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Friday, 4 August 2017

A Change of Perspective



These past few weeks I've been feeling super inspired to live my life a little differently. A big problem of mine that I have but never realised until recently is : I want a lot of things. I kid you not, when I say a lot. I literally had different lists on my Notes app in my phone of all the things I wanted. From fashion items, to beauty, to technology, to furniture. I had at least 10 items on each list. The problem with this was that whenever I had money, instead of saving it, I find a reason to spend it through the lists I make. So just because something is on that list, I'd perceive it as a 'need' when really, it was actually just a 'want'. 


I sort of did a mental calculation earlier of all the money I could have saved since 2014. Why 2014 ? Because that's when I started working part time, and found different ways to make money. But anywaaaay, I could have saved thousands of ringgit if I kept all of the money I earned. Thousands. I am so good at saving up for things (short-term wants), but I'm terrible at just saving up. When I told Irfan about it his response was "But you buy everything with your own money". Which is true.. Some of my purchases were actually very necessary, like a laptop for university, my camera, most of the furniture for my current room, my braces. All of those when accumulated, is still a very big sum for me personally. But y'know, still necessary and I don't hate myself for spending that much on those things. However, I know all of that was probably only half of my earnings. Where did all my other money go ?? Well for starters, definitely not into my bank account. It went to clothes I bought but never really wore, books never read, jewellery stored in a box, all the times I went out and spent money on impulse. SIGH. I could have saved all of that for future use ?! *cries blood*

That's it Izza. You need to stop spending.. Just, stop. 
Or maybe just spend on things you need.

I never would have realised this problem I had until I watched this documentary called Minimalism. It's basically about living a life that is focused on the more important things. Like being happy and content with the life you live, and not being a victim to consumerism and have this constant urge to buy things that are unnecessary. We live in a very materialistic world, can't deny that. It's all about owning the most extravagant things and leading an extravagant lifestyle, and having the latest gadgets or following the latest trends. That's all we see on Instagram and YouTube. And sure, from an average person's point of view, it may seem like these people with all of these really nice things seem happy, but no matter what, money does not equal to total happiness. When you focus on your life, and not acquiring things, you can be so much happier with life. Oh and there is a common misconception that minimalism = having less stuff / having as little as possible. When it's actually more to just keeping stuff you love / need. So if for example, your huge book collection is something you love and value, then you don't have to get rid of them. As long as those things add value to your life and make it better, then there's no harm in keeping them. 

"It's easier to get what you want when you want less."
 SO. TRUE. 





Besides Minimalism, another documentary that really made me think is called The True Cost. It's about the fast fashion industry, and how fast fashion is impacting the world on a social and environmental level. I even cried while watching this because I felt so sad for the workers in third world countries who get paid so little, and are forced to work in poor conditions just to make a living. The Rana Plaza disaster that happened in Bangladesh back in 2013 is so devastating to think about. Over a thousand people killed, and over two thousand injured. Majority of them were the garment-factory workers. Oh and did you know clothing / textile takes 200 years to break down ? So all the clothes in landfills are just releasing harmful fumes into the atmosphere day by day because we keep buying clothes and getting rid of them - only a small percentage of clothes end up being recycled / up cycled and the rest end up in landfills. Fast fashion is harmful to humanity, and if we don't control our buying habits it can get worse than it already is :(



[ PS : I watched both of these documentaries on Netflix. I think you can search for them online too. ]

Soo in light of these recent discoveries / realisations of mine, I'm changing the way I live by : 


1. Keeping my stuff clutter-free

I decluttered my room a few days ago, and I can't tell you how freeing it feels to know that I now no longer keep junk / stuff that I don't need. I reorganised pretty much everything in my room, by sections. Started off with my closet, went through all of my clothes one by one and chose which ones to keep, which ones to sell on Carousell, which ones to give away to friends, and which ones to donate. I had a lot of clothes that I don't wear anymore, or skincare / makeup that I don't use but still keep and it's such a waste because they're all still in good condition. Then I decluttered everything else in my room, the boxes under my bed, the things on the top shelf of my cupboard. Took me days to finish everything because I went through all of my stuff one by one. Now I'm left with only the things I love, and it feels great. Clear space, clear mind. 

