The Year of Living Minimally – Week Thirty-four

I’m writing most of this blog on Monday (for early Friday publication) and we’re expecting a foot or more of snow on Tuesday into Wednesday. March can do that to us here in southern New England – tease us with springlike days of sun and mild temperatures, then wallop us with whiteout conditions. So it looks like like the garage clean-out is on hold – again. (We got 14.5″ of snow)

credit cards

In this cashless society, it’s so easy to just swipe. How much actual cash do you carry around with you? For me, it’s usually about twenty bucks, same with my husband. I never carry my checkbook with me. The¬†ease of swiping a credit or debit card also brings the ease of buying, even if you don’t need the item. It’s why so many people have tons of stuff – and they’re still miserable.

So before you swipe, ask yourself if you really need the item. Really. Make it a habit to pause and ask. Would you buy this same item with cash?


Remember coupons? There used to be tons of them in the Sunday newspaper (remember newspapers?). Manufacturers wanted you to clip coupons to save on purchases, but most of the time you ended up buying stuff you didn’t really need or want. Save a dollar when you buy two boxes of rice. But you don’t need two boxes of rice. Still, you want to save a buck, so…

There are coupons, and online coupons, everywhere. And there’s nothing wrong with shopping smart – heck, if I can save ten bucks on a pair of shoes that I need and want, I’m going for it. But ask yourself (again), “Do I need this?”

When you buy, try to purchase¬†high-quality items that you need and want. Shopping can be an escape, an emotional high, and very satisfying, but you don’t want to regret the purchase when the credit card bill arrives. (And I don’t need to remind you that debt, especially credit card debt, is a four-letter word!)

Now, where should I donate lots of extra plates and cups and glassware?