Is It Downsizing Time?






Recreational/Athletic - music/films/books/tapes, camping/sports equipment, seminars, club memberships, personal trainers, costly vacations/timeshares, gambling/lottery tickets, season tickets:
Are there more opportunities for downsizing simplification for you in this list?…

Magazines that are mailed to your home are a subscription expense (and a landfill filler, if they can't be recycled where you are). Also, online subscriptions of various types - even if the subscription itself isn't paid for - often lead to expenditures you wouldn't otherwise have made (or known about). You might evaluate all the email lists you're on and consider unsubscribing from those that end up asking you to buy, donate, or subscribe further... so you won't be tempted to.

Many a recreation cost can be positively offset by your local library. A lot of people have let lending libraries fade out of their lives. In most, you can borrow books, ebooks, films, audiotapes, and sometimes even music CDs. Of course, this is only to a certain degree, i.e., not necessarily precise titles on your wish list – though books, at any rate, are usually available on interlibrary loan, and some library consortia also trade audiovisual materials amongst themselves. And why not organize a lending club amongst your friends/family/co-workers? If you’ve been spending a lot of money on these items, it could save you a bundle. (And if you've been watching flicks just to "get your money's-worth" out of your Netflix subscription, it could save you a lot of time, too!)

Some people go to seminar after seminar, seeking any number of things along the self or financial improvement lines, usually). Expensive, often. Might it at this time be wiser to focus on downsizing and simplification? – a question to ask yourself, at any rate (and maybe a pursuit that holds some of the answers you’ve been looking for?). Also, there are lots of good seminars available on tape, possibly at your local library, or via podcasts online.

Then there are the more energetic costly recreations...

Camping and sports equipment options:  rent, borrow, co-own; don’t insist on upgrading all the time, as some do (unless there’s a good reason for that, of course).

Country clubs, yacht clubs, and other social establishments are pricey, as you probably know. Perhaps you’re interested in downsizing in other ways so that you can comfortably afford such a milieu! – and that’s cool. Otherwise, if the club fees you’re used to shelling out are getting in your way of enjoying life, maybe it’s time to disassociate from the organization and enjoy the activity in another fashion?

Athletic clubs can be very useful for getting you in shape while providing socialization opportunities (which tend to provide incentives for getting in shape). Far be it from me to preach against participating in such a gym, or using a personal trainer, if it’s the only way to motivate yourself to change for the good. …But periodic reassessments are always useful. (Maybe you’ve changed enough to warrant doing more on your own? – allowing you to save those ongoing expenses.) Hmm, try a short-term martial arts class as a change of pace?

Fancy vacations might be fun… but you can have plenty of fun enjoying the luxury of time off in other ways – if you so choose. Timeshares may sound like a good deal, but they're one of the most expensive of recreation options (i.e., they might be a deal if you're used to lavishing a whole lot of cash on resort stays). If you’re a timeshare owner (or have thought of becoming one), have you really looked at the cost of owning a short-term stay in a suite vs. simply renting one wherever you want to go?… and maybe not going anywhere resort-y some years? Maybe you’ve enjoyed the "fancies" enough for awhile and would like to downsize to a close-to-home vacation, visit to family, or whatever, instead. (Or trade homes with a friend for awhile, if getting away is what it’s really all about!)

All those lottery tickets add up (you do acknowledge it as gambling, don’t you?); and the odds are bad. Judicious downsizing will probably bring you a far bigger payoff than any casino gaming you might do!

About those season tickets... No way am I going to tell you not to be a supporter of the arts or a favorite sports team; and yes, I know you save money on each ticket by buying a bunch. But if you wish to save cash, here's another spot where you might do so - if you choose to be choosey. You know, go to two baseball games, not ten (and fill in with your local Little League? - you don't have to be a parent to enjoy watching kids play ball!).




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Gordon Pioneering - Copyright 2007 & onward