In my recent post on determining our net worth, reader Annette posted these very true words:
Net worth means nothing. Money truly does not determine a person’s self worth.
Human life is priceless. You could have all the money in the world and have a
terminal illness. Once a life is lost it cannot be replaced. Creativity is the
key to happiness.
Very very true! I’ve been looking for ways to have lots of fun with little or no money spent. Or to maximize money that’s already been spent. For example, Mr. Micah and I have cable internet. So instead of, say, buying a book of quilting patterns or even going to the library (gas) to get one, I just let my little fingers run across quilting sites until I find something I like.
Then, I already have lots of materials left over from years of quilting. So instead of buying something new, I just “shop” in my stash. I don’t intend to stop buying new material entirely, but only for special projects. And the leftovers of any new fabric can replenish my stash.
Not only does this save money, it makes me happy because I know that I’m being creative and useful. I’m uncluttering. I’m exploring ideas. And I’m saving money, which also makes me happy.
I already own my computer, so I can write on it all I want–whether blogs or books. Plus I own paper and notebooks, if I need that kind of thing. But computers are less consumable.
Or when it comes to reading, I can also save gas/book buying simply by looking over my shelves for books I haven’t actually read. Most of them came second-hand or as presents. There’s a number by Mr. Micah’s grandmother which I want to read. And I got another 3 for my birthday, which was very exciting! Of course, we’ll make periodic trips to the library, but if I’m hankering for a new book we don’t have to run right out.
Delayed gratification can also be fun. Whether it’s saving up for an item or putting it off for some reason, delaying gratification makes things more exciting!
I’ll close with a couple ways I’ve found to delay gratification:
1. Make a list: This works for anything, as long as you keep the list in a place you remember. Knowing it’s there means that you don’t have to have it now so you won’t forget to get it.
Libary books, books you’d like to purchase, whatever.
2. Make the list available: If it’s books/CDs/DVDs that you’d like to purchase, consider waiting until it’s almost your birthday and then make them available to your family. That’s what I did with the three books I got for my birthday (which isn’t technically until Thursday). The waiting made me more excited, as did the insecurity whether or not I’d get them.
3. See it as fun: If you think the list is a horrible constraint, then it’s going to be a horrible constraint. Such methods, as well as ones like shopping from your fabric stash, etc, only work if you can get into the spirit of it. 🙂