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Friday, February 10, 2012

Don't step on what you can step over

I have always been a wilderness survival hobbyist, and have consumed dozens of books on the subject since I was a kid. In one book, I don't even remember which one, was a passage that I have always remembered, and I'm not even sure why. It was in reference to traveling through the wilderness in a survival situation, and doing so in a way to minimize energy spent and lower your risk of injury. The advice was, to paraphrase:

"Don't step on what you can step over, and don't step over what you can walk around."

I was thinking about this today and how the concept of not wasting energy or exposing yourself to unneccesary risk can be applied to your every life in a financial/spending sense. This is what I came up with:

Don't Buy new what you can buy used
Don't buy used what you can get for free
Don't try to get for free what you can improvise of re-purpose
Don't bother improvising what you can do without.

Just as with the wilderness survival example where you will end up walking around almost everything, if you follow this metric to its logical conclusion every time you go to buy something, you will almost always just end up realizing that you do not NEED whatever it is. In the occasional times that there is a legit need, following this metric will at least allow you to accomplish that need in the most frugal and cost effective way possible.

-The Money Monk

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