A couple weeks ago, a friend came from Tennessee for a visit. When I had one glass of wine too many one evening, I started ranting about the state of America’s church and apathy. That’s an aside. What she challenged me to do is start being the change I desire to see.
3 personal changes for December
So into December, I will do the following 3 things and check back with you weekly to let you know how it goes.
- Commit to tracking my expenses
- Return to veganism…
- Start selling on Poshmark
About each goal and why I’m going after them
Why I need to track expenses
I hate dealing with money. I truly do. It generally causes anxiety because I’m not super great with my money, cringe every time I have to pay rent, which is double what I paid in Tennessee, and like to spend money.
While I know I need a budget, the logical first step is to see what the heck I even spend my money on in the first place. I have some guesses (eating out happens more than I’d like to admit), but I also need to actually see where my cash flow goes.
I downloaded PocketGuard today to start since I can see my bank accounts and credit card accounts all in one spot. I also wrote down on a calendar when expenses are scheduled to come out of my bank account or when I need to pay them.
This is my preparation for creating a firm budget in 2019.
Why I’m returning to veganism…and all that entails
In July 2018, I shifted from veganism to vegetarianism. This was due to a faith conviction I had from God that I was spending too much money on trying to be vegan and experimenting with various vegan recipes, health solutions, etc.
In the meantime, I’ve enjoyed being vegetarian, but noticed my health also decline slightly. This is not the main reason for my return to veganism.
I listened to an intriguing podcast from Earth to Us about the “used to be vegan phenomenon.” They explored all the reasons people walk away from veganism and countered reasons such as “I wasn’t getting the nutrients I needed,” “it’s too expensive,” “I was traveling and it wasn’t working,” etc., with excellent, logical arguments.
In the wake of listening to the podcast, I will be exploring more budget-friendly, vegan nutrition along with learning more about the environmental impacts of different eating lifestyles.
The environment is my focus
I am not fully convinced that vegan is the most environmentally-friendly or ethical way of eating. For instance, one study found that a dairy-friendly, vegetarian diet was the most efficient use of land. (Yes, I understand that doesn’t necessitate environmental friendliness and doesn’t account for alternative agricultural growing methods such as permaculture, which may be far more earth-friendly and far more effort…)
However, in the meantime, I am convinced that it is more friendly than the egg & and dairy-filled diet that I started to eat. I know it’s certainly better than returning to a lifestyle of chicken, pork, beef and more. (And for non-vegetarians, that’s fine to disagree.)
Continued research on veganism and beyond
Back to the further exploration…I will be continually researching the impact of vegetarianism, veganism and traditional meat-heavy diets on the environment. For me, this is the most important aspect of how I choose to eat.
[I understand the ethics of not wanting to cause animals hurt and harm, especially now in the wake of a recent realization that animals truly do have emotions. (Please don’t make fun of that, I genuinely thought they didn’t have emotions…this is new for me. *facepalm) However, I also don’t think animals have souls (which is Biblically based), so I don’t think killing or using animals for food is morally wrong. But if we don’t have to harm or use animals…why should we? Anyway, this has been a side tangent.]
I will regularly read articles on the impact of traditional agricultural, alternative forms of agriculture that may offer solutions, what the impact is of veganism, what the impact is of vegetarianism and so on. I will start with two books I found through an interesting thread discussing The Vegetarian Myth.
The first book is A Vegetarian Sourcebook by Keith Akers and the second is A Vegan Sourcebook by Joanne Stepaniak and Carol J. Adams.
If you have more reading recommendations, by all means, please comment and let me know.
A dying earth
To put it quite simply, the worldwide population continues to grow at a rate that our earth’s bounty can’t sustain over time…not with how we currently eat in America at least.
A couple days ago, the Trump administration released the most recent National Climate Assessment. In the U.S., if something doesn’t change, we’re screwed. Not only will climate change cost our country billions of $$$, lives are at stake.
I understand that MAJOR changes need to be made in energy usage, industrial waste, travel, consumer goods production, etc., but one aspect we can begin controlling is how we eat. It may only be a percentage of greenhouse gases, but agriculture contributes up to around 8% of U.S. green house gases. Now to be clear, that does include the waste it takes to grow plants.
To be more specific when it comes to animals, The New York Times says that worldwide, livestock greenhouse gases add up to 14.5-18% of total human-induced greenhouse gases. In America, the % is so much lower because of the disparity between agricultural gases and our MASSIVE amount of emissions from transportation and power plants. (As I already mentioned, food may seem small and we need change in more than the food industry.)
Okay, so all in all, I will start to reduce my consumption of animal products with every effort to help our impact. In the wake of that decision, I hope to also get more involved in environmental efforts locally, but we must take on one month at a time.
Why I will sell clothing on Poshmark
A large part of my livid discussion with my friend was on how the American church at large spends time and money. Of course how each one of us spends money is between us and God. Each one of us must account for our decisions to the Lord at the end of our days. I don’t want to be at fault for wasting my money on the things of this world…but we all have different perspectives on what that means.
I wrestle with two truths.
- God loves and makes beautiful things. Beautiful clothing, home decor, jewelry, makeup and more all reflect his glorious creativity and beauty.
- The things of this world fade. As beautiful as all of God’s creation is, it is passing. It fades, tears, rips, breaks, and ultimately, will not last.
These two truths can be reconciled…I’m not fully there yet. They don’t have to be against one another…I’m just not sure how they’re balanced in my soul yet.
I personally wrestle the most with how appropriate it is to spend money on new clothing. I love stores like Anthropologie where I bask in the stunning, abounding creativity of texture, color and design! As I continue to consider this, I’ll be selling extra clothing I have to move more toward minimalism (quality>quantity).
I also want to have some more cash flow to make myself more available to give as I’m led. I want to better support missionaries around the world and local ministries. (Me writing this online for public reading is not to toot my own horn, but rather to hold me accountable to that use of extra income…) I hope to find success with selling clothing on Poshmark and turn it into a continued side hustle of selling unique and special thrift store finds.
Okay, that’s my ramblings for today. 🙂 Cheers to change! As my boyfriend reminded me, I’m not helpless and change may happen slowly, but woman is a force to be reckoned with.