Spending Less…

Is it a bad thing that I want to consume less this year than I did last year?

canstockphoto3815900.jpgThis is a question I have been contemplating lately. Although I am not making out a specific list for 2016 I have decided to shed myself of much of the stuff I own and to not spend so much this year. It sounds like a noble goal but that very idea seems to have the world in a panic right now.

As I am writing this post, which is actually a couple of weeks before it is likely posted, stock markets are diving into negative territory because China manufacturing is slowing down.  To the capitalists around the world this means that we are consuming less than in the past. To them, if we are not consuming more and more then our economy is not sustainable.

I must admit that I am not much of a fan of pure capitalism. But I’m sure, if you have read even a few of my post, you know that already. Pure capitalism just seems to be concentrated on greed than anything else. Everyone wanting more and more is to me a negative instead of a positive.  Of course I am saying these words with a “western” mentality where many of us are fortunate enough to have discretionary spending money, more and more means buying things we don’t really need. To much of the world “more and more”might just mean putting enough food on the table so that their family can thrive. That is a completely different mentality.

Oil prices are going down because people like me gave up our 18 mpg car for a 35 mpg version and are even driving that one less. That on the face of it seems to be a good thing but to the capitalists it means our economy is shrinking and will soon collapse.

I know earlier I said I am not a fan of pure capitalism but I am a fan of regulated capitalism. Without it our country and many others around the world would not be in the enviable condition we are. Capitalism drives prosperity when it is properly regulated.

Getting back to the initial question, I don’t really care what others think about my decision. I have decided to take up the mantel of “Simplicity” more seriously than I have in past years. I am shedding things that I have not used in the past 5 years and that seems is a LOT of stuff. Thankfully stuff just doesn’t mean much to me at this stage of my life. Right now simplicity is the key to my satisfying retirement, at least for 2016.

5 thoughts on “Spending Less…

  • I am on board with you on this one, R.J. I haven’t cleared out as much “stuff” as I would like tho…primarily because my husband won’t part with much of anything! He was looking for a dress shirt to wear to a funeral and we found “new” shirts in the wrappers, with the tags, that were so old they were yellowing! He has sports gear from high school (his glory days) that is molding away in the basement…won’t let me toss. He has golf clubs from the ’60’s….hasn’t golfed for 20 years. I could go on but you get the picture. On my side I have cleared dishes, kitchen gadgets, clothes, knick knacks, and junk collected decades ago. It’s all been donated or tossed it. It feels great to find new space in the house. It even feels “bigger” and so clean and fresh. The trick is to not bring in more useless bric-a-brac or more clothes, shoes,etc…that we don’t need. I make a conscious effort to not buy things on impulse anymore. I feel pressure (from where I’m not sure) to update and replace when I’m perfectly fine with the old stuff…not gonna do it anymore. I’m guessing you feel pressure or desire to update and add to your electronic stuff, right? Hard to resist, I know.
    Our community has many great organizations to donate furniture, clothing, and household goods….it is a good feeling to help others while you are helping yourself. Hope your wife is interested in simplifying too, but if not, you can still do much on your own. Keep us posted on your progress…good or bad 🙂

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  • One more thing….
    For those of us who have children, you may want to clear out and simplify your household so that your children do not have an horrendous burden to go through and dispose of decades of “stuff”. I’m sure we’ve all seen this happen and it can be avoided if we try.
    Now I’m done 🙂

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    • Hi Jane… It’s funny that I have the opposite problem. My wife still has clothes she wore when she was 50 lbs lighter. She must have over 200 blouses but only wears a dozen or so. I don’t really understand where my “simplicity” comes from but I can see your point of having your kids have to dispose of all your stuff.

      My biggest chore is my barn. It is a 30×48 building that I have been working on for about three months now. Gotta keep all the lawn stuff but much else is being disposed. Right now we are covered with more snow from last night so it will be a few days before I can get out. But it is supposed to get up to 50 by the end of the month… thank heavens.

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  • My dad died with seven shirts, four pairs of pants, two sets of shoes, two dozen poetry books, his rosary and a few things that he had hidden when he was younger. The rest of the “stuff” in their house is Mom’s. He told me about two years before he died that he planned on owning nothing but his soul.
    Moving helped us get rid of a lot. It is slow going, but worth the work.
    Barns? They are tough to clear.

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  • Hi Jan, thanks for the thoughts. I got a few more clothes than you dad, but I kind of think that I am doing the same thing. We have been in our farmhouse for 16 years and that is the longest by more than double any other place I have lived in my life. It is easy to accumulate stuff when you don’t have to move it on a regular basis.

    Yeah, the barn is a tough one. Lots of stuff i “might” need but probably won’t. But I have got good start on that one too…. 🙂

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