Waste Not

attempting to waste less and live more deliberately

Let’s Talk Money


Before you do anything, watch this video. No joke, watch it….now. If it is taking more than 2 seconds to load, don’t get frustrated and skip it. Pause it, let it load, go do the dishes while it loads, come back and watch it.

While this web-log has primarily illustrated low-waste living, I am moved to add financial health and frugality to the mix. I hope you will find it useful, thought provoking and even entertaining at times. I encourage you to share your insight, tips, and musings on the topic.

I am not going to pretend to be a financial expert; I merely hope to start a dialogue on a topic which seems to make so many people uncomfortable, including myself.

No matter if you agree with my thoughts or not; what matters is that you participate in the conversation. The best solutions come from a diverse group of thinkers.

Money Matters

“After a certain point, money is meaningless. It ceases to be the goal. The game is what counts.”

–Aristotle Onassis

Nicely put and I can understand the sentiment, but it should be noted that Aristotle Onassis was extremely rich and likely did not have to consider how he was going to pay his rent or feed his family.

On the other hand, ask someone struggling financially, and money likely means a great deal. It can mean being able to feed your family, spending time with loved ones rather than working multiple jobs, sending your children to college, running water, and retirement.

In the current economic structure, money means a great deal.

I often daydream about a Utopian future where we won’t need to work multiple jobs to get by, where people can follow passions rather than pay, when the health of the country isn’t measured by the GDP, or a time when those who choose to stay home and raise children won’t have to worry about facing eviction or judgment.

While these are possibilities important to study and work towards, it is equally important to discuss ways in which we can help others and ourselves survive and thrive today. I hope to be a part of that conversation.


Flowing Hair and Draped Bust dollars were the first silver dollars struck by the U.S. Mint during the nation’s early years.  Personally, I wish they would have chosen the Wild Turkey over the Bald Eagle. Alas.

As a child I hated money; until recently I thought money was evil and having copious amounts was a sure sign of a bad person.  Now, I know it’s not money I hate, it’s the worship of money that I find so destructive.

Does money talk make you uncomfortable?


P.S. – Curious about the Wild Turkey comment?:

“Others object to the Bald Eagle, as looking too much like a Dindon, or Turkey. For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk (Osprey); and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country…

I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.” — Benjamin Franklin

Franklin knows what’s up.

North American Wild Turkey


3 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Money

  1. Hi Ali, Love your blog. I don’t usually post comments but since you really wanted us to weigh in, thought I would be brave and go ahead. Hubby and I recently watched this entire movie (Maxed Out) which I got from our public library. WOW! I have become very passionate about getting my friends to watch it as well, as every one needs to be informed! Sometimes I feel like they just think I am nuts so imagine how happy I was to see your blog today. If you haven’t watched the whole movie it is probably available somewhere on the net. We live in rural OK and it was at our public library. (BTW – grew up in your neck of the woods!) Seems we talk about money every day, trying to stay ahead of the game. We try to be frugal, buy whole foods in bulk, make our own yogurt, chickens, etc. I thought we were doing really well to produce only one big green garbage bag of trash every couple months, but I found your blog and am trying to do better, and get down to near zero. Not as many good recycling places around here, so best to just not make the trash in the first place. I even made a “to-go” kit so we have cups and coffee mugs when we are out and about. Thanks for all your ideas and inspiration! I am going to put the shower cleaning one from yesterday into effect right away. I HATE cleaning the shower (and it shows) so this will make it easier I hope!

    • Shellbell2,
      Thank you for your kind words. We saw Maxed Out a few months back, what a sobering film. I am so glad you are encouraging friends and families to check it out. It’s heartbreaking to know people are suffering in silence. Spreading the word and starting a dialogue I think is a great way to help, it can take the shame and fear away much like any support group. Sometimes it just helps knowing that you are not the only one struggling.
      As for inspiration, I find YOU to be an inspiration! It sounds like you are doing some amazing things!!! My sister-in-law has a great saying for staying motivated and also easing the frustration of the occasional slip up (plastic to-go cup, sigh), she says “It’s a journey, not a destination.” Love that.
      Also, the shower cleaner is just wonderful. I have added an old nail scrubber (toothbrush works too) to get the nooks and crannies, works beautifully. I catch myself taking a peek at the shower whenever I walk by the bathroom, so nice to see it clean haha!

      • You made me laugh peeking at your clean shower! After getting inspired by The Simple Year blog I have been madly cleaning out our “stuff.” We cleaned out our yukky junky back sun porch (took 7 boxes to charities) and I pop back there every now and then to admire our progress. It is definitely the journey, though stressful times right now. I for one find MUCH solace in the lovely blogs about frugality, wasting not, minimalism, living simply and being smart with money. (That last one has not been my strong point but I am getting more ‘money educated!’ The saying “Wish I knew then what I know now” pops into mind!)

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