Money, consumerism and living in the Now

I found this article to be fantastic, so different from what I mostly hear about money nowadays. The most prevalent message lately is how to get more for less. Buy more – spend less, but how about buying less? Why do we always want more, bigger, better? Is there a limit?

At some point my husband and I just realized, that there is only that much that we need and want. No matter how much money I have, I really do not want to drive BMW or a Mercedes, I do not want a huge mention for a home, I do not want a huge diamond on my finger, designer clothes, handbags or shoes, etc.

Please, do not get me wrong I do not think it is bad, it is just not for me. My background is fashion industry and high-end retail management. So I used to be obsessed with designer everything, with an image, fancy/flashy cars. Used to be around people with money. In my twenties I was doing very well and all of my income was spent on things that built my image, my ego. I felt like I belonged, when I had my regular appointments at a fancy Newbury St (Boston) salon. It was important for my husband and I had to go to trendy restaurants. We had to buy a house because that was the thing to do…Back then you would never in a million years hear me say anything about money problems, issues. I would never admit that something was out of our reach, financially. I would make up stories. Why have we not gone on a vacation? Oh, we have no time. Jobs, moving, kind, this, that – yet I would not say that we simply can not afford it.

Well, thankfully, things change, we change and grow up. Today I have no problem saying that we are on a budget; have one car because we are trying to avoid additional expenses which come with owning a second vehicle; that we are renting, because owning a house proved to be way overrated and too expensive. And I am also proud to say that we are finally saving, that we no longer use credit cards to pay our bills or for necessities. We only spend what we have, and do not spend if we can not pay for it right away. I cook more, we eat out less. I shop on Ebay and on internet for great deals. We do not go to the movies as much. We take books from the library, and if I absolutely love the book, I will buy it on ebay at a fraction of a cost.

All of these things are possible, because now I do not strive to impress. As much as I can help it (as it is still a work in progress) I do not let my ego control me any longer. People who I want to have in my life are those who do not care about how much money i have, what car I drive, if i have the latest Hermes bag or spend my winters in Florida (that’s Bostonian thing).

Also when I am present, I appreciate things that I do have so much! I am not distracted by projecting myself into the future with wishes for more, better, bigger, on contrary I am so truly thankful for what I do have . While there is knowing that as life goes on, progress is made, things change, while I am working toward a better future for myself and my family, I am not hang-up on my next fancy car, or an expensive bag. I know that when time comes I will buy what I will need at that future time. Why worry about it now…

Anyway, here is the article How to Be a Savvy Cheapskate. It is brilliant and so absolutely doable.

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