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Old 01-16-2008, 01:19 PM
 
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I have been evaluating my lifestyle and things that I can simplify.

One of the changes that I am thinking of is not driving a car anymore. Has anyone given up their license and how was that for you?

I have decent public transportation in my town and my DP ,of course, will keep his license and car insurance etc. I am in walking distance of a grocery store as well as a drug store. The paths are not fully paved but it is possible to walk without trouble.

Thanks for reading and would love to hear from other's experiences.
Elizabeth
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:54 PM
 
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I have been evaluating my lifestyle and things that I can simplify.

One of the changes that I am thinking of is not driving a car anymore. Has anyone given up their license and how was that for you?

I have decent public transportation in my town and my DP ,of course, will keep his license and car insurance etc. I am in walking distance of a grocery store as well as a drug store. The paths are not fully paved but it is possible to walk without trouble.

Thanks for reading and would love to hear from other's experiences.
Elizabeth
One thing we do to keep things simple is have one car. Its not a fancy car either (used VW). Dh commutes to work with his bike and a train to the burbs and we almost always use the bus. In the summer, we bike a lot. We do still use our car a few times a week but fear of losing our parking spot (and having to park a city block away) has kept driving to a minimal.

We live in a big city now but last year we didn't and it was much harder to get around. Those days we didn't even own a car. We could use a work vehicle. Biking was great but their public trans was awful. So DH and I had to plan our days in the winter. I'd do all my errands one day a week and he'd usually have a car or bike the other days. We always walked to the PO and grocery store on those days. Lots of bundling up and layers in the winter!
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:58 PM
 
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I would love to hear your journey in this!

We are trying so hard to simplify our "schooling". We've been at this game for 3 1/2 years now and I still cannot get a grip.
I'd love to know how it's going to turn out too. I'm trying to blog along the way (in my signature). Right now, I want to get rid of the stuff that doesn't work. I had a college prof who once said that lunch duty was like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer because it feels so good when you stop. (Education major ) That's how I feel about some of the stuff we've been doing, and I want to change that. Or, like that definition of insanity-- doing the same thing the same way and expecting different results.

Flowers, fairies, gardens, and rainbows-- Seasons of Joy: 10 weeks of crafts, handwork, painting, coloring, circle time, fairy tales, and more!
Check out the blog for family fun, homeschooling, books, simple living, and 6 fabulous children, including twin toddlers

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Old 01-16-2008, 02:12 PM
 
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So, my dd is 16 mos old. I'm going to pack up some of the "baby" toys, and I might get rid of some...so what simple toys do/did you like for a child that age? I'd like to get her some more age appropriate things, but not junk!!
Some of my DS favorites are blocks, books, art supplies, musical instruments (especially guitar and djembe) and music CDs/tapes, water/sand table. He is 2 now but he loved those things a year ago too.
We love our water table. Every single day he plays at the water table for hours.
In the winter, fill it with rice or sand and bring it inside. I've even put finger paints in it.

We spend most of our days outside when its not 0 below and I've started bringing along a journal and colored pencils for the kids on our outings. They love to journal about the outing. Its usually a drawing of some odd bug or scribbles representing the noise of the bus or a dog. We bring a glue stick along too. DD (9yrs.) loves to glue leaves and seeds to the journal and come home to look up what tree/plant it came from. Tree rubbings are fun for the younger ones too.

My DC are really into making forts right now. This is any easy one! No toys involved. Just chairs and blankets. I'd love to find a big fridge box for them to transform but have had no luck. Im also keeping my eyes open for big play silks. These are much lighter and don't cave in like blankets do.
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Old 01-16-2008, 02:23 PM
 
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Right now, I want to get rid of the stuff that doesn't work. I had a college prof who once said that lunch duty was like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer because it feels so good when you stop. (Education major ) That's how I feel about some of the stuff we've been doing, and I want to change that. Or, like that definition of insanity-- doing the same thing the same way and expecting different results.
I can totally relate!

We have just really really simplified many aspects of our schooling. Math is the big one I needed to let go of. All the pressure was effecting our (DD and I) relationship. Now I just try to take it a day at a time. Planning for things and then not getting them done really puts me in a depressing mood so I don't do that anymore, unless its a field trip or something.
I have no idea how people do it, using curriculums and doing all the subjects in one day and still act like little miss molly sunshine after 6 hrs of boringness. (No offense to anyone here that schools this way, I actually envy your sunshine)
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:53 AM
 
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I have been evaluating my lifestyle and things that I can simplify.

