Living Cheaply

I have to say I was impressed when I saw Steve Jobs demonstrate the iPhone back in January (I didn’t see it in person, but it was impressive even on video). I’m not going to buy an iPhone, though. I’ve grown to appreciate living cheaply.

I don’t want to carry around a $500 gadget on me. What if I get mugged? What if I just leave it somewhere by accident? Do I want to be tied to a Cingular plan again? Nope.

I use a pay-as-you-go cheap-ass phone, an ugly $50 Sandisk player, and a beat-up wallet with little cash in it. My wife and I just donated our car (with most of the proceeeds going to our church), canceled our car insurance (which gave us a refund on the unused portion—if we’d known, we’d have donated our car weeks earlier!), and are going to get rid of our Costco membership, too (can you haul a huge bag of toilet paper out without a car?).

Living cheaply is great. I used to be fascinated by new things, shiny things. Okay. I’ll admit it. I still am. But I’m learning to appreciate old stuff. I drool over the new Dell Ubuntu computers , but I know I’m not going to be buying one any time soon. My current Dell (Inspiron 500m) from four or five years ago is still alive and kicking and runs Ubuntu perfectly “out of the box” (wireless, suspend, etc. all working without extra configuration). And, since I’m an email/ pictures/ music/ web guy, I don’t really need a dual-core processor or 2 GB of RAM.

Every now and then I’ll indulge myself in something new (and shiny), but I’m trying to look on the bright side of the cheap side of life, and it’s not looking too difficult to do so these days.


  1. Its true, money doesn’t buy happiness, only more stress. The feeling of accomplishment of doing something you didn’t think you could do, or just finishing something can make a guy feel great.

    Great job ubuntucat

  2. I agree. Living cheap makes you appreciate the things you already have. And after a while those expensive new toys are just not worth it at the end.

  3. I admire you on this matter. Sometimes we forget that we don’t need a lot of things, a lot of luxuries that is totally unused.

  4. I just buy a new computer with E6320 and intel P35 chipset:( And I really agree to your opinion! By the way, it’s terrible to use ubuntu without ethernet…

  5. I think one positive side-effect is that you free yourself from the shackles of our consumerist societies. Do we really need all the products and gadgets that are advertised on a daily basis? By redefining our priorities in life we can also free up some time to think about the more serious questions, and/or enjoy life to a fuller extent.

  6. Admirable goal, but I don’t think I’m strong enough to do that. I hate capitalism as much as you do, but I can’t work for my money and then horde it away. I have a decent job, and so does my wife. We work, save money, and spend a budgeted amount on shiny new things. It might not be necessary, but it’s fun. And without fun, what else is there?

  7. Well, I don’t want to give people the impression that I am some super-frugal person in every respect. My wife and I still have fun, and we still do occasionally buy something shiny and new. It’s a goal, and we’re in the process of implementing it. We haven’t yet achieved it fully.

  8. Who’s glad they didn’t buy a $500 i-Phone? Me! :)
    What?..out a little over a week and already vulnerabilities are found!

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