IN THE HOME YOU'VE GOT > WAYS
TO SAVE >
- music/films/books/tapes, camping/sports equipment, seminars, club memberships,
personal trainers, costly vacations/timeshares, gambling/lottery tickets, season
Are there more opportunities for downsizing simplification for you in this
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, 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.
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
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
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!
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!).