Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Money Mantra #2: Less is More

"Less is more." -- Mies van der Rohe, architect

Although it is perfectly human to want something we don't have, our desire to amass material goods can sometimes become unhealthy. If we are caught up in a cycle of purchasing things that we don't need, it is more difficult to appreciate what we already have. I know I can stand in front of my well-stocked closet and exclaim "I've got nothing to wear" without thinking twice about my false statement. But if I took a minute to examine my collection of sundresses, skirts, and sandals, I could easily come up with a decent outfit. If I am surrounding myself with material goods that aren't essential and useful, I am cluttering up my physical space as well as wasting mental energy on strategizing uneccessary purchases.

My version of the Less is More mantra looks like this:

If you don't need anything, don't buy anything.

If it is time replace an item you own , invest in a quality item at a price point you can afford.

Once you've purchased the new item, do something with the item you've replaced. Pass it along to a friend, donate it to charity, or sell it at your next yard sale.

Cheap and Cheerful wants to know: How do you prioritize your need to buy versus want to buy list? Is your calendar bursting at the seams with activities and projects? Do you have a tendency to go overboard when planning birthday parties? Perhaps we can share some ways to avoid these common scenarios and learn from each other?

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