Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ten Things Tuesday--Luxury verses Necessity

I had a conversation last week with an old friend about certain things being necessary for life. He doesn't understand how I can be happy and content living hand to mouth most of the year. So here are ten things we can all live without but choose not to, in my opinion anyway.

1.) The internet. My husband and I are both out of school, neither of us work a job where e-mail or internet access is utilized. My children are too small to be using the internet for school. Even if we did need it, the library provides free access. The internet is a luxury. I can absolutely live without it (although writing this blog without it would be difficult.

2.) Cars and Drivers Licenses. People in New York or other major cities might already get this. I live in small town USA though.  I have a number of friends who walk or bus everywhere they need to go. My sister-in-law didn't get her drivers license until she was nearly 30. I can get almost everywhere I want to go on foot or via the bus. The exceptions being my father-in-law's house and my sister-in-law's house.
Carry this in your purse.

3.) Cell Phones. I am old enough to remember when the only phone we had was tied to the wall of our kitchen. My very first phone was connected to the wall next to my bed. If I wasn't home, I couldn't talk. If I wasn't home and needed to make a call, I dropped 25 cents in the payphone. There was no texting. Honestly, sometimes I leave my cellphone at home on purpose to relive those days.

4.)  TV, Netflix, Hulu, etc. Yes, I have TV and yes I love it. However, in the summer time, the TV is lucky to get turned on for 5 hours a week. (That's an hour a day Monday thru Friday) and that's not just because there is nothing on when you don't have satellite or cable. Honestly, at least a part of the childhood obesity epidemic would be cured if kids climbed trees and played in the dirt. And reading requires more imagination.

5.) Canned Foods. Once upon a time, you made everything from scratch or you starved. Anything pre-made is purely for our convenience.

6.) Clothes Dryer. Technically you can live without the washer too, but no one really knows how to wash clothes by hand anymore. Dryers, however, are superfluous. I do have one and I do use it. In the summer, I hang my clothes on a line. My sister-in-law hangs all her clothes from her ceiling all year long.

7.)  Credit Cards. I have never had one and, unless I need to rent a car, I never will.

9.) Microwaves. This falls under the same reasoning as canned food. It's just to make things quick and easy. Leftovers can be heated up on the stove or in the oven. If you need to thaw something, take it out the day before.

10.) Dishwasher. Don't tell my husband I know this, but dishes can be done by hand. Really.


  1. I went without a dishwasher for over ten years. Through two babies, bottles, and one VERY messy (now ex) husband.

    The best money I ever spent was installing a dishwasher 6 months after I bought this house. Saved me an hour a day to do other important things... play with the kids, sleep... you know, the OTHER important things.

    1. While I don't count it a necessity, I will not live in a house without a dishwasher. I would much rather spend the time I would washing my dishes, playing with my children or reading a good book.

  2. Brea you have a good point. There are so many things that we think we need but we do not really need. Internet is a have to be for me because I write for extra money. I too have started finding ways to cut down. I wish that we like you had never had credit cards.

    1. The internet was a hard one to choose. Well, not for me. I do acknowledge that for some, the internet is absolutely required, but for many, we just don't remember life without it.

  3. I really liked this blog post! You make an excellent point about the things that we think we "need", vs. the things we "want". :) The only thing on your list that my husband and I couldn't live without is, the internet. We are both still in school and many of our classes are on-line/blackboard based.


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