2. Being present and living in the moment

By this I mean, being more present in the real world and less in the virtual world i.e. : social media. Before this, I would check Instagram / Twitter / Snapchat all the freaking time, that I wouldn't miss anyone's new posts. I was always on my phone, and truthfully it's not the best way to utilise the time I have. Sure, catching up on people's lives and seeing what they're up to occasionally is okay, but constantly looking at other people's lives makes me live less of my own. I mean think about it, if most of the day is spent on my phone, looking through people's Instagram, what am I getting ? I'm just mindlessly consuming this digital content that isn't benefiting me much at all. Social media has a lot of pros, but too much of it can be damaging. That's just my take on it, and people can agree to disagree. 

The way I cut down social media is not by deactivating all of my accounts and deleting all the apps. It's simply by just making them less accessible. All my apps never used to be in folders, my most used social media apps were all on the first page and I could easily click on them the moment I'm on my home screen. But now that I've segregated all of my apps into categories, and put them in folders, it takes a bit more effort to get to the app, and I'm not so tempted to go on them because they're not as easily accessible. Also, I don't keep myself logged in 24/7. I just log in when I feel like it and then log out. After a week of doing this, it's safe to say that I don't frequently check my social media anymore and I'm okay with not going on Instagram the whole day. The first couple of days were kinda hard because everytime I picked up my phone, I wanted to go on Snapchat / Instagram, but now I just pick up my phone to check texts, and only when I feel like I have nothing better to do, I'll go on Instagram. And I don't bother scrolling all the way down to the last picture I saw or watching all the stories I haven't seen. 

3.  More local brands, less fast fashion 

I'm less tempted to buy clothes in H&M, ZARA, etc now. Don't get me wrong, to completely stop shopping from fast fashion brands is quite hard for me because I know eventually I'll see something I really like, and I'll end up buying it. But at least now I'm more conscious about how / where these clothes were made so I'll probably only buy if I really like the item, otherwise I'll pass and look for alternatives. Also, I want to buy more local brands because I believe that it is (to a certain extent) more ethical than buying from fast fashion brands. Supporting local brands can also mean that we're helping the people in our country and boosting our  own economy, so why not ? Plus working in FashionValet has its perks for me because they carry so many local brands, and I'm always being introduced to new ones. If you know any local brands that make nice, quality clothing / shoes, let me know in the comments ! I'm looking into buying a pair of Nelissa Hilman sandals soon because my well-loved Christy Ng sandals are falling apart and I need a replacement for those. Pretty excited to buy my first pair. 

4.  Saving up money for the future

Every time I get money, I vow to save at least 30-50% of it instead of spending it all. Cost of living is getting more expensive by the day, so I feel like I need to be prepared. I have study loans to pay off, plus if I plan to get married in like 4-5 years time, I need money for that too.. so the sooner I start saving up the better hahaha. But in all seriousness, I'm only going to spend on things I absolutely need. Gotta put my wants aside to have a decent amount of savings for myself. 

Also, a YouTube Channel that I like watching when it comes to tips and advice on money especially is : The Financial Diet

5. Turning my 'someday' lists into things I'll do today

You know, someday lists. Everybody has a someday list. Like, someday I'll learn how to cook really well, or someday I'll read the Quran more frequently, or someday I'll start exercising and eat healthier, someday I'll give my 100% effort into everything I do and not do things last minute, someday I'll go out of my comfort zone. 
Enough of somedays, I want to reach my full potential today. And I want to start working on myself today, and every day that comes after. 

Call this my latest life resolutions hahah but that's it for this post. Wish me luck, I have a ton of assignments and final project reports due in the next two weeks D: xx

18 comments:

  1. Omg i love this post!! I really need to read something like this cuz ive been spending my money too much on unnecessary things. Just like you said, if i saved up since i start working, i could have save thousand ringgit now. But im broke. Hahaha. I want to live a minimalist life too. I start selling preloved items to destash my stuffs cuz too much items is driving me insane now. Thank you for the videos too. Will watch it as soon as i got home! Really need to change the lifestyle!!

