July 9, 2008

Is Being Frugal Becoming Trendy?

According to MSNBC, the answer is "yes," ("Is Frugal The New Black?") but only because the economy is causing belts to tighten around the country.

I suppose this is good news for everyone involved in simplifying their lives, although it may mean more competition at estate sales and thrift stores for the good finds ... but I think it forgets a large segment of the Simplicity Population.

There are many of us who have chosen to simplify our lives because of the quality of life that results from this lifestyle change. It's not all about the money, and I think this may make a big difference in how happy you are with your new frugality.

For example, this morning I awoke to the sound of the 5:30 am cannon, which I'm told is the same cannon that Fort Sam soldiers used to start the day when Geronimo was still being held in their Quadrangle. A cool breeze was coming through the windows, and I could smell the honeysuckle.

It was a nice way to start a great day. Never once did I consider that I didn't have the air conditioner going, and I didn't jump up and rush to anywhere after slamming the alarm clock off.

It did, however, make me stop and thank God for how I'm living now, versus how I lived Back Then, and it's that feeling of joy, for lack of a better word, that I find is missing from the MSNBC report.

For more information:

What Is Simplifying? Should You Do It?

Declaration Of Independence From Overconsumption

Buying a Good Used Car

With rising gas prices, a different car might be a good idea for the family budget.

Would the monthly cost of the car payment, with lower gasoline costs, outweigh your current gas bill - even if the current vehicle is paid off? As prices rise, that answer may be "yes" a lot more often.

If you want to investigate a used car (why not new? simplicity folk don't pay for the depreciation cost of driving a new car off the lot), check out the following sites:

1. Consuler Reports.org

You can read the alphabetical list of best, and worst, used cars for 2008 without cost; for details (like rankings), Consumer Reports wants you to subscribe. (Check out the ratio between foreign and domestic here, it's just sad.)

2. Forbes' Best and Worst Certified Used Cars for 2008

Forbes ranks certified used cars - those that have been retooled by the manufacturers and get extended warranties - and the Honda Accord, Toyota 4Runner, Acura TL, Subaru Impreza, and Lexus GS come out on top. Oh, and here there not "used," they're "pre-owned." Right. To be really hip, call them "CPO" - certified pre-owned.

3. The Car Connection. These are car guys and they report regularly on all things automotive. Their picks for used cars (they don't go for CPO) are: Toyota Corolla, Toyota Solara, Honda Accord, Chevy Malibu, Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis, Infiniti I30, Lexus LS400, Mazda Miata, Lexus RX300 ... and because you're following a simplified lifestyle, you won't buy a Corvette or a Porsche, but you still might like to know they made the list.
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