Lighten Your Load; It’s All Up Hill From Here:
Good Morning all of you hard working brain cells out there in the free world; your King of Simple News is on the air.
I’m probably going to step on some toes here and get myself in trouble; but who the heck invented combat shopping and mall-cruising as a national pastime?
What must be the annual cost of this non-explainable habit of shopping for non-essentials? The TV is full of “shopping channels,” the papers come loaded with 5 pounds of inserted advertisement for luring us to buy more “stuff,” and the radio now has greater commercial segments than programming time.
I should probably mention that men and women view shopping much differently. If most men were asked if they would like to go shopping for the day or have a root canal without benefit a numbing agent, they would probably have to think about it for a while and then ask, “What time is my dentist appointment?”
That being said, note the above mention of shopping for non-essentials. So how do I know folks are shopping for non-essentials? When I ask some members of my family (who will remain nameless to avoid unnecessary strife in my life) what they going to do with their friends for the day, the answer is often, “We’re going shopping.”
“Oh Geez,” I think silently, after which I stupidly ask, “Shopping for what?”
“We need some new thread for our quilt project, so we’re going to Grand Junction and just shop around,” comes the casual reply. “Do you need anything?”
“Heavens no,” I quickly reply in a noticeably panicked voice. “You mean you’re going to drive 100 miles round trip for thread?”
At this point there is no answer…only “The Look.” After which I drag myself back to my computer and complain to you.
I’m assuming that I’m not alone in this quest for determining why people go shopping without a clue of what they are shopping for; as 75% of America’s economy is based on consumer spending, a nice term for shopping.
If a person is attempting to heed my personal goal of living simply and living well in these times of economic turmoil, non-essential shopping is probably something that deserves a litmus test.
How many other things do we spend money on that are totally frivolous? The following link is one of the best that I have read on that subject.
I’m doing my best to change my own lifestyle. I canceled our current subscription to satellite TV yesterday and will combine a “basic package” ($19.95) with my internet and telephone service, which will save some $60.00 per month.
I also have two vehicles and a trailer that I use occasionally for work (little and big dump trucks and a large equipment trailer) that I will attempt to sell along with my backhoe that has seen little use in the past year. That means no insurance, no license plates, no SME tax, and no maintenance. What a savings for something that I may or may not use!
I also do a lot of volunteering to help others and they volunteer to help me. I’m not bartering mind you, because that’s taxable. What are you doing to lighten the load these days?