Conscious Consumption – pt.1

    I think it is a fairly obvious that buying ‘stuff’ is a regular part of life. Some of these purchases are absolutely necessary, like food. Other purchases are more flexible, such as clothes (since most of us probably have more than we really need). Finally, we have a dangerous and arbitrary category of spending called wants. This article will focus on the later.
    I recently finished the book Playing with FIRE by Scott Rieckens. It was an interesting read largely due to the fact that his background was so different from my own (I would classify his spending as big earner/big spender). He also interviews most of the big names in early retirement. This book contained plenty of lessons, but one really stood out to me. Scott used this exercise to help get his wife on board with his new found frugality. His advice is:
“Make a list of the ten things you most enjoy doing on a weekly basis.”*
    I will admit that at first I scoffed at this idea. I usually don’t go for these types of self help plans. However, for some reason this idea was stuck in my head so I went ahead and did it. I didn’t tell my wife at this point – I can clearly picture her eyes rolling. Below is my top 10 list. Next week will be part two of this post. If you decide to make your own list take your time and be honest with yourself.**
My list of things that make me happiest in a regular week:
  1. Morning coffee and weekend newspaper
  2. Working on a project
  3. Walking, lifting, exercising
  4. Riding any bike for any reason
  5. Cooking dinner with a drink
  6. Eating as a family
  7. Friday night pizza
  8. 8:00 T.V. time with kids
  9. Reading a good book
  10. Running financial numbers
Enjoy the ride,
*The idea behind a ‘regular week’ is that most of our time is spent in everyday life as opposed to exciting and fun experiences we might have on vacation for example. 
**No comparing notes if you and your significant other are making a list. Once you are both done then you can compare away.
Getting dinner ready