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    1. Thank youu, Eeca ! I'm happy you like this post, and good luck with making all the changes in your life to make it better. I'm with you ! x

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  2. Oh Izza. I've been going through all your posts on Instagram and your blog. I enjoyed reading all these posts. And this one is my favourite by far. Thank you for reminding me. You made me realized on how much I've spent my time on social media and it wasn't good nor even healthy at all. I'm going to live the real life from now on. Keep on writing and keep on inspiring us.

    Much love,
    Faida

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    1. Hi Faida, thank you so much for reading ! Our generation is addicted to social media I feel like we all need to be reminded every once in a while. Thank you for the nice compliments, I will keep writing insyaAllah. Have a nice weekend ! x

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  3. Hi Izza. Can I know which bank or organisation you're taking for your student loan? I'm looking and most of them have such a high interest rate, I can die, lol. Sorry, this is such a weird question.

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    1. Hi, I'm under PTPTN. I feel you, just thinking about paying it back with all the interest is making me want to cry hahah. Try looking for scholarships or applying to local unis. You'll save so much $$

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  4. Truly inspired and beautifully written. I really need to start saving for my future too. I've wasted so much money on unnecessary things and now I regret :( about the idea of supporting our local brands are just beyond good. Anyway, good luck on your new resolutions and I will practice these on myself too. This post really opens my eyes thanks Izza x

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    1. Thank you so much, Dayana ! I hope you're able to make positive changes in your life too. We're in this together :D x

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  5. I honestly had the exact moment of realisation over a year ago. We constantly buy things we just don't need. Such a waste of money especially if its allowance from parents and not our hard earned money. For quite some time now I've not spent money unnecessarily unless I really need it or to treat myself (which is very rare also). I've cut down my spending by a lot and it makes me feel so good. Because not only do I get to save but also, buying something and not using it is such a waste and I feel so berdosa for wasting. You feel? I loveeee this post because I felt the exact same way and made changes to my life. I hope you'll keep up with your new resolutions! Incorporate good saving habits in your daily life, its gonna be worth it in the long run. Hope all is well with you :) xx

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    1. Agreed ! And that's amazing, I hope to as consistent as you and to reach a point where I feel good about how I spend my money. You're an inspiration ! Thank you for reading, and for leaving this comment. You're the proof + motivation we all need to spend wisely. Hope all is well with you too, have a nice weekend ! xx

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  6. Hai kak izza. i will start my mbbs soon at msu. any tips to survive in msu? thank you and hope will meet you soon in the campus. hahaha

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    1. Hii ! Haha just make friends, and do everything your lecturer tells you to. Also, food outside campus is way cheaper (Planet Nasi Kukus at Menara U is my favvvv). If you see me around, say hi ok ! :D

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  7. Hi izza, do you have any study tips? Im taking spm this year and im actually your junior in smk :)

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    1. Hii ! Junior in SMKBJ is it ? The only advice I have for you is to start studying NOW. I did a mistake of only studying like a few weeks before spm so my results weren't that great haha. Also pay attention to all the soalan ramalan your teachers give, chances are they will come out. And do past year papers !! Good luck ! :)

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  8. Totally can relate to this. Except that Ive spent 90% of my money just for food. Going to try your tips on how you being present and living the moment, though it kinda hard. Lovely post Izza, thank you for the writing and may all of your lists come true :)

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    1. Haha who can resist good food right ? Thank you so much for reading and for leaving a comment ! It is quite hard but if we really try I'm sure both of us are capable of living in the moment and living our lives to the fullest. Have a good week ! :) xx

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  9. You always inspire me and i really hope you will never stop doing so. Starting from the videos of mufti menk that you posted where i watch it whenever i feel down (thanks to you) and it made me want to become a better person. The relationship between your boyfriend and friends. & yes two part time jobs at one time is truly amazing bcs i never have the courage to actually do part time job. The non-stop advises that you gave and the list goes on. You are really an amazing person izza. You never know how you have change someone's life to a better one. Thank you so much izza!

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    1. TEARED UP READING THIS T.T MasyaAllah thank you for all the compliments, and I'm so happy that what I write is able to make you feel better and want to become a better person. To know that I've changed even one person's life is already such a big big accomplishment for me. Your comment made my week ! Thank you so much for reading my blog and for all your support, love ! x

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