Thursday, 10 January 2013

Downshifting Our Lives - Has It Been Worth It?

I've had a lovely break over Christmas, it was busy and I was exhausted, but it was nice to have a bit of a break from blogging for a few weeks. The pressure of writing daily blog posts can, sometimes feel a little intense so a short blog holiday is great for refreshing my creative juices. 

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and New Year, have any of you made New Year resolutions? I don't make them anymore, instead I spend January, reflecting and looking at the areas of my life that I would like to change or to make improvements, rather than making promises to myself that I often can't keep. 

When we made the decision to 'downshift' our lives, we knew it would be quite tough sometimes, as the lure of material possessions can be quite overwhelming at times. I find that the festive period puts a lot of pressure on us as parents to provide our families with all the latest toys, gadgets and fashion items. I, myself even received expensive hair straighteners from Papa Syder, and in turn I bought him a luxury item as a gift. The kids all got what they had asked for and everyone was happy.

As a thrifty Mum, it isn't the material things that make me happy, although a luxury gift is always a lovely surprise. What really made me happy, as I watched the kids open their presents was the fact that we didn't get into any debt to pay for our lovely Christmas, unlike in the past before we downshifted. Our penny pinching ways have really paid off, as we have managed to enter the New Year with money in our pocket to pay for our family holiday deposit for 2013.

We haven't got it perfect yet, so a few more tweaks here and there are needed this year, but the pressure and worry we previously felt as Christmas approached has disappeared. Downshifting has worked for our family and I would even go as far as saying, it has probably saved our marriage as we no longer have a wedge between us, that I think sometimes, money and stress can create in a relationship.

As we enter our 5th year of adopting a slower lifestyle, I look forward to discovering even more ways to save money and live a life, eventually completely stress free. I have plans this year to make improvements to our home (like a new kitchen on a budget), some great ideas for our thrifty garden and Bertha our retro caravan. I hope you will join us on our journey as we continue to downshift, and we look for more ways to save money and to de-stress our lives.


  1. Happy New Year Emma, looking forward to your thrifty garden ideas. I have one idea, which you might be interested in. I have bought loads of veg seeds this year and some of them have far more seeds than I'm likely to use in a season, how about a seed swap of part packs?

  2. I totally agree with not making resolutions, I find it much more productive to have intentions for the year. I don't see the point in spending January beating yourself up for failing on an unrealistic promise, it's much more positive to set yourself goals and targets for the entire year and then work towards them gradually. I look forward to learning some of your thrifty ways as we could all do with less stress in our lives :-D x

  3. We are down shifting it takes time to adjust but you will feel better for it

  4. Thanks for your lovely comment on my Welsh getaway post! A simple life is a great one, less pressure and more fun!

  5. That picture at the top is just magnificent! Wishing you all a very happy and successful (and unstressful!) year ahead! xxx



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