Discontented, Disenchanted and Broke

Last week I wrote a piece about the things that our forefathers never had to include in their budgets and the damage that those items are doing to our finances today. Writing that piece opened my eyes to another problem we have with our finances today. Many of us are no longer content with a simple life. As a result, we’re caught in a downward spiral where we spend thinking the next new gadget or toy will make us content, it does not, and then we spend again thinking that surely this new thing will make us content with life.

I don’t know when we lost our appreciation for the simple life, but most of those things in that earlier piece (cell phones, video games, restaurants, cars,

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8 Responses to Discontented, Disenchanted and Broke

  1. toyguy1963 says:

    Great article. i agree with so much of what you wrote. I’m finding that the more things I give up the happier i am. The internet is the really hard one for me. I could not completely give it up. Its hard to even cut down. But I only use a low priced dial up internet which most people find barbaric. Its plenty good enough for me.

  2. Ann says:

    I agree with this for the most part. But…, my dad just turned 81 and has more computers, TVs, dvr, vcr, and assorted gadgets than anyone I know. And he knows how to use them, and he always wants more gadgets.

  3. Alia says:

    Many years ago, my hubby and I agreed to wean ourselves off TV by attrition – not watching any new shows, only the shows we already loved. ER and Law and Order were the last of the originals, and now ER has ended.
    A couple shows have snuck in through the years, but right now I’m down to four shows that I DVR and watch when I have time. That’s less than 4 hours a week, plus some news each day, which is WAY lower than the national average, I’m sure. Besides, three kids under 11 keeps me busy enough…

  4. Johnny says:

    Gosh I’m a programmer, so I feel like a traitor, but one word kept coming to me reading this: Amen! I am so tired of crap and clutter in my life. I no longer have a tv (plenty of free movies on the Internet now), and I recently started learning guitar, and parking further from work and walking a couple miles each way. I’m interested in martial arts but finding a place that’s compatible is so far not working out, but anything to keep me outside, doing healthy, creative stuff, more power to it. Lots of nice parks to hike in where I’m living now, that’s free and fun. And I’m trying to work on getting my family to actually just sit and eat when I go to my Ma’s for gatherings, not just split up into groups!

  5. Nagel says:

    I am looking for a job right now. The Internet is a great tool for job search. Also, my partner and I share a cell phone plan – we need them for communications, emergencies and even… job search. I never use my cell phone for drawn-out lengthy conversations unless it is for long-distance with close relatives. Otherwise, we use email. Landline phone services have become actually more complicated and expensive than even cell phones in some cases.
    Anyway, even though we may regard cell phones and Internet service as necessities rather than luxurious gadgets, we also treat them as important tools in everyday communications. The trick is to decide where else to cut down on what is truly not considered a necessity, which is a personal versus budget decision.

  6. Gail says:

    Your post is a good one. So many times on forums like this you find someone desparately needing to cut back and they whine that they can’t, that they NEED all this stuff that is holding them back–my favorite is needng cable. If these people would follow your suggestions they would have a much fuller well rounded life and less need to pay for entertainment.

  7. Cindy M says:

    Good column. I wish I were more the crafty type as far as hobbies are concerned. I do a lot of using up, making do, doing without, love cooking and yard kind of things but am not particularly crafty in the conventional sense, I guess. I stumbled on Threadbangers, a very cool DIY site, and I hope the hosts get offered a prime time spot. I’m surprised we aren’t seeing more recreative efforts being pushed on national TV and especially local public TV but am glad to hear about the large underground movement especially with younger people to recycle, reuse, recreate in their own enviroments. It can be great for everybody, a great tool for bringing people together in this increasingly isolating tech society.

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