love.
Welcome to the Minimalist in DC blog. I’m writing to share great minimalist ideas and to keep myself honest in my own quest for less.
I’m ready to create space for a better life and have less of everything except time, love, and fun. Welcome to my blog!