Free Ebook.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« The Value of a Stay-at-Home Mom | Main | Save Money by Bartering »

June 13, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I have trouble with the last item "learn to do without". I think that is contrary to human nature. I would amend that to "learn to do lwithout until you can afford it". Then work on getting the means to be able to afford the things in life that you might want to improve your lifestyle. Am I wrong?

I have to disagree with you Mo Money. It might be contrary to human nature, but I think the desire for things we don't really need passes with time. Learning to do without, in this context, refers to wanting the iPhone when you already have a cellphone, a camera, and a GPS in your car (not that you even _need_ those things to begin with). Actual wealth comes from knowing what can improve your lifestyle (and surprisingly, most of those things are cheap or free) versus those things that give you the illusion of an improved lifestyle. I can do without a good many things if I wait a few days and rethink my desire for them.

Agree with Ritchell. We routinely "learn to do without" things that are out of reach - multi-million dollar houses, jewelry that cost more than my yearly salary, mansions on Rhode Island, etc. It is perfectly easy to ignore things you cannot afford - just look at them as "museum pieces". You don't normally "desire" to buy queen's jewels. I "desire" an apartment on Central Park West. I think I can learn to live without it. Sometimes we desire to do something we have no talent to - e.g. be a famous singer or dancer. We learn to live without it and not dwell on it. It is the same thing with buying.

One thing you need to do is to appreciate the value of money: how much time it takes you to earn it, what other useful things that you actually need the same amount can buy you. If you value money, you will not be tempted to spend it.

And yes, the desire for many items passes after you have a chance to think about it.

Occasionally, you'll find some other ways. You can learn to cook, and then you might actually prefer your own food to that of the cafeteria or even a restaurant. You may go hiking instead of some-expensive-place, than have a nice dinner at home. You may rent a movie instead of going to the theater, etc.

I think buying used makes sense in some cases depending on the item and individual circumstances. I buy new cars because I don't want to buy somebody else's headache and because I can afford it. For the first few years after grad school, I did buy an item or two in thrift stores. I wouldn't do it now - no time; also there are people who need it more.

The main thing though - learn what you can afford. Ignore stuff you can't. In some cases, you may want to save for something you love. In other cases, just the fact that you need to save to buy something means you cannot afford it: some items just aren't worth months of savings.

Learning to do without is a big one for me. It really helps to tap into your inner lazy person. :) Most of the time, it's not really about doing without, it's just about doing without a bunch of excess or unnecessary stuff. But staying away from brand names is a big plus, too. When it comes to clothes, ignoring brands helps you create your own personal style that has more to do with what you like than what's being hawked this season.

I agree with everyone else. Learning to do without is probably the most important.
Many of us don't even realize how privilege we are sometimes that we don't realize that some people just HAVE TO do without. We even pleasure ourselves with things that aren't even necessary and complain when we don't get out way. Learn to do without and be thankful for what you do have.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Start a Blog


  • Any information shared on Free Money Finance does not constitute financial advice. The Website is intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. You are advised to discuss your specific requirements with an independent financial adviser. Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. All posts are © 2005-2012, Free Money Finance.