Voluntary Simplicity Step 7: Making Do With What We've Got

Ah... another lesson we struggle somewhat with.  It's so easy to just run to the store and purchase whatever you suddenly "need".  It takes time to train yourself to think about the "need"  that has suddenly appeared and to determine if 1. you can do without, 2. you have something else that will work, 3. you can make a change to the recipe/project/etc. and make do with something you've got, or 4. the answer is "no" to 1-3 and you must purchase the "need".

My husband probably struggles with this more than I.  He thinks we should just go purchase what we want or need.  In his mind, we work hard and if we can afford it we should buy it.  As you can see, I've got a long way to go with him.

For the most part, I think we all work very hard to pay for our spending.  Often times we spend without a second thought to the checklist in the first paragraph.  We also spend without a second thought as to how many hours we worked to purchase that item.  The purpose of paying attention to what we spend is not to stop spending altogether but rather to see if we are getting the value we deserve from what we purchase.  If it's an item that will be tossed out in a year or two, did we really need to purchase it?  Was it worth our work time it took to make the money to purchase it?

Take a moment to consciously think about alternatives to purchasing something new,  It just may assist in the development of gratitude which, in turn, will likely make you genuinely aware of material waste.  Living simply means slowing down and slowing down helps us become consciously aware of everything, including possessions.

1 comment

Maura @ Kisiwa Creek Photography said...

Hear Hear Staci...I totally agree with you! My husband seems to think the same as yours does for the most part but I'm the one who will sit back and think about whether we really need that item. I'd rather 'make do' or use something else if I can AND if I do need something I certainly don't mind buying used if it's in good shape. Since I don't work out of the home I don't need a lot of fancy clothes and most of the things I wear are just around the farm so I'll go to Goodwill or a consignment store for my jeans and tops. Shoes are a different story. Anyway living simply definitely makes you separate your 'needs' from your 'wants' and helps guide your decision making. Great post!! Have a great week ...
Maura :)