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YMYL Challenge – Step One

Home Forums OVER THE BACK FENCE ALS Challenge Series YMYL Challenge – Step One

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    i’m in. have started reading the book. will get some figures crunched. oh, i dread to think how much crap i’ve bought.


    i’m done…. want to cry at how much money we have eaten…..

    we spent so much time working our backsides off to then buy takeaway or go out for dinner as we didn’t have the time or energy to cook… lots and lots of wasted money here.:(


    You are not Robinson Crusoe in the money wasting department. The amount of meaningless things I have bought over the years is phenomenal. Things that I THOUGHT I couldn’t live without. Since reading “Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping” by Judy Levine I have woken up to myself and now my buying has to be either to sustain us on a physical level NOT on an emotional level or as an investment in the future (eg: water tanks and solar panels). Having changed my way of thinking I no longer have credit cards bills I can’t afford, I have money in the back and the things I DO buy have meaning.

    I am still getting into this challenge to see what further mind shift I need. It will become interesting indeed.



    how often will the challenge parts be put up? I am hanging out for the next bit……:lol:


    Gypsyoak – I will be posting new stuff at the start of each week, but some will take longer than others to complete some of the parts.

    If you have finished both steps you have some more homework. Part of ‘making peace with the past also involves decluttering. As you go around valuing your stuff, part of Step 2, you can also let go of those things which have no further value to you now. You can sell these things or donate them to charity or give them away, but whatever you do – declutter. It feels good, it refreshes the spirit and it makes your living environment healthier.

    To quote from YMYL:

    Clutter is anything that is excess – for you. It’s whatever you have that doesn’t serve you , yet takes up space in your world. To let go of clutter, then, is not deprivation; it’s lightening up and opening up space for something new to happen. As self-evident as these ideas may be, many people experience a subtle (or not so subtle) resistance to letting them in. This is why downscaling, frugality and thrift sound like deprivation, lack and need. On the contrary! Enough is a wide and stable plateau. It is a place of alertness, creativity and freedom. From this place being suffocated under a mountain of cluter that must be stored, cleaned, moved, gotten rid of and paid for on time is a fate worse than dearth.’

    The garage sale was a real eye opener. It made me realise that my excess stuff probably has the same fire sale value as it would have in a third world country! People ask how much for something and I’d give a low price and then they cut that down by 30%. It made me think that if I really NEEEDED something that I should look first in an Op Shop (and support a charity) and then garage sales but then only buy what would genuinely be useful.

    Shangri La this is so true – we all think that our stuff is worth so much, but quite different is the price you pay for something and the price you can sell it for – increasingly so in a society that places little value on secondhand goods. And if we buy something that we then don’t use or need or which is broken or discarded soon after, the good money paid for it is down the drain.


    The book arrived 3 days ago and I’m trying to madly read it. I have tried to crunch some numbers, but as said earlier, the older you get the harder it is to track. I don’t keep any paperwork older th an 7 years.

    I do know that I have wasted alot of my wages. I used to live in Sydney with a very well paid job, however we ate or had take away probably 4 or 5 times a week. I have now moved to t he country, gotten divorced for the second time (remarried now and this one is a keeper;))We h ave had to both restart again. Even though we now only go out occasionally, the money still goes. I was determined this year to get rid of one if not 2 credit cards so this book comes at a great time.

    I have done the calculations of what I am spending some of my money on ummm, is alcohol essential? they say red wine is good for you.

    I am trying to declutter…I went and looked at my antique butter churner (its in the shed because our new (old) house is so small I can’t fit it in the house. Do I really need it?

    I have just finished reading “Radical Simplicity” by Jim Merkel. He has changed my whole way of thinking. He also mentions YMYL in his book. Its a great read and a real eye opener.

    I’m looking forward to this challenge.


    no you don’t need your antique butter churner. Just send it on down here!:lol:

    Eira ClaptonEira Clapton

    I have a software accounting program that tells me my net worth, but I am guessing at the amount I have earned in the past 25 years.

    I guess one thing I would think about is that some of the money I have earned over the years I have given away to good causes, and I am glad about that. I am also glad that any excess ‘stuff’ I have, has regularly been given away too.

