You know that feeling when you want something, but you don’t have enough cash to buy it…?
IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T HAVE IT, YOU JUST NEED TO GET CREATIVE…
I’m sitting on a sofa I found in the street. All the furniture in my office, from printer to desk, curtains, chairs, shelves and cupboards is secondhand, bought, given or found. The only new items are my MacBook Air, a camera and a stainless steel thermos flask.
My entire house is furnished in the same way, apart from the cooker and cooking utensils.
It’s great. And I don’t feel deprived. I feel lucky and happy.
And the cash you save from not buying unnecessary new items can fund things – like a MacBook Air, camera and stainless steel thermos – that you can’t acquire second hand.
IT’S A HABIT WORTH DEVELOPING THAT WILL SAVE YOU A BOMB! HERE”S HOW…
1) RECYCLE, REUSE, REINVENT
In LONDON I almost live in charity shops. I love them. The variety, the thrill of the chase. The sheer economy and bargainess of it all. Clothes, books, knick knacks.
When I stayed in Queensland, I was introduced to the joys of visiting the municipal dump. Fond memories of the treasure trove of goodies slung out needing a new home.
PENANG is an astonishing place for second hand and slung out. People customariIy leave items by the roadside to be rehomed…Apart from the sofa, I’ve acquired crockery, plants and pots, baskets, stools and a child’s bamboo rocking horse.’
Street markets sell used everything – from trinkets to clothes, bric a brac to furniture. The Pasar Malam (night market) has a terrific second hand clothes guy who sells everything for RM5 (GBP1).
Wherever you are, you don’t have to waste your money on new. Why throw cash away on new items if you don’t have to? And think of the landfill and resources you’re saving by using second hand…
2) WALK, CYCLE, BUS
Most of us could do with more exercise. But why sling away your cash on a gym membership when you could simply walk more or cycle? You know it makes sense.
By consisiently choosing walking, cycling or public transport, you will save money AND get fitter.
Some people view using public transport as something to be avoided AT ALL COSTS. And the person who walks, cycles or (heaven forefend) takes the bus is viewed as, at best, a daring eccentric, and, at worst, a poor person to be pitied…
Stand up for your right to an active, happy life by moving more. You will save an absolute bomb, get fit, cut your carbon footprint and pollute less. WIN WIN WIN WIN!
3) JUST SAY NO…
These three magic questions will save you a fortune…
Do I need it?
Do I NEED it?
Do I REALLY need it?
Once you’ve mastered this thrifty-living technique, you will be amazed at how much money you save. You also create freedom for yourself by separating feeling good from spending.
This technique works well when combined with
4) LEAVE THE CREDIT CARDS AT HOME
Consumer heresy, but a vital life freedom technique to master.
There are always the ‘what if’ contingencies.
Suppose I see a lovely something on special offer?
Suppose someone asks me to come and do something needing more money?
Suppose (fill in your personal fave excuse)?
So what? If you’re serious about living an enjoyable low-impact lifestyle, you will need to get your head around splurging.
Because otherwise, you will be making it harder for you live the fulfilling and happy life you want. It’s your choice.
5) TREATS – BE LIKE A BELOVED PET
We love treats.
My cats love treats. Vacuum packed extruded sticks of god-knows-what, they are the equivalent of cat heroin.
When I call ‘treats’, four, super keen pointy eared faces swivel in my direction. Pinkie makes pitiful mewling sounds, a cross between a starving street kitten and a human baby.
They get treats two or three times a week.
That’s why they’re called treats.
On the treat front, the best approach is to treat yourself like a beloved pet. Ration the treats. Whether it’s lunch out, a takeaway coffee, taxis, or whatever is your treat of choice.
When your living the dream, your day will be full of treats. Lolling on the sofa listening to birds singing; reading a book; chatting with friends. A yoga class, run or swim. Spending your precious time doing things you enjoy..the ultimate luxury.
YOU DESERVE A LIFE WHICH DOESN’T DEPEND ON ENDLESS TREATS TO MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD…AND by managing yourself in the short term you manage your life in the long term.
You’ll be amazed at how little cash it takes to live a good life, in pleasant surroundings, doing things you love and which don’t cost the earth. Simple pleasures – gardening, a sunset, time with near and dear ones, learning something new, making something, chatting, a simple meal, a stroll in nature or just people watching from a cafe or bus – the small treasures which make daily life special.