Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts tagged Money

December 26 is celebrated as “Boxing Day”  in some countries. The name comes from the tradition that on the day after Christmas well-to-do families would give a box of money or presents to their servants or customers. I remembered this as I was cleaning up after Christmas and was struck by the extraordinary number of cardboard […]

In the spirit of end of the year lists, I offer you my 10 Best Living Lightly Tips of 2016. The first 6 are my own. The last 4 come from other bloggers I respect. Most can be read in under 2 minutes. The Beauty of Empty – 8 practical steps to unclutter any part of your […]

We were robbed last week. Someone took Jim’s golf clubs out of the trunk of our car and my prescription glasses out of the front seat. Our car wasn’t locked and it was in our open garage. Still it felt like a personal violation and it takes time to replace stuff. After allowing ourselves some […]

My last blog post dealt with when is a bargain not a bargain. (See Deal or No Deal) Now I’d like to expand on that by evaluating a few other items that involve weighing time vs. money. How much is my time worth? The bench mark I’m starting to establish for myself is that a discount […]

In my never ending quest to save both time and money, I’ve noticed that these two values are often at odds with each other. Saving time can cost money (eating out, hiring someone to clean the house, scouring stores or the internet for bargains) and saving money can cost time (see my 3 recent experiences […]

I’ve been saving pruning my desk files for a weekend – when I have more time. Unfortunately/Fortunately this past weekend was Pig Town Fling – an annual weekend contradance which “required” my full presence and hosting 5 people. My nod to giving stuff away took the form of donating 2 contra dresses to the dress […]

At my stage of life (children sprung, I work at home) I don’t need to buy stuff as often as I did when our kids were outgrowing clothes and I needed an office wardrobe. Bottom line – I don’t do much shopping. However, underwear does wear out and thus I embarked on what I thought […]

As we approach the season of Thanksgiving and Gift Giving, my mind turns to how to be generous. What is truly helpful vs. what  just adds to another’s clutter, feeds an addiction, or stresses the environment. First, let me say that it is possible to overthink this generosity thing. At its core generosity is about […]

After my mother died last spring my brothers and I inherited some tangible household items and memorabilia along with some money, mostly in the form of stocks. In hindsight, deciding what to do with the physical items was relatively easy. I swapped out some of our more raggedy furniture for the nicer and memory laden […]

It’s Easter. Hurrah, I can spend money freely again. So.… did my Lenten commitment to not spend any money increase my solidarity with the poor? Yes, but imperfectly. It certainly raised my consciousness of my own privilege. Even though I might choose not to spend money on something or to delay an expenditure, I knew […]

Did I spend any money that did not comply with my Lenten resolution  (only food, housing, and gas) during the last two weeks? I’m not sure. $5 – Fish Fry: I justified this as both simple food (which is allowed) and a donation since it supports an inner city school $10 – Donation: Since construction prevented […]

Not counting donations, during this fourth week I spent $7. It was invisible money because my husband paid for something that included both of us and I didn’t notice – till later. That’s what happened when we went to a local contra dance last Saturday. He paid my admission of $7 and only later did I wonder if […]

This past week I spent $335 on bills from prior commitments. (I didn’t think it was fair to make merchants wait for payment because of my Lenten resolution.) $145  Professional services to self-publish my out-of-print book (Money in the Kingdom of God) on Amazon $125  Rx renewal for 3 months $  65  Pig Town Fling registration […]

As I reflect on my Lenten commitment to buy nothing (other than food, shelter, and gas) in order to grow in solidarity with the poor, it has raised my consciousness of what it means to be poor. Yesterday I wrote about my experiences at the Home & Garden Show and converting a film movie to […]

This is Day 10 of trying to spend no money and prune my file cabinet drawers (I decided to do both.) It’s been an unusual stretch of time because I’ve been out of town for 6 of the days and had company for 3 other days. Jim and I spent several hundred dollars on a […]

Lent is about to start again and I’ve got two ideas for Lenten practices. Help me decide. 1.  Don’t buy anything during Lent. I wonder if this discipline would bring me into greater solidarity with those who may not have money for the basics much less any extras. Of course there would need to be […]

Of course this question is a minefield. How much is enough depends on family size, stage of life, where you live, etc. Still, as a follow-up to our recent observations about poverty in Kenya and the growing awareness of income inequality in the USA, I wanted to know – Are Jim and I doing OK […]

I was fantasizing the other day about winning the lottery. Actually, I never buy lottery tickets since the odds are against me and thus it seems like a waste of money. Still, I started thinking of all the non-profit organizations I belong to and volunteer activities that I’m involved with. All of them could use […]

I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately and I also know that I can be frugal to a fault. So what do these 2 things have to do with each other? TIPPING: It started with a decision about whether to tip a guy in Chicago who I thought was a cab driver but who I […]

Continuing my June 1 blog’s issue about how to donate rather elegant/expensive clothing, I now turn to the opposite extreme – what about donating rather substandard items? It’s virtuous to clear out the stuff that’s cluttering our home and simplify our material possessions. This helps us find things more easily, makes for a cleaner environment, […]