One of the changes that I am thinking of is not driving a car anymore. Has anyone given up their license and how was that for you?

I would never give up my license. It would be such a hassle to get again if needed, and even if DH did all of the driving -- I would want to be licensed just in case (maybe I need to drive him to the hospital if he's sick.)

As for not driving or getting rid of a car -- those are both definite possibilities if you live somewhere that makes if doable
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:10 AM
 
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This looks like the place for me! DP and I have lived in the same 2 br apt for five years now, transitioning from a new couple to a family of four. It's taken some work and some prioritizing, but we've managed to create a space that we love. DP had been in grad school for 3 of the last five years and I have been home since the birth of my dd 2.5 years ago. We have never owned a car and buy as little as possible to meet our needs with a preference for second hand when possible. We do belong to the local car co-op, which meets our needs most of the time. When necessary we rent a car. We shop locally and try to keep our environmental footprint as small as possible. Well, that's a bit about us. Looking forward to hearing about how others live simply.

Diane, SAHM to DD (June 05) and DS (April 07).
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Old 01-18-2008, 02:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by epdeans View Post
I have been evaluating my lifestyle and things that I can simplify.

One of the changes that I am thinking of is not driving a car anymore. Has anyone given up their license and how was that for you?

I have decent public transportation in my town and my DP ,of course, will keep his license and car insurance etc. I am in walking distance of a grocery store as well as a drug store. The paths are not fully paved but it is possible to walk without trouble.

Thanks for reading and would love to hear from other's experiences.
Elizabeth
Like another poster, we have only one car to keep things simple. It's 10 years old, is getting up there in miles but it's paid off and it still runs great. DH walks/bikes to work most days (even in -40C weather, he walks to work, it's all about the layers) and I try to walk or bike to most places w/the kids depending on the season. Now, that's not always feasible for us in the winter (we're in the prairies of Canada and winters are brutal here) but we hardly ever drive anywhere once the snow melts and temps start climbing up. It'll be more of a challenge this summer when I have 3 kiddos (one being a newborn) but I think we'll probably just walk or take public transit.

I don't know about giving up my license (nice to have for instances when you'll need some kind of identification or emergency situations where you may be required to drive, ya know?) but I definitely think just leaving the car parked is a doable alternative to strive for in living a simple life.

Mama to my 3 wild things.

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Old 01-22-2008, 12:57 PM
 
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I was thinking of making our own mop.
I normally just use a rag and get down on my hands and knees but my back has seen better days. Plus, our new place has nothing but hard floors. Thats a lot of bending over

What do you all use for mopping? Has anyone made their own mop? I was thinking maybe I could tie a bunch of cloth strips to a pole but im not sure how efficient that would be.
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Old 01-22-2008, 01:10 PM
 
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I was thinking of making our own mop.
I normally just use a rag and get down on my hands and knees but my back has seen better days. Plus, our new place has nothing but hard floors. Thats a lot of bending over

What do you all use for mopping? Has anyone made their own mop? I was thinking maybe I could tie a bunch of cloth strips to a pole but im not sure how efficient that would be.
The closest I've come was I made my own cloth pads for my Clorox wet mop ... but I gave up on the mop! I saved the pads. I wonder if they'll work on my swiffer dust mop?

Let us know what you come up with!
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Old 01-22-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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Simple living is so much easier than I thought it would be.

Yesterday DH and I went to Ikea and the Homegoods Store. We didn't buy a thing!

I saw so much cute stuff, but I kept thinking that we didn't need any more of anything!


This week we do have plans to go to Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up a small lazy susan so we can better access our herbs and spices.

One of the things we decided to do was plan a weekly meal chart. Now that I know what we'll be eating for dinner each day, it is so much easier to get ready. It's drastically cut down on how much we eat out.

I didn't realize it, but we were probably spending close to 300 bucks a month on dining out. Yikes!@

Me:
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:24 PM
 
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I have to brag about something.

This is the best recycling I have ever done.

What the heck am I going to do with a pack of postpartum pads after the heavy bleeding has stopped? They are just gonna sit in my closet. (till I get knocked up again )

They fit perfectly on my Swiffer! (That I NEVER use because I dont purchase things like swiffer pads.)

OMG I think thats where they got the IDEA for swiffer in the 1st place.

