Doing Without–And Not
In December, Mr. FP realized that we might be as little as six months away from complete freedom from debt if we made some smart changes. We slashed our cell phone bills, sold our fancier car, and stopped all but the most essential shopping. We had already dropped cable TV in favor of a variety of ad hoc entertainment options. I’ve avoided using disposable diapers, baby wipes, tissues, and paper towels whenever humanly possible. Instead of running the dishwasher every night, I wait until it’s packed solid, and I’ve developed much stricter standards for what is dirty enough to go in the hamper.
With the finish line so near, we’ve put off things that we might have once considered essential. Here’s a selective list of things that we’re going without, at least until we’re debt-free:
- This year’s dental cleaning. I have pretty good teeth; I think they’ll hold another nine months or so.
- New glasses for Mr. FP. His prescription hasn’t changed, but the frames are pretty worn out. He’s making do.
- Yoga pants. Mine wore out and I have been getting by just fine wearing regular pants to and from the gym, then working out in shorts.
- A new coat. My newest coat is circa 2005 and the oldest is circa 1995. I want a new, stylish one–but all the old ones still keep out varying degrees of cold and wet. So not this year. Come to think of it, six coats(!) seems excessive for one person’s use, no matter how frumpy they may be.
- Professional haircuts for the kids. Mr. FP is getting pretty good with the clippers.
- Babysitting. We went out at Thanksgiving, when we visited my parents, and again a couple of weeks ago, when they came to visit us. In between, we’ve been hanging out at home.
Unfortunately, there have been a couple of things we haven’t been able to do without. Mr. FP and I are still leery of cutting each others’ hair, so we’re getting our hair professionally cut. And I got a new HP Pavilion laptop, because my computer is my livelihood and my 2008 Macbook broke down for good.
What about you, readers? What are you doing without, temporarily or permanently? And what have you NOT been able to do without?