I just got back from a weekend Downeast—a remote part of Maine where not much happens. Lots and lots of natural beauty but when it comes to the things in life that we usually take for granted, it’s a different world. And, without all those distractions that we think are a natural part of life, it struck me how easy it is to not spend money.
First, of all, we don’t have television—or at least one that gets any stations (not even one). Because we’re only up there sporadically, it just doesn’t make sense to pay for Cable or Dish or Direct TV. A huge savings in itself, but also a savings because there are no commercials promoting consumerism or showing the latest, greatest whatever.
Secondly, we don’t have internet. Now, if I want to, I can hook to my brother-in-law’s across the street—but it’s not worth the aggravation. So, if I really need to access the internet, I go to his house for some focused internet time—not the perpetual, intermittent surfing that distracts me with lots and lots of messages (including those about money).
Thirdly, the closest “big” stores are a half hour away—and by big I mean a grocery store, a Walmart and a hardware store. So, shopping as a past time just isn’t an option unless you want to drive two hours to the big city of Bangor! Again, if you want to spend money it takes a little more work.
So, maybe my new money program will be “LLD: Live Like Downeasters”. It will be all about managing distractions (and money messages) by simply turning them off. Because living a distracted life is what allows all those money messages to make our decisions. The intention of LLD would be to save money. But it would have some pretty great side effects too: free time for relaxation, conversation, reading and more. And, the best part? Those are all free!
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