Thursday, February 05, 2009

Is it Really All that Bad?

Things that I have learned are not necessities --

2 cars (Jeff and I have lived on one car for almost our entire marriage. We just make it a point to live near where he works. We have a parsonage now, but haven't always had that luxury. At times, it isn't fun, but it isn't a necessity).

new cars -- plenty of cars work well, and they lose thousands of dollars of value the instant they come off the lot. Those thousands can be saved for occasional repairs in buying a good used car.

Really most anything new -- If you look at Ebay, garage sales, classified ads, thrift stores - you can get almost anything, and often quite nice. New is a luxury, and if we are concerned about our environment, we really do need to look at the retail worship that we have in our country.

T.V. -- we gave up t.v. for 3 years, and I am almost to the point of being willing to do it again. But boy people thought we were wierd....and the babysitter really earned her pay. I think she was about ready to hike our price. Our t.v. is about to die (stupid thing is only 5 years old) and I am not sure whether I'll replace it with the 18 inch that I have sitting in the basement that I've had since college, or if I'll just go unplugged.

Debt - and I am working hard to get out of it.

I realize all of this is considered unpatriotic in the day and age where the health of the economy is measured by the Consumer Confidence Index -- which basically means "how comfortable do I feel in accumulating more debt this month?" and that we are literally being told to go spend! I am not sure that I think it is a bad thing for our work force to shrink to the point where things lower in cost and families are forced to have one person raise the children while the other works...and to figure out how to live that way.

And I'm not saying that I live without anything new, in the dark, and never go to restaurants. I am just saying that I weigh the options of the worth of my time vs. the cost of the new object, etc.

So what about you? What have you found to be unnecessary?


Elephantschild said...

We live 30 miles from hubby's work, or I'd be willing to go down to one car, too!

Cable TV we do without. Sometimes I miss it. I'm *this close* to chucking the TV entirely, although it's nice to be able to watch DVDs. We haven't gotten around to buying the converter box, so TV may go poof in a few weeks anyway.

Lutheran Lucciola said...

We have been doing the same thing as we always have, because living cheaply is just normal for me. Basically just cutting back on buying clothes (that I don't need), trying not to buy everything from Concordia Publishing...;-)....I cook more at home, and buy more bulk foods. Luckily, we have no debt except our mortgage.

I would love to go to one car, but since husband has an odd hour job, most likely not possible.

Melody said...

Bwhahahaha! As if!
Seriously, buying food. I grow a lot of our own, and have traded for some. It's hard work, but I love it.
(And, obviously, I don't mean that I NEVER buy food.)

Cecilia said...

We have been TV Free for 20 years. We have a DVD/VCR and enjoy movies, but otherwise feel lack of TV to be a HUGE blessing! Cecilia

Jane said...

I'm definitely with you on the new cars thing. We haven't had a car payment in 12 years and it is nice. Our four cars are a total of 40 years old and currently have a total of 490,000+ miles on them. :)

And, as an aside--for those who say that American cars don't last--we are on our fith GM car past 200,000 miles and the sixth will be there in another 6000 miles. :)

Kim said...

We used to have one car but found it put too much of a strain on Paul. He still does most of the errands but there are times that I just need to get something done during the day because not many places are open in the evenings. Maybe it's because he drives to various accounts during the day that makes it difficult. Plus financially it is more beneficial to have 2 vehicles. Weird I know but the truck, which we use for the horses and getting firewood to heat our home, just costs too much to drive on a regular basis. The cheap used car Paul drives for work not only saves us gas but maintenance costs as well since it's cheaper to maintain than the truck.