Thursday, June 10, 2010

Don't Pay

"Don't pay for what you're not using." This has become my new mantra. I repeat it to myself every time I find myself being wasteful. The idea came from The Penniless Parent blog. I enjoy reading her blog and like that she's frugal to the extremes. She's much more frugal than I am... maybe more frugal than I want to be, but still, I like to read her posts.

The post she wrote about wasting utilities got me to start thinking about wasting and how wasting is bad not just for the environment, but also the wallet. Then that thought morphed into other things I could be wasting.

Commonly wasted:

  • time
  • energy
  • electricity
  • water
  • food

These are all fairly straight forward areas for wasting. But what else is there that I'm wasting? My mind has come up with an awful lot of ideas over the past few weeks.

What am I paying for/buying that I don't really need? Buying things I don't need is definitely wasting. I understand money wasting when applied to things like latte, junk food, fad clothing, 100 pairs of shoes. I understand that buying in excess equals wasting money. But what about things that I buy and consider "needs" that aren't really needs? What can I do without? What am I paying for that I don't really need?

Paper products:
  • Do I need paper towels and napkins? What I'm wiping up is usually spilled food of some sort. That's not so gross I can't throw it in the washer. Plus, I have a ton of old cloth towels.
  • Do I need toilet paper for wiping pee-only potty bits? No, that's not really gross. Think about it. Urine is aseptic. The flora on your skin are on your skin everywhere so what goes onto the cloth toilet wipes? Aseptic fluid, skin cells, and flora. It's no different than washing your own underwear now, is it?
  • Do I need paper pantyliners for non-period days? There are some pretty easy patterns out there for sewing my own and I am very happy with the results.
What about Penniless Parent's idea of electricity:
  • Do I really need to turn on the light to change a diaper? I can change a diaper in the dark at 3am. Why do I turn the light on at 3pm to change the baby?
  • Do I need the stairway light on when I can see all the way to the bottom without it?
  • If it costs me $1 every time I run the drier, as Penniless Parent claims, then I'm costing myself $1 any time I don't get the laundry out of the drier before it wrinkles. That's wasting.

Here's where it gets a little hinky. Space and potential profit. It's possible to be wasting both space, with unwanted crap, and potential profit at the same time.
  • Do my children play with all of their toys? No. Is it costing me money to hang onto them? No. BUT... I could be earning money from the things we no longer use if I would stop hanging onto them and sold them. See? I'm wasting money by not making money because I don't want to sell something I don't use.
  • Do I really need skinny jeans and fat jeans? Do I need to hang onto the pants I wore before having two children? I'm unlikely to fit into them before they go out of style. I am wasting closet space on them.
What else is there that I could stop paying for without changing my lifestyle?

1 comment:

Blogger said...

Just received a check for $500.

Sometimes people don't believe me when I tell them about how much you can earn by taking paid surveys from home...

So I show them a video of myself getting paid over $500 for filling paid surveys to set the record straight once and for all.