Mend Not Spend

The antidote to endless, thoughtless consumption lies not in purging ourselves of the stuff we own, but rather, redefining our relationship with stuff altogether.” – Benjamin Leszcz

When did life become a “just buy another one” not fix what you have or make do.

I hear people complaining all the time about how little time and money they have. They say this as they are talking on their brand new $900 cell phones, wearing the newest fashions, driving their $30,000 car, and drinking their daily $5 latte.

We are all looking at the above example and saying to ourselves, “That’s not me…” But isn’t it?

We can now browse and shop at any time day or night. The newest items on our wishlist are but a click away. Carvana advertises, “being able to shop for a car while binge watching your favorite show in your pajamas.” While this is convenient and easy, it’s also expensive.

‘Making do’ has gotten a bad rap in our current culture as being ‘cheap’ and ‘miserly’. When in fact, ‘making do’ saves time and money. That in turn gives us the time and money to do the things that really matter to us.

What can I do? Where do I start?

As funny as it sounds, assess your skill set.

Can you sew? Can you iron? Can you brew coffee? Can you cook? What do you like to do? Sometimes hobbies can become a great money saving solution and sometime a nice side hustle. (We will cover that later.)

First, make what you have last longer and look great. Some products that I use to help with this are:

  1. A basic sewing kit that includes a very sharp pair of scissors. I also keep a small $1 sewing kit and black duct tape in my car for emergencies.
  2. HeatnBond UltraHold Iron-On Adhesive, 7/8 Inch x 10 Yards, this will help repair or make a new hem, no sewing required.
  3. Conair Fabric Defuzzer – Shaver; Battery Operated; White
  4. A good stain remover, like Spray ‘n Wash Pre Treat Stain Stick – 3 Ounce (Pack of 3), this particular stain remover is designed to be applied now and can be washed later.
  5. I also like the product, OUT White Brite Laundry Whitener, 4 lb. 12 oz. Bottle. I have hard water at my house and even bleaching my whites never got them back to their original bright white. I use OUT every 3-4 times I wash my whites to keep them crisp new looking.

To save money, try making your own coffee and packing lunches. This takes a little time, but honestly not as much as waiting in line for that coffee and lunch. On average you will save $10 per adult per weekday. Based on two adults, you’ve just saved yourself $5,200 in the next year. If you have a family, the savings keeps stacking up. And this doesn’t mean that you have to give up all the ‘little luxuries’ just the ones that do not truly enrich your life on a daily basis.

Next, assess your payments. What are things that you can reduce payments, pay off, or trade down? Trading down, is when you take an item that you have and sell it or trade it for something that is less expensive. This can be cars, mobile devices or housing.

It’s shocking the difference in the cost of say an iPhone 6 and an iPhone X. And really, do you need all those features today? Keep that older phone going for awhile and then buy the newer one used when you need to upgrade.

Cars are the same way. If you have car loans, see if you can consolidate the loans and sell one of the cars to buy a less expensive version and put the additional money toward the loan. This may not work for everyone, but this type of strategy can save you money and stress.

Decluttering is the next step. Sell the stuff that you don’t use at a tag sale, on Ebay, or on Craig’s List. This will make you back a little money on the things that you don’t need and make it easier to keep what you do need clean and organized.

A great book that has helped many is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing .

In Declutter your Home: The Ridiculously Thorough Guide to Decluttering Your Home, Organizing Your Work Space and Living the Minimalist Lifestyle without Going Overboard (Declutter Your Life) (Volume 1)

Mary Connor states that, “In a world of material things, we have become fixated with buying and having, to the extent that we often find that we have all the latest gadgets and fashions, whether we need them or not. This means spending excessively and then taking more time to clean and tidy up, leaving us feeling unhappy and missing out on more worthwhile pursuits.

Nate Berkus says that, “Your home should rise up to greet you.” If it doesn’t, what can you do to make your space more inviting?

Once you’ve decluttered, maybe put a fresh coat of paint on a wall or a piece of furniture. Think about reorganizing your spaces and furniture. Shop your house. Move the pieces of furniture and decorations around for a fresh look without any spending!

Change some of your online habits. Instead of shopping, join some money saving groups, and sign up for e-coupons and rebate newsletters. I love bradsdeals.com, they often have great deals on what I need, and it costs $0 to join. So, when you do need to purchase something, you can minimize expenditure to maximize satisfaction.

Now, about that ‘side hustle‘ that I mentioned when were assessing your skill set. I LOVE EASY MONEY! So, easy side hustles are either expanding on something that you already do anyway, or upgrading a hobby. Now please realize that this is not to make your life harder or more complicated, but more fun and help you achieve your goals.

Examples can include things like walking your neighbor’s dog when you walk yours for a small fee. Weed whacking your neighbor’s yard when you do yours, again for a small fee. Helping out a friend or neighbor and getting paid for it is a win/win for both of you. We do this and snow shovel for our neighbor, who doesn’t mind paying to have his walk shoveled and sanded before he has to go to work.

Hobbies can be quite lucrative and can be sold quite easily on Etsy or at local craft shows. I make jewelry and I enjoy refinishing and upcycling furniture. So, my family and I have a lot of fun at area craft fairs on weekends where we sell our crafts and enjoy the outing. At these events we pack lunches and beverages, but I plan on spending money on fun stuff too. After all, it’s a fun way to make money and spend quality time with my family.

Links That I Like:

1. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-the-life-changing-magic-of-making-do/

2. https://www.facebook.com/groups/moneyandhappy/

3. https://yesandyes.org/

My Bookshelf:

Have a Great Day Friends!

Dottie Lake

Disclosure: I am an independent blogger and include affiliated links in this blog which means that I get compensated for purchases made directly through these links..

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I am an author and lifestyle blogger living in Vermont. I enjoy finding and sharing information that helps us all live the life we want.

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