Monday, September 20, 2010
Living with less is more
I am not writing today out of envy to those who make the big bucks, but to mention a few of the things I do to get through this life, spending less and keeping happy.
1. I have no credit cards. I have managed to live without that weight around my neck for the last twelve or so years and have gotten along just fine without them.
2. I have no car payment. I've had many cars over the last forty-four years and have had one car payment in my life. In 1975, I borrowed $ 1000.00 to buy a 71 VW camper. All the rest of my cars were bought outright. When one vehicle tells me it's tired, I start saving and planning for the next one. I have never paid more then $ 2000.00 for a used car. The majority of the cars I have bought were about $1000. The 89 Volvo I am driving now, I paid $ 1200.00 about six years ago.
3. Garage sales can supply many great things at a fraction of the cost of new. Three years ago, I got a beautiful sofa for $ 20.00 in perfect shape, fitting into the perfect space in the living room, and even matching the existing rug! My entire stereo system, I bought used: Bang & Olsen speakers $ 40.00 Kenwood receiver $ 20.00 Teac direct drive turntable $ 35.00. Stunning dinning room chairs (one, hand painted and priceless to me) $100.00
4. Thrift stores such as Goodwill, etc. are great values also. I have gotten pants, dress coats, coffee percolaters, wine glasses, paintings and more for a pittence.
5. I'm not too proud to stop at the curb and pick up a thing or two. Some of the prizes were a violin (which I fixed and sold for a profit), several beautiful paintings, a rattan love seat which I patched up has lasted for over three years and now ready to go back out on the curb again. I love finding odd hunks of wood/lumber left on the curb from someone's project leftovers. Wood is very expensive at the lumber yards or hardware stores.
6. Make something into something else. I salvaged a CD rack for the 1/2 inch dowling to repair furniture joints, cut into molding, etc. A roll about dishwasher, no longer working is stowage cupboard in the kitchen and shelf for the microwave and toaster.
These are but a few examples of how to save big, stretch the ole dollar, and allow one to keep a few bucks in the pocket to treat the family out to dinner on special nights, buy a bottle of good wine and much more. Almost all of my musical instruments, I have aquired used, saved a bundle and gotten a higher quality than if bought new. Almost never buy a new book; people give them away, libraries have sales, and the book shelves are full in my house.
Many go out and spend to find happiness or to quelch their bordome. Since I stopped watching TV & going to the movies years ago, I find I have more time to read, write (like now!)learn how to fix things and most of all compose my music. Everybody is not a musician or composer, but I truly believe God gives everyone something that they do better than anyone else. Everyone has a special gift and it's up to each and everyone to find it and enjoy it.