I was reading Katie's post about Pay or Play? and thought I would give my own 2¢ on this as I have gone through this myself.

The heart of the post is about Katie coming into some extra money that she wasn't expecting and she couldn't decide whether to put it towards debt or use it for entertainment. I can understand the desire to get debt paid off as early as possible and not having that stress hanging over my head. When I was younger and on my own I would get extra money from rebates I forgot about or bonuses from work I would put them in one of two places - less than 20.00 went to Play and anything over that went to bills.

I still try to do that but now that I share expenses and income with another, there does seem to be other pressing 'needs' that take the place of the play option. I still try to move any money over 50.00 to bills and under that to play but many times I have found that my play goes towards fixing something or picking up something from the store that is needed. However, I haven't given up hope that every time I get extra money I will stick with my old idea that less than 20.00 goes to Play and anything over that to bills.


I was reading over at the Yahoo! Green - Everything you know about going green is wrong - about an EPA report that basically says, "The stuff we buy and the packaging that comes with the stuff we buy represents our biggest contribution to global warming -- far more so than the amount of electricity our stuff uses or the amount of fuel our stuff burns on the highway." And this does make sense, there is limit to what we can do to minimize and still be safe. We can lower the utilities so much before the pipes freeze or we eventually come to live off-grid, but there will always be people that need these conveniences due to weather and health.

However the one item we can reduce is the amount of stuff we buy. The idea to repurpose what we use, to take others cast-offs and repair what we can until it can't be repaired and just use it as parts. In the article, the writer refers to an EPA worker who wrote the study, the worker states,  "In the process of the report I became convinced that recycling is much more important than I thought it really was."

Along with that article I was also reading a USA Today opinion piece - Grandma's greener than you -that talks about how our depression era relatives were in effect greener than us because they did without, they repurposed item and kept waste to an extreme minimum in some cases. The writer made a good comment, "This idea of wasting nothing is tough for modern Americans to get our heads around. Raised in a consumer economy in which every problem requires a product, we tend to think "going green" means buying something."  But I like to think that we can do better than we are doing now, myself being primary in making these changes.

Obviously our buying and saving will ebb and flow but reduction in what we consume is certainly a good prescription for our spirit.


  1. Jill // Friday, November 20, 2009 4:47:00 PM  

    Awesome post! Thanks. I like the play vs. debt reduction strategy for "found" money.
    I've started a little vacation savings account and think I'll put my smaller windfalls in there rather than the land purchase account. If land comes up, it will all be in the bank, but if I use some for a trip I won't feel bad.

  2. Dawn // Friday, November 20, 2009 6:30:00 PM  

    I think dividing money up comes from my youth and having a certain amount go to spending, savings and tithe.
    Land purchase -- that sounds exciting!

  3. Jill // Monday, November 23, 2009 8:22:00 AM  

    I'm saving to buy land outright. No debt. Then, I'll build (or hope to) a small, off grid house. Once I have that, a garden, and some chickens, my expenses will be below 500$/month. With 100,000 in the bank (about 4 years to do that) I can quit my job and just live.

  4. Simple in France // Tuesday, November 24, 2009 4:28:00 PM  

    Great post topic. I really like the reference to the article, 'Grandma is Greener than You' and the observation that the 'stuff' we buy and the packaging is just as bad as the transportation. I've been working for a long time to fight the influx of new stuff into my home. It's been a long, uphill battle to stop people from buying me presents, giving me things or expecting me to have things like cell phones, tv etc. Very thought-provoking.