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Old 01-22-2008, 08:31 PM
 
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I am really trying to simplify my life in 2008, particularly as it pertains to my over-consumption, so I'm subbing.
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:33 PM
 
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Yesterday DH and I went to Ikea and the Homegoods Store. We didn't buy a thing!



I am thoroughly impressed. I could NEVER do that. IKEA and Homegoods are two of my biggest weaknesses. I'm addicted to bedding.
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:39 PM
 
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Just subbing. We've been working on these things for about a year. We got seriously derailed when dh lost his job and we both started working. that only lasted two months, then it was just me working. so i went from being a SAHM for 3+ years to working full time and DH SAHD for the first time. it has been crazy. so a lot of things went on the back burner--we started using disposable diapers about half the time buying food in packaging that couldn't be recycled, drying clothes in dryer, etc. We pretty much compacted, buying very, very few new things in 2007. i want to expand it. i was just reading a blog about a lady who bought NO plastic in 2007. it was pretty inspiring. i would like to try to minimize plastic (going no plastic is next to impossible) this year. our big family project at the moment is decluttering. we are going drawer by drawer, area by area, and just getting rid of stuff. getting rid of anything we haven't used in the past year and a half. we are going to be moving into a smaller place and i want it to be boiled down to the least amount of stuff possible. we're moving to a smaller town, and i am hoping we will donate our old, crappy, worthless car (that still runs, so we keep it around) and just have our one car. then i want to get a nice bike trailer (have been meaning to for a year) and mostly bike around town with the kids. that's the goal. the town we live in right now is just big enough to have it be daunting to try to not drive.
anyway, stuff our family does:
CD (except when we are really stressed/busy)
compost in regular compost earth machine
worm composting
not buying new stuff, not buying much at all
getting rid of everything, decluttering
dishes by hand
clean mostly everything with vinegar, borax, baking soda or dr bronners
dont use disposable anything (no napkins, paper towels, tampons, coffee filters, etc.)
havent set foot in a mall or big box store in like 2 years
clothes for kids are all hand-me-downs, which then get handed down again
toys for kids are all hand me downs.

we do other stuff, too, just can't think of anything. i'm thinking about giving away all the kids toys that are plastic and only keeping nice, wooden toys. we have enough of them now that it would be a good amount of toys for them to have. i need to let go of this idea that they need a certain amount of toys. they have so much crap! the house would be easier to clean, too, if they didn't have nearly so much. especially the annoying kinds of toys with 1000s of little plastic pieces.

L married to J 8 years. Parents to 6 y.o. dd and 3 y.o. ds :nana
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:32 AM
 
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Ahhhh. Simple living is what brought me to MDC in the first place. Decluttering is addictive! Unfortunately, my dh and son don't share my addiction.

I feel so peaceful just reading books about simplifying and/or decluttering. It all started with the Simplify Your Life book several years ago. I was so fascinated with the idea of having a "uniform" to simplify your wardrobe. First I decided what type of clothing I need most often. I'm a SAHM, and I like comfortable, affordable clothes. Then I decided which sillouettes work the best for me. I chose a few of my favorite colors to wear for shirts--I only buy shirts that are blue, purple, brown, or black. I wear jeans, khakis, and sweats (all basics that go with pretty much everything) for bottoms. I have two dresses and a skirt for dressing up. I have a pair of dress shoes, a pair of mules, a pair of tennis shoes, a pair of Crocs and flip flops. When something wears out, I replace it. And I discovered consignment stores! It's really simplified shopping for me.

My problem areas are paperwork and misc. stuff piling up on the flat surfaces in my house and toys that don't get put away. The paperwork and clutter is my thing. I don't have a system for keeping it under control. I make piles. My son has lots of toys and often leaves them around the house. He'll pick them up if I ask him to, but I have to go around the house and point everything out to make sure it all gets picked up. Any ideas?

