Apr 7, 2008

Creative strategies for coping with rising costs - Part Five: Final Thoughts

In this series, Creative Strategies for Coping with Rising Costs, I am discussing ideas for saving money and cutting costs in order to maintain your lifestyle as prices increase. Read the series: Part One: Back to Basics, Part Two: The Drugstore Game, Part Three: Finding Time For Cost-Cutting Measures, and Part Four: Unusual Ideas For Saving Money Without Reducing Your Standard Of Living.

In the previous parts to this series, I discussed ways to minimize your expenses and maximize the money you have to avoid reducing your standard of living as prices continue to rise. (Speaking of rising prices - I saw a gas station selling premium gas for $4.13 this past weekend. Crazy!)

In this final part of the series, I want to discuss one basic concept that can have a huge impact on your finances: SIMPLICITY.

I know it seems contradictory, after I've suggested that you start a price book, play the Drugstore game, and call upon your creativity to save money and stretch your dollars. After all, none of these ideas is about simplifying your life.

But there's a lot to be said for simplicity and the impact it can have on your finances. For example, if you pare down your wardrobe to only the clothes that fit and that you wear, you'll know exactly what you have and therefore you won't go out and buy something only to discover that you already had what you needed. And in sorting through your clothing, you may discover pieces that you'd completely forgotten about and are delighted to see again.

Additionally, creating space makes room for all kinds of wonderful things to happen in your life. In my case, in the months before I met my husband, I went through a tremendous growth experience in which I shed myself of much physical and emotional baggage. And then the man of my dreams showed up, and there was room in my life for him. I'm not sure that my husband and I would have met if I hadn't made the changes I'd made, and I'm positive that even if we had met, I wouldn't have been able to accept the wondrous event that it was.

And so my final suggestion is that you go through your house and eliminate all those things that you no longer need or want. Equally important, don't fill the space back up. Instead, let whatever it is that you need and want come to you. I'm confident that your standard of living (and your level of happiness) won't just remain the same, it'll go up.

If you tried any of the ideas in this series, I'd love to hear about your experiences and share them with my readers (with your permission, of course). Please send your story to me at cfoblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

1 comment:

Anshu said...

Hi Cathy,

I so very much identify with this mail of yours. I keep on uncluttering my house periodically. But last week, my husband jumped the bandwagon too, helping me do away with the stuff that he has never let me touch. It was a major overhaul for the home, and I discovered that I really have enough storage space.
It is an exercise that refreshes both the home and the mind, I felt so light afterwards. I have heard that letting go of useless stuff brings harmony and progress to the household. After doing it for a couple of times, I'm now a firm believer in this.