Creative conservation

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It’s been a long time, but I still love this article.

“I turn empty tissue boxes into space shoes for kids. I’m the one who thaws the frozen foods next to the boiling tea kettle, who warms my lunch on the hot dashboard of my car instead of in the microwave. I bucket brigade my bathwater to the rose bushes. I invented and patented a valve that allows one to irrigate gardens with used shower water. Like my father, I’m a toothpaste squeezer, brushing with the last dregs of elusive paste throttled from the very corners of the tube.”

Often, when I talk about our choices of frugal life, I’m asked, “and can’t you, indeed, afford this, that and the other thing..?” – it shows how much definitions of “can afford” and “can’t afford” vary. Some people will only make a major purchase if they can pay for it in cash. Others will consider taking a limited loan which they can return within a reasonable amount of time. And some will say they “can afford it” if their bank will allow a loan high enough to cover the cost of the purchase – without ever considering how they will pay their debt off.

So, when someone who just bought a nice big apartment in an expensive location, and signed up for being in debt for the next twenty years of their life asks us, “can’t you afford this?”, I think to myself – you’d say we can. We say we can’t.

Furthermore, even if we can afford something, it doesn’t mean we will buy it. We will consider how much we really need it (as silly as I feel for pointing this out, it wasn’t always obvious to me). Perhaps we’ll decide that, even though buying this or that wouldn’t put us under financial strain, we’d better direct our money elsewhere. It’s all a matter of priorities.

Image source: Leave Debt Behind

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2 thoughts on “Creative conservation

  1. Well, it is all a matter of how one “sees” things isn’t it? We all value things a bit differently but we are more like you state here than not. We live in a small (700 sq ft) duplex apt. For the most part it is enough. It could be better laid out…but the kitchen is quite large for the rest of it and that helps. Now if only we had decent water. I cannot wash anything I really care about…esp. light colored things. The water SMELLS awful…we had it tested and it is not e-coli at least…but somehow a mixture of mown grass and dirt smell is not appealing. I will be glad when we find a place with better water. I am not fond of town water as it has a lot of chemicals. Always something isn’t it? (We do buy spring water to drink…I would NEVER be able to even sip the other…even if not harmful). I do most of the laundry at daughter’s house…since I help out with her chores while she works full time, she considers that a good trade fortunately. So I am GRATEFUL it is not worse!!

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