Break old habits!
About two years ago, I was having dinner with my friend who just moved to Alameda, CA. Alameda is popular for its cleanliness & safe environment and a great view of the San Francisco Bay. My friend insisted we eat at one her new favorite restaurants, Burma Superstar. The Burmese food was amazing. As I chewed on my food and spoke about new updates with my life, I noticed my friend looking into my eyes and shifting towards the top of my head. I felt small beads of sweat develop around my forehead – had she noticed that my hair was thinning out? Can she tell I was balding? I had grown my hair out to avoid the thinning look and it was a daily battle with insecurities. So, I decided to call her out and ask. I suddenly wanted to tell her about the struggles with hair loss I had endured. I told her about my purchase of Rogaine and my obsession with hair loss. I even told her about my visit to the Hair Club for men. I was opening my soul that very night. After words of encouragement, we hugged each other goodnight and I made a final decision to take control of this situation.
Later that night, I channeled Britney Spears. For those who remember her stint in 2007, she shaved her entire head losing the blonde locks. After one too many glasses of red wine, I stared into the mirror, picked up my electric shaver, and ran the blades in rows until my head was completely bald. I stared at the pile of black hair on my hardwood floor and started laughing (could be the wine). I had done it! I had gain control. I decided to take a picture of the pile of hair and my new look and texted my pictures to all my family and friends. The texts were returned with love responses and words of encouragement. I realized there was more to me than what I physically looked like. I had embraced aging and welcomed the age box of 35-40. I welcomed my mid-30s.
As I embraced my new look, the energy I once wasted on worrying, focused on new positive outlooks. One outlook I had gained passion for was my path to Financial Freedom! As I gained more knowledge of living a frugal lifestyle and also a lifestyle of minimalism, I noticed some of my actions were old habits I had yet to break free from. For example, when I showered, I still used the same amount of shampoo and conditioner when I had a full set of hair! I had shaved all of my hair off, yet the Head and Shoulders squirt into my palm was way too much for what I needed. I needed to flake on the Head & Shoulders badly.
I wanted to take action and be present in my actions. I needed to break old habits! I know longer wanted to be a robot who followed patterns and routine. Some of the small adjustments you choose to make can go a long way – if you only acknowledge it. I hope these questions can help you save time, save money, and help you be in the now & present.
- Do you use the right amount of toothpaste? Do you really use all of the product before throwing away the tube?
- You make a spill in the kitchen. Do you naturally reach for the paper towels when there is a cloth towel not too far away?
- Do you try on multiple articles of clothing in your closet to gain the perfect look for the day and are too lazy or rushed to re-hang them? You then forget if they are clean or dirty, so you just assume its dirty when it comes to laundry day. You now have a larger load of clothes or dry cleaning to complete.
- Do you buy bottled water and never take the last sip? Do you do the same with your sodas and bottles of beers?
- Do you buy food and never eat it because you forgot about it in the fridge? Or because your friends have asked you out to eat every night this week?
- Do you forget to look in your cabinets and realized you have products past their expiration date?
- Do you buy new shoes when they just need a cleaning or re-heel?
- Do you get your articles of clothes pressed when you can simply iron it at home?
- Do you get sucked in the new television show and skip prepping for next day’s lunch and breakfast? You then overslept because you watched an extra hour of TV and find yourself running out the door with no lunch or breakfast resulting in spending up to $30 for the day?
- Do you drive until your car is running empty of gas and go to the nearest gas station – regardless if it is more expensive?
- Do you get your car washed professionally, but did not take time to check the weather forecast for rain?
- Do you keep your social life so busy, you forget to pay a bill ending up in late fees?
- Do you not plan for the upcoming weekend and forget to withdraw cash from your local bank or Credit Union? You end up pulling cash from an ATM resulting in bank fees.
Take notice of what you waste and what you do not use. Love who you are and love what you do. Lastly, use what you have and use what you have available.
About the Blogger:
Neville (Nev) Bendiola grew up in the Mission District of San Francisco, California until the age of 10 before relocating to Sacramento, CA. Growing up in a low-income family, he slept on the floor most of his young life until he got his own twin size bed at the age of 10 – a memory he will always remember. Nev relocated back to San Francisco for college where he continued on in a career in Staffing Sales and Recruiting. Achieving financial success, he spent more than he earned using credit cards along the way. He found himself carrying debt through the recent recession. Inspired by friends and reading success stories online, Nev moved into a Studio apartment in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district where he minimized his spending and material items. He is currently focused on saving money and sharing the ride with his readers along his journey to financial freedom.