I love the Depression era slogan: “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without“.
Maybe not a popular belief system in this age of over consumption, but I think we’re out there still.
As I look around at people who won’t even vote yet wait in line for hours or days to get the latest iPhone, shop till they drop, eat at restaurants so much their kitchens at home have cobwebs…I don’t think I have to wait for The Walking Dead to return in October, I think zombies are here.
So I was inspired to take frugality a little further. I called it my 60 Days of Value. The rules are simple.
1. For 60 days I will purchase only needs, no wants. The exception would be if something I’d been waiting for went on sale or it was the only chance to buy an item, ie. a yard sale. Not good value to buy it later at full price or miss out.
2. Shelter, utilities, fixed payments, medical care, dental care, transportation, food are needs.
3. Use up the goods already in my home. I’ve had fun shopping at home; I’m well-stocked and have great customer service.
4. Use food already in the house. Some fresh exceptions, ie. fresh fruits and vegetables, which has worked out well considering the time of year (even put some up for winter).
5. Find value-filled entertainment ie. Walks, books, free programs, cheap movie day, TV, DVDs, conversations with human beings, day trip to the country, computer, board games, etc.
I’m on Day 55 and so far, so good. What surprised me the most was that it hasn’t been much of a hardship and a surprising side effect was more time. Interesting. I may try this again.
Gail Vaz-Oxlade and Suze Orman look out.