Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Less is More

Want to buy a house for $50K? Well you can right here in the DC Metro area. It's true and it's unreal all at the same time. Everywhere you look these days houses are going into foreclosure, being abandoned and just taking six months or more to sell at prices lower than the appraised tax value.

House flipping has naturally taken a hit as well. With our most recent flip we sold it not in our regular fast pace of less than a week or even less than 24 hours but it took two months, two price drops and accepting an offer that made us little profit. It's disheartening at best but it is a sign of the times.

Reading the Washington Post fashion section in the Sunday Source this past weekend it became clear that even in that realm things are taking a hit. Designers are not offering up a lot of new things this season either. What was in style last summer or a spring must-have is the same this year. Gladiator sandals, patent shoes and bags, chunky jewelry and bright, bold colors are in again. Stores are reluctant to put new items on their shelves that most likely will not move as we have less and less disposable income.

While this can all seem quite depressing, especially if you are trying to sell or keep your home (a whole other issue not related to this post), I have found that it can also be a time of reflection. While consumerism is down due to lack of funds (what are you doing with your economic stimulus check? Let me guess. Paying bills?) it helps to realize that sometimes we need that step back to think about how we essentially need to consume less. Less is more. Those with more are statistically proven to not be any happier than those who consume or have less. Some people are even taking this time to buy nothing. While the 'Story of Stuff' has been making the rounds on YouTube it certainly warrants another look. We are indeed a nation of consumers and it is scary.

I'll step off my tiny soap box now and let you think about this for a second. Maybe if you are not of the mind to not buy anything for one whole month maybe try to just buy and consume less. OK, back on the box. Use less gas by eating out less. Sit down with our families more. Only buy what is on our list at Target this week. I know that is a tough one for everyone including yours truly. Try it for a day, a week, or a month and see where it gets you. Our wallets will be fatter and I can bet that our hearts will be a bit lighter too. It could be a great Project Life Change idea and something fun for the whole family.

I'm off the box now. And I don't feel like making my Target run today after all. I do however feel like going to the library and taking a walk with my kid.


  1. Preach it sister :-) As you know, simple living is one of my "things". Speaking of the housing market...we'd love to move closer to Wayne's work but we don't DARE try to sell our house in this market. But of course, with gas prices...we're paying a fortune in gasoline too. So eh, stinks either way I suppose.

  2. Gayle2:13 PM

    I love this post. I try, try to stick to that - only buy what's on the list, don't shop for the sake of shopping. It's hard when this society urges you to spend everywhere you turn. I just posted on my work blog about recycling and re-using -,,20007164_20171835_20201771,00.html

  3. Amen, girl! Less is so so much more.


Thanks for commenting! It's always good to hear from a reader and not say, a robot.