Saturday, June 03, 2006


So, yes, I've been thinking of money. So first, if you haven't, read my favorite two article about money here.

Now, are you ready? This is really pretty simple. In going about your life, you might pick up an extra fifty bucks from selling a few veggies, or mowing a yard, or doing a half day work with someone. If you are accustomed to $3000 coming in and (mostly) going out each month, an extra fifty bucks doesn't seem like much.

Ah, but if your entire monthy outflow of money is $400, then a crisp fifty is fully one-eighth of that, and is a big deal, actually makes some difference in what you choose to do that month.

Having been on both sides of that equation, I can tell you this -- you can't see your way from one side to the other. Way back when before kids, I was working full time. My buddy was working full time. We both had plans of kids and of being home with them. One day. When the budget came up short, we looked at each other and asked, "Could you survive on half a salary?" "No," was the answer. And yet, not a year later, I had a kid and did go to working a little less than half-time with the resultant cut in pay.

And we were fine.

I am reminded of hearing Scott Nearing, famous for The Good Life, say, "It's A good life, not The good life." Yes, and well. Ahem. Look as I might, I've yet to see another one. Only this one: quit the money culture.

That's the economics of it.

And the lesson of the fifty dollars? Less is more.


clairesgarden said...

use it up
wear it out
make do
or do without

after following an 'internet finances' questionaire, I don't remember where, it said a certain amount should be spent on this, a certain amount on that, savings here and look to the future there. . .after budgeting all the ins and outs of this household I discovered I have £66 a year left over. I didn't measure up to the finances standard, well tough, I am content.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Well, I'm sure they'd say that I couldn't even afford to eat! And I swear, nobody eats so well as do we.

'Round here everyone has to have a 4 wheel drive because, after all, they might have to get to work in the snow. Sure, it snows. It impeeds work an average of two days a year. STAY HOME! I mean, really, what would it hurt if you just stayed home those days? Ah, but the check would be short and the monthly payments take up all the check, etc. etc.

Makes me ill. I just really could not live like that.

C R Mountjoy - GDF said...

Exceptional insight! We did the exact smae thing recently. Cable - do we really need super-dooper cable (I need it every four years for the World Cup..or do I?) Newspaper - do we need to have a Fri/Sat/Sun paper when it's nothing more than ads and AP wire rips (I blogged about this recently). Eating out -do you need to eat out more than three times a week, even with little guys? Car washes - do them at home. Car maintenance - do it at home. Cut your won grass. Never hire anyone to do any repairs unless you can't fix it.

So, your post is inspirational in so many ways. We can all do the same and even more with less!

Great Lesson - Great Blog!