Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hunkering Down? Getting Depressed?

My good buddy, Birdsong clued me into the blog Peak Oil Blues and it's message of staying positive in these times of fear and foreboding.

I've put a link in the sidebar to the article that she's addressing in several blog posts to date (and a couple of upcoming ones) and have been considering how I might extend what she and the article's original author, Kathy McMahon, recommend. Staying positive is a challenge when all around you are wringing their hands and spouting doom and gloom!

I'm already working on reducing expenses and cutting waste, and of course, there's the garden (oh, please let me enjoy some of it, you lovely deer, you!).

That 3-Tier System of "necessities, conveniences, and other" for relegating the things I buy? That seems to be the most pro-active thing I can do for the rest of this month. The article suggests a week. I'm going about it for the next 16 days. I'm writing it all down. I'll have a little notebook in my purse. And I'm making no personal purchases online between now and then.

(Oh my, did I just say that?) I did say personal - not business.

I promise to only buy the necessities, and after a week, see if the "conveniences" have somehow justifiably become necessities or have fallen off the list, altogether.

I know, the last time I tracked things, using the guidelines of Your Money Or Your Life, I was appalled to learn how much money I was spending on magazines.

It made a huge impact to see it in black and white. I stopped. Cold Turkey - Now if I want a magazine? I stop by Barnes & Noble, and look at it. These days the only magazines I buy there are an occasional knitting magazine for the patterns inside, and I don't do many of those.

I currently subscribe to three magazines: Interweave Knits, Traditional Home, and AARP The Magazine (ok, that's free with my AARP membership). And may I explain about the Traditional Home? I subscribed 8 years ago. I accidentally paid for 4 years. I haven't stopped receiving it yet. I never renew, tho' every so often I get their renewals in the mail...what IS up with that, after all?

Those three? It's way down from about 8-10 at my zenith! (And most of what I got back then in the "bad old days?" I still have...when I want a magazine? I read one of them!)

So it's effective to see what you think is necessary, what you have as a "gazingus pin" to quote YMOYL. (That's a knee-jerk item that you buy because you "have to have it" - everyone has these things, and often there's really no rhyme or reason behind why you have to have them!)

It's time to think about my purchases again. Finding steps you can take to feel in control is the best medicine to fight the stress of the times!

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