In modern consumerist America it can be difficult to live life without buying in excess even in times of financial strain.
Yet there are definitely ways that I’ve taken strides to cut down my costs of living in these difficult times. I’m a recent graduate from a Master’s Degree program who has had to cope with the challenging economic situation that the United States is still dealing with years after the initial recession hit. It hasn’t been easy for me at all since graduation but I’ve learned to adjust to living a life within my means as I continue to work towards a better future for myself. The following are some examples of how I’ve learned to live without having more items than I need.
1) Donating Extra Clothes
Because I’ve lost a lot of weight over the past few years I’ve found that I’ve had an extreme number of articles of clothes that have been cluttering my room. Rather than let these clothes take up space I’ve slowly but surely been donating these extra clothes to local charities. In this fashion I’m able to have my sized down clothes without being forced to have dozens of pairs of clothes that I know I’ll never wear again.
2) Not buying an excess amount of electronics
I’ll admit that my laptop is a few years old and my cell phone isn’t a smart phone but both work just fine for what I need on a daily basis. Although I won’t be playing Angry Birds on my cell phone anytime soon, I save a lot of money by not buying into the notion that I have to buy a smart phone that requires copious amounts of data. As for my laptop; although I did have to replace the hard drive over a year ago, besides that one time cost to replace parts my laptop runs very smoothly for work related purposes.
3) Buying Store-Brand Groceries
A reality of life is that we all have to eat. But there is still a simple yet effective way to cut back the cost of foods. Whenever I go out to buy groceries if there is a choice between a name-brand item vs. a store-brand item, more often than not I’ll go for the store-brand because in all honestly I can hardly tell the difference in taste between the two so I don’t mind spending less on an equally good product. Also, I make an effort to use the products up completely before stocking up my fridge with extra groceries.
I’ll admit that I would love to have a car but right now it’s more cost effective to carpool around town. Gas is one of the most expensive costs currently so less cars on the road means that the people who do go in cars can either share the costs of gas or as I have done from time to time; take public transit.
All in all I’ll admit that I’m not living the most edgy or trendy life as far as material items go, but living this way has allowed for me to appreciate what really matters in life; the people you care for and experiences that come with them.