    I am comfortable with many of the choices I have made over the years-spending money on the kids schools for example was one of the major reasons I worked so hard for so many years, but I am so glad I did it.

    Now I have less expenses, I have recently chosen to change to a less permanent job which has re-awakened my adventurous side and given me further ways of contributing to the community.


    I’m going to be a late starter with this challenge… My book is still in the mail and I have just had my 2 neices here for 2 weeks (they go home today… 🙁 ) and my ex and uniboy here last week (we are getting the house ready for sale)… The house is a mess and I still have some school stuff to do… Plus the emotional side of things this past week has left me a bit depleted…

    I am enjoying reading this thread and thinking about your comments…


    ooh I started the next step a few months ago without realising 😆 It’s amazing what moving into a smaller place makes you realise you don’t need. I’ll keep plodding away at it then.


    I’m still waiting for the book, but I tried to do step 1 and 2 anyhow.

    What I did realise is that I spent a lot of my $$…somewhere and I know it sure doesnt tally upto what it was invested into!

    That declutter word sent shivers down my spine. Last time I donated a heap of goodies to the local opshop, I found so many ‘treasures’ that my boot was full again! Sigh…I am not sure I have got the hang of this yet! 😆

    Burra MalucaBurra Maluca

    I never was one to be like anyone else, and I wasn’t sure what I’d discover by doing the steps, but what I did discover was quite interesting, and maybe inspiring so I’ll share it. I’ve never ever been able to hold down a job and spent years on welfare, but even so whenever I’ve been able to raise funds or landed any kind of windfall I’ve been able to put it to good use somehow or other and, maybe *because* I’m used to living on next to nothing, I seem to have an awful lot to show for not very much lifetime income.

    On the other hand, figuring out ‘what I’m worth’ by adding up resale values is kind of tricky as everything I have has worth to *me*, but there seems to be no market for used items of anything around here – not even houses! There are so many unwanted houses that most of them are never even put on the market, and no-one round here would buy used tools or used books, and our vehicles are always used til they are uneconomical to repair and no-one else in their right mind would want them either.

    A couple of other points in the book that I found interesting. In the bit about measuring our worth as human beings, it asks ‘When swapping tales at high-school reunions, how do we secretly assess the success of our peers?’ I never really mixed with my ‘peers’ at school, and have managed to avoid all reunions, but I have recently joined Facebook and, much to surprise, having been ‘found’ by a load of old school aquaintences, I seem to be on much better terms with them than ever I was all those years ago. And when it comes to those awkward ‘So, what are you doing with yourself now?’ questions and I have to admit that I actually just upped and left the country and am living in a hovel in the middle of nowhere, they all seem jealous!!! I expected them all to look down on me, but far from it. In fact, lots of them seem to want to not only come over and visit, but want to do the same thing and want me to help them find their own little patch of land so they can have a hovel of their own. It’s totally reaffirmed my faith in human nature :tup:


    Yes, there’s more to life than money. But – that in part is what this challenge is all about – finding out about your relationship with money so that you can assess it fairly and in an unbiased way. This in turn helps you to make more rational decisions.

    I put a lot of value in donating to charity and having experiences that can never be repeated. At the end of the day, though, this challenge and the 9 steps of YMYL are really about finding your place in the world independently of money. this in turn helps you to have more of those priceless experiences and to be able to give more time to your favourite cause.

    Anyone having trouble with their net worth or their earning history?


    As always, I am having trouble starting – it has just been flat out with kids around here, lots of sleep overs. Not to mention work. I’m also a little daunted by trying to remember 23 years of income – jeez I sound so old! But I am still very keen and as soon as the kids are at school, I will devote a day. Our library was also looking at getting the book from another library for me – so am hoping that comes soon. There has been such a great response to this challenge, great choice Suz.


    You don’t need a day, just a quiet few moments. My experience was to estimate as best I could. The book calls for diligence in searching out payslips etc, but for so much of my stuff there is no record. So I sat down with a cup of coffee and did step one in about half and hour. I doubled checked with DH to see if there was anything I had forgotten.

    Step two is a little more time consuming – I walked around the house with a little book and a pen and took note of items. The house has not long been valued and the car value is easy to find online. This walking aorund process also helps you to realise just how much clutter there is….

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