How much do you think you can live without? What do you think you need to survive? How long could you go without your usually modern conveniences?
I have been an involuntary lab rat. In 2013 I went 9 weeks without my car while it was repaired. We were a 1 car family with 2 jobs and 2 kids going to school. Last week when the car died again I wasn’t going to replace it right away but fate dropped one in my lap. So being without a car will not destroy me.
Just before Christmas our dishwasher died. Then we owed taxes so we couldn’t replace it. Then we wanted to go on vacation and said we’d replace it after vacation. Then the car died. So maybe we will replace it. Maybe we won’t. My husband is an excellent dishwasher. Just ask him.
The washing machine died almost 2 months ago. The repairman has been out a few times and yet again today, the new part didn’t work. We have one more shot and then we are sunk. The upside is that we have a recommendation on a really good washer if this one isn’t repairable. Downside is that we wasted $900 on a washing machine that only lasted 3 years. That sucks. AND to buy the one he recommends would be almost as much. The laundromat looks friendlier and friendlier…
With the washing machine I have learned the true benefit of re-wearing your clothes before washing them. Also, the benefit of a mix and match wardrobe. I never have to worry about having the one shirt to go with the one pair of pants, etc. I have only needed to do 3 loads of clothes for myself in that time. My husband has gone to the laundromat twice to do towels as well as his own and the kids clothes and we have done laundry twice while at my moms for other stuff. (Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the resident male dishwasher also does laundry. Excellently. As long as he doesn’t touch my clothes…it’s complicated.) Towels are definitely our most frequently washed items. I guess at least this has been enlightening to see what we actually use with frequency. Not having a washing machine though, is definitely most annoying.
Our family also lives with one TV in our living room and one old TV in the basement playroom that only plays videos (no cable for either, upstairs has an antennae). We have lived without cable for 8 years.
We don’t have access to high speed internet through cable either. Or satellite. We rely on an air card/hot spot. We pay for every second we are online. This too sucks. Mostly on our wallet.
I live without the newest version of the iPhone. GASP. Or any other phone really. My husband doesn’t even have a smartphone. He uses what I call a “sort-of smartphone from Tracfone that would probably take an hour to connect with the internet if we needed to. He has never had a cell phone contract. Smart man. I use the only iPhone I have ever bought, an iPhone 4. Yes, amazingly these little 3G wonders still work. Incredible isn’t it? The best part is that it’s unlocked and I switched to SmartTalk. I get more than twice the service for less than half the price of my old contract plan. I have heard that Republic wireless may be an awesome deal from several other websites. When the old iPhone 4 dies, that may be what I go with.
I no longer have Facebook on my phone and I no longer check it every day. I can definitely live without Facebook and all it’s DRAMA.
I live without a credit card balance. I lived without a car payment for several years and now my payment is average but it’s only for 4 years. And we pay stuff off early. Always. Sometimes a loan is a necessary evil. (I insured my loan too so no matter what happens, it will get paid off)
Our family lives without eating out much. I cook most of our meals. Probably 95% of them actually. We rarely do take out either. With celiac disease it’s like playing Russian Roulette anyway.
What can’t I live without? Aside from basic stuff like food, water, shelter and clothing I think this list would include a phone of some kind because I have to be on call for work once a month. Hot showers because they allow me to move in the morning. Coffee, wine, lip balm, mascara and sunscreen. I also need some way to write. My bible. The last 2 can be accomplished with my iPad but I could live without that too. I can’t live without a church either. (It’s kind of essential to Christianity actually, even if some people don’t agree with that.)
So what do you live without? What do you think you could live without? And what do you want to live without?
p.s. I’d really like to live without winter…
p.s.s. Thank you Honey for being such a handy person. You may be a freak of nature (male with abilities in the housekeeping arena) but you’re my freak and I love you silly. You’re also strong. Very strong. And manly. Very manly. Well, maybe except the apron… 😉 JK
It is my honor to wash your dishes, lug the clothes to the laundromat if necessary, mow your lawn, fix what needs fixing and buy you pug puppies. You are my life – an awesome woman and a most excellent writer.
Liz, you live such an inspired and inspiring life. More people would benefit from taking after some of your habits and practices and applying them to their own lives. It’s so important to reflect on what we really need and what we can do without. You sound like you breathe fresher air and appreciate so much more. It sounds like you have more time to really enjoy life, versus being a slave to certain norms that our culture has created. I am excited for you! Great post! Thanks for sharing and encouraging readers like me to take a more simple approach to life!
Thank you Ina! I’m just sharing my journey because I find is so helpful to read about other people too. Once you break out of “the mold” you realize how crazy it all is. You also realize how good it feels to no longer be running the rat race in the maze that never ends! I hope you come back and enjoy more 🙂