Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Keep your money.

posted by Paul Gardener
A posse ad esse (from possibility to reality)

As I was reading the previous few posts, I decided that I might add an additional perspective that I think is equally important when trying to live in a more frugal way.

It's so easy, as we begin to see the things that are possible, to feel like we need to "get this" or "get that". That we need to buy that automatic yogurt maker or bread machine in order to produce those items. (Full disclosure: Although we do not have a yogurt maker, we do have and regularly use a bread machine for day to day bread.) We feel like we need to buy that $300.00 compost tumbler to get started with making black gold for the garden, or for that matter we feel like we need to spend a bunch of "seed money" up front to get the garden started.

A major part of living frugally is making do with what you have access to. Reducing consumption, reusing items that still have more life left in them and recycling or re-purposing them into other uses when their original use has passed. As a society we throw out so much raw materials that it is frightening! These are materials that can be, most often times, gathered for little or no cost at all and are incredibly useful. One only needs adopt the mindset that just because something has been discarded by someone else does not take away it's value. You could probably surprise yourself regularly with what is available to you, if you only look with a child's eye. What do I mean by that?

Have you ever noticed how a child can find a stick and it becomes a rifle or a tent stake or goodness knows what else? When they are looking for something to fit a need that they have, they have the natural ability to see the possibilities in other things to be adapted to what they need at the time. If we strive to have that kind of flexibility in our way of looking at the world we can see things that we might not have otherwise.

Take for instance a pile of concrete.

Would you have seen a garden wall, and pavers?

Could you imagine your whole yard's landscape stones being made of long lasting FREE urbanite? It takes a lot of sweat equity, but the materials are there for the taking.

My point with the pictures here isn't to try to say "look what I did", but rather to hopefully encourage you to think "Look what I could do". Think of it as a simple matter of ins and outs. The more you are able to bring in for free or can re-purpose into something else or repair to get a little more life out of, the less you will be sending out to the commercial pirates out there wanting you to spend it. I think we can all agree that, regardless of to what degree, times are going to get tighter and tighter in the future. Resources will become more scarce and therefore more expensive. One tool that we can all add to our arsenal now, is the ability and willingness to make do and be creative. Being frugal is a major part of the equation, spending only on what is a need not a want, but if we can get what we need for little or nothing too, well to me it only makes sense to try.

Keep your eyes open with a child's creativity and prepare to see the world in a whole new way.
Good luck and please feel free to drop by my blog and search for reduce, reuse, recycle for some other ideas or to ask questions if you have them.
Till next time...