Sunday, May 9, 2010
Having less leaves room for getting more (of what really matters)
The biggest lesson was that there is a huge difference between “want” and “need”.
Another lesson is that there is life without credit. Not only that, there is a simpler more down to earth lifestyle, rooted in reality. There is a greater appreciation for the things that matter.
Perhaps the most important lesson was this - even when there was little food in the fridge and no money for gas, there was no reason to stop having fun with my kids or taking care of myself. I just did things differently and they have stayed that way. It is, I admit, easier to do it by choice than out of need. That´s why I plan to keep it just as simple in the future.
- I found I had stuff at home that I could turn into cash on eBay. I sold all my gold jewelry and even though some if it was hard to part with because of the sentimental value, I realized memories live on in the heart.
- During the worst times, I found help from non-profit organizations, charities and other aids. A mother (and any hard-working citizen undergoing duress for that matter), should know when to set aside her pride.
- I don´t have cable. DVDs from the library work fine. My kids and I have a girl´s night watching a DVD on my laptop in bed once a week. It´s a special event! I know that if they had a tv in every room it just wouldn´t be that special.
- Public parks, nature trails, the beach (I do have the good fortune to live close to the beach) are great places for picnics, exercise and fun.
- I love bookstores. You can read the latest magazines, research, read, chat with a friend, hang with your kids, or just think. And you don´t have to buy a thing.
- I´ve rediscovered home-cooking. I was never a fan of spending money on restaurants, but now I relish prepping food with friends or a loved one. Not only that, creativity can also be used to cook savory meals on a low budget. That`s the root of the best ethnic foods!
- Fewer clothes in my closet means less laundry to do and wearing most of what I own. Easier choices. It works for my kids too.
- Running and walking are free, and a great form of exercise. A good pair of running shoes are the only must-have.
- With expenses pared down to the bare essentials, I became more relaxed, which enabled me to focus on getting more work in my field, so that I did not have the constant worry about where the money for the bills was coming from, which resulted in greater productivity.
- If I was able to make it during the worst financial times, I know I can certainly make it during the better times!
If you have any other suggestions about simplifying, living on a shoestring and enjoying life while riding out the recession, please tell!