Thrift – the Brother of Slow

26 Jun 07

Being thrifty can be fun!

If we are thrifty, we spend less. If we spend less, we don’t have to earn so much. If we don’t have to earn so much, we don’t have to work so hard. And if we don’t have to work so hard, we have more time to be slow. It’s good to be slow (see slowdownnow.org for reasons why).

And like I said… being thrifty can be fun! It doesn’t have to be a chore or something one merely does out of necessity. Many people need to be thrifty, but even if you don’t, try it anyway! Try the cheaper brands! Don’t spend money out of habit! Be aware of every single penny (or cent or krona) that leaves your wallet! When the coins are about to emerge, think, “Can I do without this?” or “Can I buy a cheaper version?” Trade stuff, sell stuff… Seek out the free samples! Cut out the coupons!

Personally I actually prefer Sainsbury’s Malties, the half-the-price alternative to Kellogg’s Shreddies. And I recently found a very nice honey for just over £1/jar from Aldi! Oh, and the other day I spent several hours in Birmingham city centre without spending a bean… With my bottle of water in my hand and my packed lunch in my bag, I alternated between smashing up cars on an Xbox-360 in Gamestation, engaging in various online discussions in the library and eating free Skinny Cow ice-cream bars (only 80-something calories of fruity niceness!) that were being given away in the street. The only thing I spent actual wonga on was making purchase of a Double Decker, to share with my girlfriend (who had been photographing the building of mud huts by the side of a busy road) on the train on the way home. You can imagine the sense of satisfaction! Can’t you…? Well anyway…

Be thrifty to be less swift-y!

Or something.

 

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5 comments on “Thrift – the Brother of Slow

  1. Christopher says:

    At one time thrift was a virtue. You and I think it still is. We are not alone. But our economy runs on debt. We are encouraged to borrow and buy.

    Economists tell us that a certain amount of debt is a good thing. After all, borrowing money to buy tools makes sense. Borrowing money to go on holiday is more suspect.

    I was reading through Take Back Your Time: Fighting Overwork and Time Poverty in America edited by John de Graaf. I like the chart in the essay, The Time Cost of Stuff. It reads:
    1. Acquire it
    2.Lean it
    3.Operate it
    4.Store it
    5.Maintain it
    6.Fix it
    7.Make payments on it
    8.Protect it
    9 Feel guilty about it
    10. Upgrade it
    11. Sell it.

    I have discovered that I can get a second steeping out of a pot of Brooke Bond Red Label. Now there’s real savings for a life-long tea addict. And I say tea addict like it’s a good thing.

  2. Christopher says:

    I meant learn it not lean it. However if the article is a bicycle, I guess you could lean that.

  3. Peps says:

    Leaning a bicylce can indeed be a time-consumptive art! 😉

    Thanks for popping by and sharing your thoughts. I have, during my twenties, accrued, lets say, “a certain amount” of debt. I now find myself in the position of *needing* to be somewhat thrifty in order to pay off this debt before the sun decides it needs a woolly jumper. I have, however, more and more, these days, found that I am less and less interested in purchasing and acquiring and spending money in any form, if I deem that the spending of that money is not strictly necessary. My day out in Birmingham, as described above, is an example of one of numerous mini-epiphanies I have experienced in this respect.

    I work with a couple of male colleagues who frequently speak of the next big TV they would like to buy, who spend several pounds of actual cash on each purchase of a computer game or DVD, and one of whom admits he is a “Brand Whore” – i.e. he likes to buy certain brands of, in the case of the conversation in which this phrase occured, food. Sometimes I think, “How sad,” but I’m feeling these days that perhaps I should be more accepting that “that is their path” and all that.

    For myself however…

    I’m really trying to examine my priorities. My girlfriend and I lived for three months in Birmingham, but are now living in a more expensive place in a more rural location. We love it. Bunnies bounce around the garden, it’s wonderfully peaceful except for the occasional train going by (which somehow feels kind of romantic), the garden is huge and beautiful and there are many interesting exploratory walks to go on, if we can just manage to dance between the obscene amount of raindrops that have been falling lately (are you aware of the shear ridiculous quantities of rain we are experiencing here in the UK at present?). Like I said, I (and in the case of the new home, “we”) am (are) examing my (our) priorities. Yes, the house is more expensive, but it is in a location where we don’t feel the need to escape, to travel at least a few miles out to find beauty, and also to escape into DVD’s and rather too much “nice” food. Being thrifty to afford this house is a pleasure. But also I am trying to shave more and more off my spendings for the pleasure of it, in and of itself… taking a bottle of water to work instead of buying cans of coke (cheaper *and* healthier!)… eating the totally free snacks that are always available at work instead of buying choc, crisps and the like… etc.

    What else can I do to save money?

    The thrifty adventure has just begun! 🙂

  4. Peps says:

    PS. Not sure about re-using tea bags/leaves, though… I mean, there *are* limits…

    😉
    😉
    😉

  5. Peps says:

    … although I agree that one should be proud of one’s tea addiction! 🙂

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