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Old 01-23-2008, 04:05 AM
 
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Light bills,CC statements, utility statements etc. How long should you keep them? I think thats my paper problem. One thing I did start doing a few yrs ago was getting my mail and before I even enter my house I dump the junk mail right into my outside recycling bin. I can't believe how quickly that thing fills up!
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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Is anyone feeling like they are getting to the point of not even having a desire to go shopping? I can't even stand going to store and browsing, even if I'm good and don't buy anything, I don't even want to be in the stores. I want to avoid even knowing what all the new trends are so I can avoid the temptation of feeling like we need to bring another thing into our home. I'm getting better at passing by amazing sales, because truly do we need anything but our families, food and shelter? We have enough clothing and blankets. No need for more! LOL
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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Is anyone feeling like they are getting to the point of not even having a desire to go shopping?
Yes! It is a very freeing feeling. I tend to stay away from malls anyway, but especially now, when I do go, I find it completely overwhelming, overstimulating, and depressing. So much crap! I am really going out of my way to avoid big stores. I am now at the point where I would rather walk to my local drugstore and buy, say, deoderant when I run out than go to Target, even though it costs a bit more. I just don't want to have to deal with those big stores. When I do get an urge to shop, I find it is satisfied by stopping at a thrift shop, going to a nice grocery store, or even going to the library and picking up a stack of books and magazines.
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:54 PM
 
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Light bills,CC statements, utility statements etc. How long should you keep them? I think thats my paper problem. One thing I did start doing a few yrs ago was getting my mail and before I even enter my house I dump the junk mail right into my outside recycling bin. I can't believe how quickly that thing fills up!
I switched almost all my bills to E-bills. now i get no paper statements. when i pay a bill online, they send me an email confirming that. then i just save it to a "bills" folder in my email. no paper, no clutter. any bills that i cant get an e-bill for, i just pay it through my bank account (it has a free bill pay option online) and it saves an online recipt. so i dont have 1000s of little folders and things, but there are still records.

cell phone, phone, electric, heat, cable/internet, etc. should all have a no-paper, e-bill option.

if you search my blog (its in one of the oldest posts) i also have a link to the site where you can sign up to get no junk mail. after 3 months, we now get zero credit card/student loan consolidation offers and very little other junk mail. it really reduced the amount of paper we get and have to sort/recycle.

L married to J 8 years. Parents to 6 y.o. dd and 3 y.o. ds :nana
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:37 PM
 
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Yes! It is a very freeing feeling. I tend to stay away from malls anyway, but especially now, when I do go, I find it completely overwhelming, overstimulating, and depressing. So much crap! I am really going out of my way to avoid big stores. I am now at the point where I would rather walk to my local drugstore and buy, say, deoderant when I run out than go to Target, even though it costs a bit more. I just don't want to have to deal with those big stores. When I do get an urge to shop, I find it is satisfied by stopping at a thrift shop, going to a nice grocery store, or even going to the library and picking up a stack of books and magazines.
ITA. I feel way overwhelmed and depressed when I go into big stores, I really don't enjoy it anymore. In fact I never really did if I'm truthful. I'm trying to stick to my local grocery and farmer's markets-and will work on growing a lot of my own food when time comes. I think it's a matter of rewiring our habits of going "out" to stores and restaurants, etc. Instead, find fun things to do together at home, go on walks, visiting, parks, library, nature.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:01 PM
 
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hi vancouver mommy! saw you at the park today!

we're selling our car and rejoining the car co-op now that my big girl can carry her carseat, and the little girl can walk far. we've got a great organic buying group, and about three times a year we do a big bulk delivery. i would really like to stop driving for food altogether. we've just set up a bike for me to have the little one on the back, or use the jogging stroller. better weather will help! we've got a bunch of food sensitivies, so to handle that and wanting to eat organic, i need to be inventive. we bake our own bread, make our own yogurt, and make most things from scratch. i'm very excited about plans to do some canning this summer! as well as freezing fruit we pick.

i'm in a new phase of decluttering, as we're four in under 800 sq ft. i'm finding it difficult to get the stuff i've culled out of the house, though.

i am THRILLED to have a new worm compost...i just need worms! i would really like to grow a lot of food this year.

we're media artists in our household, so tv isn't going to go but we prerecord everything and watch discs, mostly. i can't live with commercials. i don't consider moving images that different from reading...we do a lot of everything. audiobooks are the rage with the 7 year old and we've just found another free source at a library...we love librivox.org, too. i've just abandoned magazine subscriptions, i'll just look at them online, and i'm increasing my use of the library. i love being able to pick up requests

i've begun decluttering our clothing, to reduce how much laundry we do : and someone brilliant around here suggested a great routine of everyday folding yesterday's clothing, putting it away, putting a new load on to wash, dry, to fold the next day. aah. much better.

what i'd like to do this year is simplify all of my routines. keeping up with it all has been challenging.

