Stimulating the Economy

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After four months, eight stores, three babysitters and four grandparent interventions, the Basi family has triumphed! At length and at last, we finally managed to buy a couch!

http://www.englandfurniture.com/ourfurniture/product.aspx?pid=42

As a matter of fact, we also bought a glider rocker and ottomon, over which I have been salivating since the day I fell asleep nursing Julianna at my brother-in-law’s house. Ah, bliss. New living room furniture!

This was our second weekend of major purchases. Last weekend we took the fruits of our labor to St. Louis Mills and cleared out half of our wish list for the house. (The cheap half, but nonetheless.) We also got to shop for our new niece, which was wwwwaaaaay too much fun–for me, at least. You see, we have been blessed with very generous friends and siblings, who have made it virtually unnecessary to spend a penny on clothes for Julianna, and no more than a few dollars on Alex. I’ve always been grateful for this…until I walked through Carters and Baby Depot, and realized the fun I’ve been missing.

Generally, Christian and I leave a very low purchasing “footprint” on the world. Every Friday when we take out the trash and recycling , I am appalled by the number of trash bags at every house around us. We set out one trash bag (1/2-3/4 full) and one box or bag of paper recycling, plus one “blue bag” about every other week.

We used to think our trash output would catch up to everybody else’s once we had kids. But Alex’s arrival didn’t make a hoot’s difference. (We use cloth diapers and I nursed without pacifiers or bottles. Incidentally, we are HUGE cloth diaper fans.) Julianna’s increased it enough to notice…barely. Even when we moved, we only set out about three or four bags. There’s no getting around it: we just aren’t big consumers.

We buy used; we use things until they literally fall apart. My favorite example is the TV we owned until right before Alex was born, when it simply went “pop!” and stopped working. 🙂 It was a Sony that Christian watched with his best friend in the fourth grade. It had 15 push buttons, one of which (the power button) was missing and had to be operated by a very sophisticated remote control: a screwdriver.

We got baby furniture from my aunt, a wind-up swing  and no-tech bouncy seat from a local friend; Christian built a toybox and a bathroom stool. So I always roll my eyes when people fret about the cost of raising children. And the fact that the economy is falling apart because now everyone else has to live the way we have always lived…that disturbs me. If America can only prosper by consuming way more than necessary or even appropriate… That’s not a good thing.

So speaks theory…but wow, it’s hard to cling to ideals in the face of those absolutely adorable Easter dresses!

5 thoughts on “Stimulating the Economy

  1. Reader

    If only we could all be as righteous as you and Christian. Granted we all think our way is the RIGHT way, but good grief!

  2. Shelley

    Wow! There is always someone ready to rain on someone’s parade. Good for you Kate! If James and I were as thoughtful and thrifty as you and Christian, we wouldn’t be working on getting out of debt.

  3. Sarah

    Maybe I should add my 2 cents. We live in much the same way as Kate, but we have given up cloth diapers. I may use them for the first few months with a newborn, but I find it too dificult after the babies are eating lots of solid food-too yucky. But I will say that it is always such a challenge not to be consumers…not to WANT everything that averyone is advertising in both subtle and not so subtle ways. It is contsatly a challenge not to want a new TV, grill, appliances, etc. Something probably most americans struggle with. I keep telling myself that we in the US live such a wealthy lifestyle, in many places the struggle is for food and shelter, something most of us don’t think twice about.

  4. I loved this entry! I have also written about what we do to save money, or to live more frugally. I am not as good as you two, though, and strive to be more like you. You were not being self-righteous, you were just being honest and I appreciate the lesson and advice!

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