Cheap Trick #1: Make Do – When you run out of something, don’t replace it!
This trick may seem oversimplified, but it works.
We live in a world where we think every need we have should be met. We are deserving, entitled, and might I even say coddled? We are treated and we treat ourselves in an overindulgent way.
It’s not bad to need.
Let me say that again. It’s not bad to need!
That statement goes against everything we know to be right and good and true in this world, at least it goes against our first world frame of mind.
Make Do – Practical Living
Let me help make this vague concept a tangible reality.
How many times do you run to the store for milk or bread or eggs in one week?
If you run out of any of those items, will you die of starvation before your next regularly scheduled grocery shopping trip?
My friends, it’s very doubtful.
Your kids can eat dry cereal for two days in a row and live to tell the tale. Maybe it will even become a story as big as a legend one day – like the one our parents tell us about walking miles uphill to school in the snow with only plastic bags covering their shoes.
Let’s up the ante.
What if you run out of coffee?
Ok, ok, calm down! I won’t dare go there.
My point is that we’re conditioned to rid ourselves and our lives from need. We are programmed to fill needs the moment they happen. That’s not always a financially great idea.
Making do with what we have is a lost art.
“We’re making do.”
Nobody even says that anymore!
When was the last time you “made do” with what you have?
You may have a very real need, but needs aren’t a bad thing. It means you’re living life well and you’ve used up what you have. Delaying gratification may even give you more satisfaction when your need is fulfilled.
I didn’t learn this lesson until my husband began a new job and got paid once a month.
We had two babies and I was always accustomed to getting paid weekly. I had to adjust my entire way of thinking. I needed to either grocery shop for a month at a time or figure out a way to budget my grocery money over the course of a month. It was difficult at first. Those first few months we ran out of things. The money was used up too quickly and I resorted to scrounging around the very dark recesses of my cabinets to find ingredients for dinner. We ate Ramen noodles a few times too many, but we survived.
I learned that when I ran out of something, I could wait to replace it or not replace it at all.
This wasn’t just about grocery shopping. It was everything in life – clothes, shoes, hair products, makeup, cleaning supplies, etc.
When I had no choice, I learned to made do with what I had.
Many years later, me and my bank account are better off for learning that lesson.
Take a few minutes and think of two areas where you can make do. If you’re feeling especially brave this morning, share them in the comments and help encourage others to make do with what they have and save some money along the way.
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