Friday, May 30, 2008

thoughts on stuff and debt and gifts

I have a new goal and it involves spending money only when I have it.  Unfortunately, this isn't always possible, as...hey, a girl's gotta eat, right?  

J and I had dinner with a few people last weekend (Caribbean food, yum...) and they had both a) unplugged their TV* and b) stopped using credit cards. Revolutionary, right?  (a bit.)

Two weekends back, we were at All City Coffee (our new caffeinated haunt) and the woman behind the counter had a very awesome flower-shaped necklace on that she had made with her credit card (cut up once it was paid off).  

I used to live debt-free (remember that? wow.) and now we have a bit of debt that's working for us (think mortgage!) and a bit that's not working for us (car payment anyone? credit card debt full of vet bills and repaired engines?)
Also, I've been thinking a lot lately about STUFF and how much we have.  We have too much. I have too much. You probably do too.  More to dust, more to move around with you, more to step around when navigating through the world.  J and I went to a design conference this week called 101 things designers can do to save the earth, put on--for free!--by svc and aiga.  The keynote speaker was Eric from design can change and he admitted to being a consummate consumer.  He loves stuff as much as the rest of us, but he's lately been thinking about how having a lot of stuff is really inconvenient.  Just think about America--we love to store our stuff.   Do we really need this much stuff? So much stuff that we can pay to have someone else warehouse it for us? What does that stuff DO for us?  Anything good?

all this to say that when Mother's Day came up a couple weeks ago, we decided that handmade cards mean more (and make a lot more sense) than spending money on things our mothers may or may not want, and could probably afford to buy on their own should they want to.  (none of us is living in poverty here ya'll.)  

and with that, i'm off to goodwill to donate more stuff we don't use or need.

*we recently did this a way. first the tv went to live in a room we never spend time in. then we got rid of the cable. now we're down to 12 channels and...gasp...nothing to watch!  it's fantastic.  we still get netflix, but then we're only watching what we want when we want to. no vegging for us!  do you know how much more time there is in an evening without any television? it's actually amazing.


Christy said...

Oh I'm totally with you. We just moved and boy I had way more crap than I really knew so we purged lots of it before moving! And we aren't having cable either- it's weird how much more productive we are... although I do miss me an episode of The Hills now and again- but it's all online anyhow, just in case I need to see something.

Rebekah said...

I love to make my own cards, too. The response I get is the reason I keep doing it, too - people appreciate the thought that goes into something handmade.

I have a pile in the garage right now that needs to head to Goodwill tomorrow!