‘Spend Less, Save More’ Part 10: Letting go

The last installment!

For me, a big part of spending less and saving more has been about letting go of certain ideas, mainly regarding what I actually need/want and what kind of lifestyle I’d like – not what the media or other people would have me aspire to. I can’t say this enough (about everything!) but this really is different for everyone. Recently, several people have mentioned to me some of the changes they’ve made in regard to what they do, what they want and how they think. All sorts of things have come up including:

  • How much you actually need to earn (is it worth working long, long weeks in stressful conditions and never having enough time to ‘live’? etc)
  • The cost (on many levels) of always trying to keep up with various trends (clothes/fashion in particular)
  • The impact of magazines and the media which often dictate a certain lifestyle that can be very difficult or expensive to actually put into practice (and often make you feel inadequate if you can’t)
  • The importance of ignoring what other people think you ought to do/have
  • What actually constitutes a treat & the long-term consequences of buying things as pick-me-ups
  • What you actually need to do to lose weight (expensive books/food/supplements/sports equipment versus eating a bit less, making healthy choices and being more active in general etc)
  • Finding new ways to entertain yourself and socialize when you can no longer afford to go out several nights a week
  • Buying new ‘stuff’ when you have something much the same already
  • How much you actually have to spend to make your home nice & looking for more inventive, cash friendly ways of updating
  • Holidays – what kind, going where and how often
  • The difference between needing something and simply wanting it

 Much of this re-evaluation has cropped up through New Years Resolutions and also through various struggles with paying off debt, being out of work or general financial worries. There seems to be a fair amount of evidence to suggest that the happiest or most content people aren’t those who are either very hard-up or very well off but the ones that can comfortably pay their bills and have enough time to spend with their family, friends and pursuing various hobbies and so on.

It seems to me that, as diverse as people are, what we often have in common is a desire to have more free time and/or greater peace of mind. Perhaps it is better to focus on how these things can be achieved and then compromise on some of the other things that cost more but just don’t deliver something as important.

Have you ‘let go’ of any particular ideas that mean you spend less and save more? Have you abandoned any old ideas about what you ought to have or do so that you now have more free time or feel more content?

Categories: Frugal ideas | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “‘Spend Less, Save More’ Part 10: Letting go

  1. hi shoestring, this has been a really, really great series of posts; very inspiring

  2. Wow that is a seriously great post. Love it. its a constant revaluation isn’t it. and where you draw the line is different for many folk. am constantly walking along that line. Me and my pricey wellies

  3. Firstly thank you for this series of posts. I have really enjoyed them and they have been very thought provoking.

    The only thing I think I have let go of, and probably only when I got to baby no.3 is the idea of new toys and clothes for the children. Wish I’d cottoned onto it earlier. They now have maybe a couple of new outfits every year that I have bought but everything else is hand me downs or from NCT sales. This has saved me an absolute fortune. It’s just not important to me that they look a certain way, but my friends who give me the hand me downs do have impeccable taste!

    Puzzles, books and toys I pick up when I see in NCT sales and charity shops. They also have lots of new things from grandparents – but I don’t want to encourage having the latest thing all the time. Just a complete waste of money.

  4. I’d like to add my thanks for this list of posts too – very interesting and inspiring.

  5. shoestringalley

    Thanks everyone. I wrote the series in an attempt to consolidate some of my ideas and get a bit of focus back so it’s great that you liked it too!x

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