The quality of using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully.
It’s something we could all likely do with a little bit more of, isn’t it? With the ratio of household debt to disposable income approaching 150% in Canada, most of us have clearly lost sight of what our grandparents (raised in the Depression) knew and carefully practiced.
It’s more than just a store or a song, it’s about a whole new (old?) way of living. For me, it doesn’t mean going without things that I need, or even some things that I really, truly want, but it does mean being much more mindful about how and where I spend my hard-earned (and limited) money.
I won’t lie to y’all, I went through a really difficult period for a few months this year. Money was tight, and I don’t mean “oh darn, I can’t buy that new Coach purse I wanted this month”-tight. Clearly, something needed to change. As a single mom this was the wakeup call I needed to change those old double-income spending habits and adjust to my new single-income reality.
So I made a budget, I tracked my spending, and I looked for ways to save. I found many, and made some big changes. And it’s working. For the first time in a long while, I’m able to live comfortably without that nagging worry that I might not have enough to make ends meet this month.
One of the biggest changes I made was to look first for second-hand gear before buying new. That goes for kids’ bikes, ski- and snowboard-gear, even clothing and furniture. And when a new Value Village store opened up just a few blocks away right when I was in the midst of implementing these changes, well…it seemed like a great opportunity. My first find still holds a special place in my heart: a bar-height dining set that was priced at $149.99 but I got for around $105 because it was 30% discount day when I bought it. I had been dreaming about a new kitchen set for ages, but couldn’t justify spending the $500+ a new one was going to cost. Now every time I walk into my kitchen I smile.