Lifestyles and Money

I was thinking this morning about our lifestyle and what we spend our money on. Years ago I tried to set a budget to live by but it never worked. I realize now that it was unrealistic to have a budget when you hardly have any money coming in. Having a clothing budget was ridiculous. The food allowance was what was left over after the bills were paid. Those times are past for us, thank God, but my heart knows that there are those who live that way today.

Budgeting in today’s world is far different than what it was because the definition of necessity has changed. I notice among young women who I know are strapped for money that having their nails professionally done seems to be a necessity. I don’t mean to judge them. But I do judge the world of advertising, whose intent is to make people believe the need products that they really don’t.

Meanwhile, we are troubled by what to do with the waste products that pile up as a result of our consumption. I hear all sorts of ideas on how to solve the problem except the one that makes the most sense: don’t buy the products in the first place. There will always be some waste but imagine if we would eliminate all waste from non-necessities.

I will speak for myself here. It is my intention to leave as little footprint upon the earth as I can while still living in a community. (I can’t control other people, after all.) I don’t wear make-up. I wear my clothes as long as I can and buy used clothing for most needs. I don’t redecorate and will purchase furniture or appliances only if something is broken. You can see that my womanish needs are quite simple. I like it that way. It feels like I am contributing to a greater cause.

I wish I could put a dollar amount to how much I have saved over the years by simply not buying things. But that would be trap, too. We don’t need to measure everything in dollars in cents. Living simply is its own reward. I like to imagine the birds and trees are grateful for the little difference I make.

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2 Responses to Lifestyles and Money

  1. Judy says:

    You did teach them…by example. How could we have anticipated this consumer culture to be as powerful as it is? It has been sneaking up on us since we were founded as a country but with TV, and now the internet, it has exploded. There is an interesting movement that I am reminded of each year called “Buy Nothing Day”. The weekend after Thanksgiving, when everyone is scrambling for sales, they stand outside of the stores and in malls to take a stand against consumerism. They even encourage people to cut up their credit cards. It makes people stop and think. I like it. I don’t do that shopping thing. I know I make barely a difference but I am counting on the butterfly effect.

  2. Nancy Seidler says:

    We are finding out the same thing. The smaller the less the better. Unfortunately with the clothes issue , I love clothes shopping and having been in 3 different sizes the last 2 years this has been kinda fun. Otherwise we have been down sizing and I often wonder why we always wanted so much. You are so right. If only I taught my kids this.

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