Thursday, September 30, 2010

Making Do With What You Have

Creative thinking and being willing to compromise goes a long way when your goal is to either save money, be more earth friendly, or declutter.

I'm not a big spender by any means and very rarely am I overtaken by a case of the "wants". So when I actually do desire something that would make my life easier and it isn't insanely expensive, it sometimes sparks an urge to spend that may not be so wise.

Between my homeschooling my kids, making things from scratch, doing housework, and working as a cleaning woman for other families, I somehow need to find some time in there somewhere to write posts for this blog. By the time I get around to sitting at the computer without kids clinging on to me, its often late at night... and then the quality of my posts sometimes suffer.
To counter that, I try to write more when the mood strikes me and my mind is more focused because I'm less tired. The problem is that those times are not usually when I have my computer readily accessible. The muse in me usually comes out when I am sitting in the park with my kids, waiting for the bus, or while working at a cleaning job. Until now, I've been making sure to carry notebooks around with me everywhere I go, so that when an idea pops into my head I have where to write it down.
Those notebooks are good but not the best solution. I usually don't end up completing a post in one go, just roughly half or three quarters of a post in one shot. It is quite annoying to have to write it all by hand and then need to type up everything, essentially writing the same information twice. Not to mention tedious and time consuming. I tend to push off typing up my hand written posts for so long that when I actually do get around to typing it up, I forget where I had intended to go with the post, so it ends up getting tossed, or at least pushed to the very back back burner.

While I do have a laptop, its battery is completely dead. But even if I could use my laptop without a charger, it is too bulky for me to carry around with me on a regular basis.
When I heard about netbooks, I really wanted one. So bad. I was absolutely convinced that a netbook would be the key to my sanity, the solution to getting to sleep on time, and absolutely a justifiable work expense. Best of all, a netbook is relatively cheap, so I was trying to convince myself and my husband to buy a second hand one (if I could find it) with my blog revenue.

After I carefully explained to my husband my reasoning for wanting to spend money on a netbook, my husband cocked his head to the side, begging for clarity. "You mean you just want to buy the netbook to be able to write up posts?"
"Yea," I answered, "I don't even care about the internet. It would probably even be better for me to not have the internet on it as it's just too addicting."
"If you just want it for writing up things, why not just use my Palm Pilot?"

My husband had a PDA since he was a teenager, now just sitting unused in our home. It really was the perfect solution to my dilemma of how to write while out and not need to retype everything once I get home. With the Palm Pilot, I can transfer the written document directly onto my computer, saving me the annoyance and hassle of typing up the handwritten pages.
This creative solution of my husband helped me make use of an item that had just been taking up space, saved me the expensive of buying a netbook, and will probably work better for me anyhow as a palm pilot is much more portable and conveninent to carry around than a netbook. And if I hadn't had a palm pilot already, I could have bought one second hand for as little as 20 or 25 dollars, loads cheaper than even a cheap netbook!

Anyhow, I'm just all psyched up about this new idea and already have tomorrow's post partially typed up on the Palm Pilot.

There's so many ways you can make do with what you have to not need to spend money on new things. From using a pot to boil water on the stove instead of a kettle (electric or otherwise) to using bottles or jars instead of rolling pins. From using pieces of wood and boxes for furniture to folding up cloths and using them in lieu of mama pads or disposable sanitary napkins. The options are limitless, the savings plentifold.
All it takes is a bit of creativity, thinking outside the box, and being willing to compromise.

How have you made do with what you had instead of going to buy something new? What did you use that you already had instead of going out and purchasing something to use?

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