Day 79: Money and meaning

One of the main reasons I was excited about going takeout free was that I long for life to be simple again. I am always looking for ways to cut costs, reuse what I have, and stop throwing things away. I am not always good at this, but I try. Economically we don’t ‘need’ to use coupons or go without; we are very fortunate for this. However, we work our 37.5 hour work weeks chained to desks in small offices and cubicles like everyone else in the rat race. And frankly, I don’t want to squander my money because I don’t want to have to work more. I have worked for 22 of my 37 years of life in some capacity or another. First it was babysitting – lots of babysitting, then into the world of minimum wage. I worked through college then graduate school sometimes having 2 and 3 jobs (60+) hours per week. I owe more in student loans than I care to discuss. SO, I use coupons, credit card points for redeemable gift cards, read a LOT about frugal living, and have a great desire to just NOT SPEND all the time.

Money holds a different meaning to each of us. To me, having money means freedom. Having more green paper means I have less ‘stuff’ and having less stuff in my life means I have MORE time to be doing what I would rather be doing than working to pay for more ‘stuff’. As I mentioned, living with less so we can have more time as a family has me reading a lot these days. One of the websites I follow is The Center for The New American Dream.  If you have similar values or are interested in this, check out the website. Today,I am reading about how to simplify the holidays. I haven’t ‘committed’ to it yet, but am very deep in thought and contemplation.

My stepdaughter has christmas gifts she received last year that are still new in the package (I think I will give these to Toys for Tots or a homeless shelter). Do you or have you considered simplifying the holidays?

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9 thoughts on “Day 79: Money and meaning

  1. Great link – thanks for sharing. We are taking a simple approach to advent calendars this year and have made what my small person calls our ‘nice advent calendar’. We listed daily activities we can do for others to share – donating things, making gifts, sharing homemade food/ paintings/ craft or cards, calling people or having catch ups, and writing happy messages on the footpath (sidewalk) in chalk. It will cost us nothing but encourage good values and thinking about the true spirit of the season. We’re all looking forward to the December start!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Admire you so much for your values in regards to money. Feeling the very same way, I myself don’t want to have to work more, if we can find ways to make our money go further, it makes it all worth it.

    With the Christmas season, I am very fortunate, as it is very simple. My wife’s family are in New Zealand, so it is basically a phone call to New Zealand and a Canadian calendar in the mail. We just have our immediate family together, and have an open door, if someone does not have somewhere to go, they can be part of our family, and join us for Christmas! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the open door policy, isn’t that what giving to and being in service of is all about? There are so many ways to give, even when people do not know how to ask (I fall into this category).

      I get very excited about the ‘mood’ of the holiday season; so much atmosphere that only lasts a short while. But I also get disheartened at the greed and stuff pushed on everyone. And I have fallen victim to the feeling or worry that “I didn’t buy enough”, so I drastically over spend and the next few months digging myself out of credit card debt. I am not sure what my New Year resolutions will be, but holiday cutbacks may be one of them. Thank you for leaving another thoughtful comment. I am glad to know others ponder the same issues. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We don’t really do much for the holidays. Usually I may go to a party or two and do a $10 or less gift exchange, but that is about all. I am working to pay off all our bills and I would rather use the money doing that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the $10 gift exchange. It’s affordable and forces you to get a little creative sometimes. My husband and I get one another 1 or 2 gifts but often feel the pressure of buying for his daughter. Now that I have a biological child of my own, I hope to create some traditions that less consumerisitic. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been simplifying for the last 2 years and it has been wonderful! It is very freeing. I still have to much “stuff” but I’m working on eliminating most of it. My wife and I are considering taking up the nomadic lifestyle of contractors for hire. We haven’t decided for sure, yet but it’s in the talking stages. If more people (and especially governments) would live within theirs means and do simple things for everyone around them, everyone would be much better off than they are today! Thanks for sharing. I will be following the New American Dream site as well as passing it along to my kids!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for your comment. I am currently reading “Your Money or Your Life”. One of the authors founded the New American Dream organization. Have you considered building a tiny house for your family and taking it with you if you do take on a nomadic lifestyle?

    Like

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