I’ve been listening to the radio this morning and have heard several references to how the economy in the UK is now allegedly booming. The point was made that this recovery is based on consumers going more into debt and by rising house prices, again fuelled by households taking on more debt in the form of mortgages. The policy of keeping interest rates low deters people from saving and encourages them to spend, so the thinking goes.
It seems to me that living simply means being contrarian, not following the herd and not buying in (if you’ll excuse the pun) to the prevailing culture. So if you’re going to live simply you will want to ignore advertising and pronouncements in the media as well as spending less and spending consciously. It means that recognising that paying off debt and saving is a good thing.
It isn’t easy in the face of constant bombardment. You will feel as if you are out of step with the whole of society, but like any other habit, it gets easier with time. Here are a few suggestions I’ve tried which work for me:
- Listen to your instincts – if they are telling you what you are hearing is wrong, it almost certainly is.
- If watching commercial TV avoid advertising – record programmes, watch them later and whizz through the adverts.
- Cut down on reading / watching / listening to the news. Be aware that others have an agenda and vested interests which may not be in keeping with living a simple, debt free life.
- Know your triggers when it comes to spending. Mine are when I am bored and unhappy.
- Pay off debt and save, even if interest rates are low. Having a bit in savings gives you breathing space.
What works for you in learning to swim against the tide?
Until next time, Tawney x