Monday, August 30, 2010

A Radical Idea

Here's one way to ease money worries: buy fewer things.

I discovered what this means in a very personal way. When I first launched myself as a self-employed writer, I wasn't at all sure I would succeed. As the sole support of a household that included three children and a dog, I knew I had to be frugal. So I began asking a simple question before every purchase: "Is this necessary for life or death?"

Try it next time you go to the store, even the grocery store where impulse items like candy and magazines lie in wait at check-out.

Here's the wondrous thing I learned: although my buying habits changed, my standard of living did not.
We had enough to eat. Household bills got paid. There was gas in my car. I merely gave up impulse items like shoes I didn't need.

I rediscovered the library. And thrift stores. And home cooking. It became almost like a game to discover how little I needed to buy once I asked that question.

"Freedom from want" took on a whole new meaning.
Try it yourself for a week.

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