I bought this canvas from a flea market. I fell in love with her haunting gaze. Evans is creeped out by it, but she shall linger in my basement no more! I hung her up in the foyer…to scare away annoying solicitors perhaps, and set the kids straight.
Recently, I picked up a quick read of a book from my local thrift store. It’s called, Living Well on One Income; In a Two-Income world, by Cynthia Yates.
We’ve been a one income household for about 4 years now, and I didn’t think there was anymore knowledge I could gain on the subject. But eh…, I gave it a look anyway.
The book was full of sound reasoning and useful tips on how to live well and mindfully while rejecting the new consumerism.
One tip has stayed on my conscience since finishing the book a couple of weeks ago: “Use it Up.”
The simple concept has become a meditative(?) truism for me. Simple, but effective.
How many times have I spent money on something, say, a face cleanser, a household cleaning product (the intoxicating fragrances of these money traps lure me in every time I pass by the cleaning isle in Target), fresh produce, a new book, paint, nail polish…etc… that never gets used up? The half-full bottles take up space in my home and in my subconscious. They idle there until I eventually get rid of it; donate it, or throw it in the trash.
What the book hammered home was that each thing we have has a dollar sign attached to it. Be it the peach that’s withering away on my counter to the home I live in and love in. So, If I bought it, I must use it up! (before buying something else, presumably)
This principle can be applied to everything in life; my purchases, my relationships…the present moment. If I choose to invest in it, I will use it up and give it my all. I will be purposeful with my purchases or, if all else fails, repurpose, in an effort to, as the book suggests, take the “path of least expense.”
In practicing the “Use it Up” principle, I notice that:
- I value everything I buy more
- I’ve become selective and discerning about all my purchases
- I buy things to last, things that are reliable, and that I will get more than one use out of, An example would be in buying clothing.
- Using things up makes me feel great! Like I’m the most efficient person in the world. It’s zen-like and limits clutter in my home and guilt in my mind
- I save money
- Practicing it has cleared up room for other things; I can move on to the next thing on my list. It frees time, money, and space for other endeavors and interests.
Like I said, benignly simple, but mindblowingly effective. Try it! Right now, I have a hankering for yummy, hot, crusty bread, but before I rush to the store, I’ll use up the flour sitting in my pantry, first. See! I saved the money and the toxic ingredients.