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Minimize Spending – Medical Emergencies

Minimize Spending – Medical Emergencies

In a feat of culinary stupidity, I stood a loaf of bread on end in order to cut it. Piercing its crust required similar effort as, I imagine, cutting into an armadillo would. As I pressed the knife downward, the precariously balanced bread tipped sideways and the knife slid along its armored crust and traveled into my left pointer finger leaving a laceration from the center of my finger nail around the outer side above the top most joint. I could feel the serration of the bread knife glance across my bone…bump, bump, bump. Staring at the open wound my first thoughts were “I need stitches”, “shit, this is going to cost money” and “this is going to put a damper on climbing and guitar playing this month”.

I quickly cleaned it and sealed it up with gauze and tape. Then I started thinking of how to fix this. It was 6 pm on New Year’s Day. The emergency clinics had closed. There was the ER, but that can get pricey and is usually a pretty depressing experience. I decided to call my friend Adam who worked at the hospital. He was able to give me some advice over the phone and offered to swing by to take a look at it. In the meantime, I removed the bandages to clean it more thoroughly. My eyes had overestimated the size of it in my panic earlier. It was only about 1/2″, but still pretty deep. Maybe I could go without the stitches. When Adam came over, he made the same assessment. Using some steri-strips, gauze, and tape I had around the house, we were able to patch it up just fine.

I’m not trying to tell you to avoid going to the hospital in case of an emergency. If you are hurt and bleeding, by all means, go out and get help. I’m advocating that you take a look at a situation and figure out what means you have available to you. In this case, I had a friend with the right skills, and we had all we needed around the house to come up with a solution. So, I guess the lesson is: Keep a first aid kit on hand and know who you have in your corner.

Minimize Spending – Mission Statement

Minimize Spending – Mission Statement

Over the last year, I have gotten swept up in this minimalist movement that’s popularized by The Minimalists, Joshua Becker, and to a degree by Leo Babauta (though he has more of a focus on mindfulness). This has greatly reduced the amount of crap I own and also made me appreciate the things I have decided to keep around. It’s also made me very wary and critical of any new purchases or freebie items that cross my path…though I’ll save that for another post.

This post is focussed on another area related to minimalism. That is a reduction in spending, particularly unnecessary spending…which I excel at. At one point I owned 12 bicycles…which maybe should have a post of its own. On the more extreme end of the spectrum, I’ve seen a lot of folks doing “no spend” challenges. They choose a budget to use for necessary things like groceries and housing but cut out things like coffee shops, eating out, and buying things. Right now this is very appealing to me. December was a month of excess. There was much gifting…so much gifting. I bought myself some new climbing shoes, which took me weeks to pull the trigger on. And I also bought a new guitar…on impulse, I saw it, decided it was perfect and I wouldn’t be sick of it in 5 years and that 1/3 off retail would be a hard deal to come by again, so I just bought it. This behavior is just silly. Oh, I should also add that we got a new vehicle this fall.

Needless to say, it’s time to cut back on this excessiveness. Jess, my fiance, and I both plan on doing a variant of the “no spend” challenge this month. I can’t speak for her level of asceticism in this effort, but I can go into what I am going to do.

  • No eating out or going to coffee shops, make stuff at home.
  • No buying alcohol (we have a bunch on hand)
  • No buying new things (clothing, photo gear, bike stuff, etc.)
  • Minimize driving and spend on transportation, walk or bike to work
  • We can buy groceries and dog food.
  • We have to cover our mortgage, insurance, bills, etc.
  • We are allowing ourselves to buy season passes for the Cornell climbing wall. This contributes to our health, well-being, and gives us something to do with our friends vs going out to bars. Also, it’s an experience, not a thing.
  • We had to purchase tickets to a mountain bike festival in May. The reasoning for this can be cited above, and it sells out super fast….again, an experience is a justifiable spend to us.

The goal of this ordeal is to look more closely at how we spend our money and move towards saving and using it more mindfully.

I plan on creating some more posts on how this is going. In theses posts, I would like to include a confessional about the kinds of stuff I consider buying, and how I justify it, and also document any slip ups I have. A good example of this was last night, I gave serious thought to buying a $400 record player. We haven’t played record in a year, but last night we had some guests over. I told myself that the preamp in our existing player was a bit weak and resulted in a flat frequency curve when played through our stereo (it’s true). I was prepared to throw away $400 dollars to have another thing around that would get occasional use. Then I’d have to find a way to ditch the old player, sell it on eBay or give it away, which is a decent amount of work in itself. That money could have been spent on travel, food, gifts, investments, or just something we would use every day.

Ok, let’s see how this goes…

For All Intents and Purposes

For All Intents and Purposes

As the first post on this blog, we felt would be good to share a few reasons why we decided to start a blog in the first place.

We want a place to express our thoughts and share our experiences. Whether it’s traveling to a new place or learning something new, we intend to capture these thoughts/experiences so that you may find value in our words.

We came up with the name “Life’s Intents” while sitting on our couch one morning, drinking coffee and dreaming big.

Our name “Life’s Intents” (if you haven’t noticed) is a play on words. To some it might sound like we’re saying “Life’s INTENSE” and truly, we both feel like our current lives are really freaking intense.

Between Jay still working at the startup he co-founded, me starting my own business and a wedding on the way, we are feeling pretty overwhelmed. We have come to the point where we want to stop living so intensely and start living more intentionally. Being more intentional with our time and money. To set forth and pursue a life with less stress and stuff. This is our life’s intents.

We also joke about us living literally “in tents”. We have owned a roof-top car tent that we’ve gotten some great years out of. We still plan on using our tent as we travel around the country with our dog in our Airstream Travel Trailer.

We hope our website can provide you with joy, inspiration, and value. We hope that you’ll learn from us – and that maybe, just maybe, it’ll help you with your life’s intentions.