While I was cleaning out my craft room and bedroom in an attempt to de-stress my environment, I was struck by just how much stuff Matt and I already own.
Sadly enough, we still buy a lot of new stuff. When we need something, our first impulse is usually just to buy it, rather than reevaluating whether we truly need it or whether another solution might work just as well.
The impulse to buy something new all the time not only takes a toll on our wallets; it also takes a toll on the environment (since so much energy gets wasted in the production, transportation, and disposal of goods).
Now that Matt and I are back on a strict budget so we can save money for our upcoming vacations, next car purchase, retirement, etc., I'm becoming more conscious of my impulse to buy new things and instead I'm looking for ways to reduce and reuse.
When Matt and I set our arbitrary $2,000 wedding budget, we had to do exactly the same thing. For example, when we decided to make nametags for our Welcome Picnic, we didn't have money to buy more paper, so we dug around in our craft drawer. The only paper we had sufficient quantities of was bright orange (not exactly a color you would see in a Martha Stewart Weddings spread), but we asked ourselves, "Does it really make a difference?" We reminded ourselves, "We want our wedding to be about community, connection, commitment, and fun--not the color of the nametags."
So, bright orange paper it was. And you know what? We were still married in the end, our guests had fun, and we saved money and were a little less harmful to the environment.
Now I'm thinking that I might try to make all of my holiday presents for friends and family from stuff I already have at the house...