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Old 01-23-2008, 11:36 PM
 
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Light bills,CC statements, utility statements etc. How long should you keep them? I think thats my paper problem. One thing I did start doing a few yrs ago was getting my mail and before I even enter my house I dump the junk mail right into my outside recycling bin. I can't believe how quickly that thing fills up!
Statements are the one thing I don't have a problem with. I keep statements for a month. Once my payment shows up on the new statement, I get rid of the old statement. I do have tax returns and receipts from 10 years back though. How long do we have to keep those?

Ooh, I'm going to get on that list for no junk mail! My paperwork problem is mostly stuff that requires an action on my part--calls I need to make, papers I need to take with me somewhere, numbers or appointments written on the corners of pages of paper, etc. My desk is such a mess because I lay everything out so I can see it. I need a better system! (And self-discipline...)

Book-lovin', relaxed homeschoolin', dog snugglin' mom of the best kid EVER!  AND...waiting for baby #2, due 5/9/14!  stork-boy.gif

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Old 01-24-2008, 01:50 AM
 
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i'm very excited about plans to do some canning this summer! as well as freezing fruit we pick.
Me too! Last summer I didn't do a thing as far as canning and freezing. I only had a small container garden. but this year, Im joining a community garden and hope to start canning/freezing again.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:52 AM
 
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Is anyone feeling like they are getting to the point of not even having a desire to go shopping? I can't even stand going to store and browsing,
Isn't that the best side effect? I only actually want to shop when I need something, and only when I really really need something and even then, I just wish it would materialize in front of me. I'm trying to find what I need used or make it.

I stayed at a hotel a while ago and got a free Sunday newspaper. We stopped our sunday paper subscription about a year ago in an effort to simplify. Less wasted paper, wasted money, wasted time on taking the paper to the recycling bin. When I was looking at that free paper, I remembered that I actually used to waste a lot of time looking through the sales flyers and cutting coupons. I would drink my Sunday morning coffee and scan the sales. I actually thought that was relaxing. How much extra "stuff" did I buy because of that? Even though I might miss a great sale now, I totally don't care!

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My desk is such a mess because I lay everything out so I can see it. I need a better system! (And self-discipline...)
ReadingMama, I have the same paper problem, and need for a system and self discipline about it. Right now my "desk" is the kitchen table. It's the only place I can really do paperwork/bill paying stuff and there's no extra space in the kitchen to put a desk or filing cabinet. And I don't have a dining room...sigh. Oh well. I put everything into an organizer thing and shove it to the side so we can eat at the table.
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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i've also automated to debit as many bills as possible, as well as making as many as possible even month to month...property taxes + utilities, it really helps with budgeting. i do have the online bill come to me as well. i still get my paper financial bill, but i may not do that either, much longer...i download it all to quicken anyway. that leaves me with tax stuff, and receipts, which i have files for. the trick is to DO the filing.

our biggest source of paper around here is art

*
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TopazBlueMama View Post
Is anyone feeling like they are getting to the point of not even having a desire to go shopping?
meeeeee!!!!

I now hate consuming for emotional gain. (impulse buying)

buying "a new lipstick" just to treat myself always turned into tons of un-used makeup/things.

it is freeing.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:30 PM
 
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I totally agree with everyone that the desire to shop is gone. I am surprised I am feeling it now, in winter, because there isn't much else to do here. Or so I thought. I now realize how much time, energy, gas, and money I wasted walking around T#$#et or the mall because we needed to get out of the house. Actually, I realize it the most when I keep finding stuff to declutter--most of which was bought during these times.

Instead, we have been spending more time at the Y, hanging out at home reading and playing games, and going to the library. I have also picked up some extra hours at work in the evenings so I can 'get away' while my husband is home, but not to go buy coffee or a treat or walk around a store. (instead, I am making some money which we are using to pay down debt)
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:38 PM
 
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any thoughts about blowing the "economic stimulus" checks? Anyone need emotional support?

I'd like to buck bushes whole plan by saving the money, and not filtering it back into the economy.
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:46 PM
 
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any thoughts about blowing the "economic stimulus" checks? Anyone need emotional support?

I'd like to buck bushes whole plan by saving the money, and not filtering it back into the economy.

Im not really sure what we will do. I actually just found this out today

Is the $800 true? Give me details! (yes, we are sheltered folk living in our own little world err...apartment.)
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