Monday, November 5, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Live Well On Less: Purchasing

Thrift need not be grim.

In fact, thrift should be anything but grim. A small budget demands that everyday life include color, beauty, fun. Perhaps even the occasional Aldi bouquet!

Will you have to work harder to create what others can simply buy? Yes.
Is it worth your effort? Absolutely.
Thoughtful purchases can add to our quality of life--regardless of price.

Remember a special meal--one that was as pleasing to the eye as it was satisfying to the palate. Imagine how much more you would have enjoyed that meal if it cost less than $5--or if it were free, from your own garden. How much more could you savor the experience if you knew there would be no credit card bill at the end of the month?

Living well on less means having the freedom to enjoy small pleasures. The tighter the budget, the more thoughtful our purchases must be. The pie may be small, but each slice can be delicious if we cut it with care.
*Consider what you really need. Eliminating wants is cheaper than finding bargains.

*Make your dollars align with your values. Refuse junk.

*Find the best quality for your money and time, whether that means making it yourself or buying secondhand.

*Anticipated needs are easier to fill on a budget than immediate needs. Spend a little now to save a lot later.

Are you intimidated by thrift? Frugality is not absolute. Start wherever you are...and then spend one level less! Challenge yourself to downscale further, or stop where your budget feels comfortable.

Cable--->network TV + Netflix--->network TV--->library DVDs
Furniture stores--->consignment shops--->thrift stores--->yard sales--->hand-me-downs
Professional caterer--->Sam's Club cake and deli trays--->made-from-scratch party menu
Stonewall Kitchens preserves--->Polaner all-fruit--->Bama jelly--->homemade jam

Today's assignment: Think of one product or service you routinely purchase, and find a way to spend one level less.

New to Like Merchant Ships? Here are all the lessons in our Live Well On Less week of study!

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