Monday, January 30, 2006

Living Below My Means

This post brings me back to an update on my efforts at living simply....
As I was having my morning cup of tea today, I was perusing a magazine called Debt-Proof Living*. This is a great monthly source of ideas for living life without financial hassles.

The way that the DH and I came to discover this magazine is an interesting story of living below our means. We recently canceled most of our magazine and catalogue subscriptions. We had too many! While enjoyable, they are extremely wasteful, from an environmental perspective. Plus, we didn't need to fork out the $$. It's not as if we're strapped for cash. We're actually ahead of the curve in terms of savings. Nonetheless, we constantly strive to reduce our consumerism. It's an ethical matter. This magazine reduction was one way to continue bringing our lives into alignment with our values.

Now, we both really enjoy reading magazines. So, how to continue this interest w/o spending the cash or amassing mountains of glossy paper? We head to the library! Our library contains an incredible diversity of magazines, and we can check them out. The selection is much greater than if I were to buy them myself. I've been reading everything from Utne Reader to Debt-Proof Living.

We're quirky people - I know that and I don't mind. We pay off our credit card every month. We own our car, and we're considering life without one. When we purchase a house within the next year or so, we plan to get one smaller and priced below what we can afford. We want to pay it off ASAP. We just don't spend like the average family. Thank goodness!

I've still got my challenges! I'm a fan of clothes and tea stuff. Those are my weak points! But I continue to cull my closet and resist temptation...with occasional indulgences.

If you've got tips for living below your means, please share them!

* Formerly called Cheapskate Monthly. Debt-Proof Living is a monthly publication of DPL Press, Inc. PO Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723-8135.


Teafan said...

Debt-free Living is a great magazine! I didn't know it was at the library - awesome! Thanks for this post.

Annie said...

I am liking the following blog too for some finance advice:

Wes Parker said...

Amen sister. I wish I could have been thinking as I do now, 10 years I would have saved myself 10s of 1000s of dollars in excessive buying. It is a sad state of affairs that so much of our self-worth is determined by the stuff we have. While I try to resist, I have a hard time when people tell me they 'need' a 4000 square foot house for their 4 person family. We're just consuming more of everything: food, energy, products. And making more trash in the meanwhile. I've been trying to counsel my young lady friend as to why racking up lots of debt in college on expensive coffees and eating out isn't a good idea. We've both stopped eating out, except for maybe once a week. That alone saved me over $200 last month! But there are a few things I'd like to buy: a really nice espresso maker, a motorcycle. I've been trying to buy more 'used' stuff like furniture and clothes but unfortunately I've found that crappy used stuff cost nearly as much as new stuff and you have to search 30 different places to find it. I've spend 3 months looking for a used bookshelf and am about to throw in the towel! One of my local heroes is a school teacher who lives so simply and yet he was raised in an affluent family. He, along with the Wilsons, are my inspiration!