Saturday, July 07, 2012

Reading "Living the Savvy Life"

Purchased the book, "Living The Savvy Life" by Melissa Tosetti and Kevin Gibons, recently and have found it full of good advice.  My husband has been skimming over the pages too and keeps telling me, "we do it right" and I guess we do and have for a long time.   We have carved out a life for ourselves that has centered around needs more than wants.  Granted, now that the children are all grown and married, we have a bit more spending money for things we enjoy but even so, we are big on not spending needlessly.  I am not as good at that as my husband is, but he has been a good influence on me over the years and I have come to the place where just about every purchase I make comes with some serious thinking attached to it...."do I need this?"  "Will it be something of value for more than 10 minutes after its purchase ?"  And the big question I ask is..."Am I just in a buying mood ?"  Right now I am trying to decide on what kind of Gas Range I want for the kitchen.  We were going to do a big re-do in the kitchen, new counter tops, cabinets etc, then I thought about it and to be honest, I would be doing that just for show, I don't care about the counter tops or new cabinets, the ones we have work fine for my needs.  The cabinets hold my food and dishes without complaint and the counter tops hold the gadgets and provide a good work surface.   Nothing is chipped or stained.   But the stove, that's a different story.  Our daughter needs a new stove, ours is only a couple years old.  Works great but I would like a 6 burner range, and am thinking with all the baking I do, a convection oven would be nice.  So, I would give my daughter our present stove and buy a bit more expensive one for myself to cook on and put the money on the gas range rather than a big re-do in the kitchen.  I will be happy with new paint for the walls and perhaps a tile back splash.   I really don't want a big fancy kitchen, I don't need to impress my friends or family and when I think about the history of our house, I am sure in its near 100 years, many wonderful meals have been made here under far less than I have at present.   I am being savvy about what changes I make.  Going for a better gas range and the rest is just looks.    In this book, "Living The Savvy Life" there is a quote that many would do well to copy and past across the check book or the debit card..."Save money on the things that aren't as important to you so you can afford to spend money on the things that are important to you."   Then the author goes on to say..."It sounds easy, right ? And yet, how many times have you gone into a store such as Target or Wal-Mart for one or two items and walked back to your car pushing a shopping cart loaded with bags?  As you walked through the store, things kept "jumping" into your cart.  You didn't realize how many stowaways you had until you started loading your car."    How many of us can relate ?
Living savvy is not about being cheap, its about thinking purchases through and deciding seriously what is important to you.  Some folks have travel dreams and never realize that all those things that jump into the cart that you really don't need, could have been passed by, money saved, and that special trip a reality in no time at all. 
Our children never realized just how poor we were when they were growing up because we spend our money on the things that were important to the family, to them, rather than on things like a total makeover of the kitchen or a new car.   They didn't care what the counter tops were made of or what the washing machine looked like.   They wanted farm animals and a pony to ride.  They didn't care if the refrigerator was not the most modern color.  They liked having parents that were not burdened down with worry over needless debt.  They enjoyed having parents that didn't fight about money like so many of their friends had.    When our grandchildren come to visit, they like that we have made toys for them and that its a house that is filled with love.   They have never said, "your kitchen is so outdated Grammie" or asked, "Why don't you have a better car? "  They only say, "We want to stay longer Grammie and can we come back again tomorrow ?"    


Jacqui said...

I'm also reading this book and so far I'm enjoying it. It's already made me realize that I can put a little more of my monthly spending money away to savings. My husband reads financial planning and investing books for pleasure but I've never been able to get past the first couple of pages. This is one that I will finish!

I think more about the things that I buy now as well. I gave up the "shopping as entertainment" idea a few years ago and it has made a big difference to how much money there is left at the end of each month. And it makes it easier to pay off the credit card each month too!!

I'm looking forward to getting more ideas from this book as I read through to the end.

By the way Patty, I just love the red oil lamp at the top of your blog. Its beautiful!!


Morning's Minion said...

We continue to be frugal and simple in retirement--it is a way of life. There have been some inroads on our savings which couldn't have been predicted and surely the economic forecast is not encouraging. We are comfortble, blessed.
Re the kitchen range: we put very nice ones in the homes we built/sold in Wyoming--I have to say there were a lot of 'bells and whistles' that I didn't use.
All of the appliances had to be replaced in the little house we bought in KY. We went with good quality, but more basic styles. Since I do considerable canning here I wish a gas range had been an option instead of electric, but major conversion would have been required.
Hopefully there are still families teaching their young people the difference between need and want--"wants" indulged can be of very fleeting satisfaction.

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