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Fighting With Myself

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mistakes into lessons

For my last writer’s group meeting I submitted the rewritten draft of one of my novel chapters.

They hated it.

They not only hated it, they confessed that they liked the original draft much better!

I went home to puzzle over this. I had worked my butt off to make that piece just perfect and ended up mangling the thing but then it finally hit me:

I was trying too hard.

I want to write this novel so bad that I have been letting my inner perfectionist run wild instead of ignoring her and letting my creativity just flow.

It took an evening of deep thought for me to realize what I was doing, and a group of my friends to call me out on it. Now I sit here thinking about what do next.

It explains a lot. I’ve drafted a number of scenes that, try as I may, that I can never seem to get right. Thanks to the criticism in my writer’s group I now believe the problem isn’t with the scenes themselves, but with me.

I’m going to kick back and stop trying so hard. As soon as I can catch up with my inner perfectionist (she’s put on her running shoes tonight) I plan to gag her, stick her in a box and shove her in my closet so that I can get this thing done.

While I’m at it I may try to trap my self-esteem and shove her into the box as well. I’m tired of her telling me that I suck at fiction.

Do you ever fight with your inner voice? Please share your stories in the comments below.

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Benefits of Being Offline

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I have a confession to make: when I go online I find it hard to leave. A quick trip to Facebook to check on my friends can suck several hours of my day if I’m not careful – and I’m frequently not.

As an experiment I decided to minimize the time I spent online during the workday. Instead of checking my emails, Facebook, website and the news first thing in the morning as I drink my coffee I decided to not check it until after I had accomplished whatever goals I had set myself for the day.

The first few days were horrible. I caught myself over and over clicking on the Facebook link or cruising over to my inbox. “It will just take a minute,” I would try to reason.

It never did so I made myself stop.

And when I stopped, my productivity skyrocketed.

If I haven’t achieved my goals for the day I refuse to let myself go online. When I decide to take a break I make myself read a book, take a nap, listen to music – anything but go online.

Not only have I accomplished more than I imagined, I feel more refreshed. I barely ever visit news sites anymore. My friends send me links to the important stuff so I don’t even bother.

And no one has died because I stopped checking my email every five minutes.

I rather like the feeling that I have when I stay offline. It reminds me of the days when I left Facebook. While I ended up bowing to familial pressure to return to the site it feels a bit overwhelming when I go there and get mobbed with messages.

And I definitely like how much cleaner my house is staying – as well as how much more writing I am getting done.

Do you limit how much time you spend online? Please share your stories in the comments below.

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Life After the First Great Depression

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Originally published on the Yahoo Contributor Network.

My parents grew up during the first Great Depression. They grew up knowing how to use things up and avoid waste, and the difference between a want and a need.

“Use it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do
Or do without.”

That was the motto of my parent’s day, and they never forgot. Here are some of the things they did when I was a kid.

Credit was a no-no, unless they were purchasing a house. If they didn’t have the money for it, they didn’t buy it. It did NOT matter if the TV died and it was x amount of time before they would get the money – we just didn’t have a television. The same went for washers, refrigerators – everything.

Once when our washing machine died I recall my father locating a used one from somewhere, knowing that it leaked – just to get us by. He set it out on the back porch (the porch was concrete) and ran a water hose to the cold water inlet and an extension cord to power it. As soon as he got the money to replace our washer however, that leaky monstrosity disappeared!

When money decreased, bills were cut back. Period. Nothing was sacred. As a result, for many years we did not have “essentials” like cable television or telephone service unless money was coming in good. To conserve on other bills, air conditioning and the electric furnace were forbidden, instead we used fans and wood heat. I remember many a morning waking up to frost climbing my bedroom walls, rushing to cozy up to the stove my dad was nursing to life!

In the summer my father would get permission from various friends to harvest wood from their land. We would go together, taking a frozen gallon jug of water, and he would saw up the trees and I would pile up the branches. By the time we were thirsty the jug would be thawed just enough to give us a drink. During the years we did not have a truck, we used the trunk of the car, piled full with the lid strapped down to haul our firewood home.

We were on well water so conservation was a necessity, especially in the summer. As other country folks can tell you, in the bathroom toilet paper was placed in a trash can, and that commode was NOT flushed after a single urination. Instead, the lid was kept down and it was flushed either when a bowel movement was made or the smell got bad. If you think that strange, consider that we were actually much more advanced then most of the neighbors – they still had outhouses!

Showers and baths were taken maybe once a week, and hair was washed then. Instead of daily showers, you took a daily sponge bath in the sink to wash off the grime. If it was really hot, sometimes you took two “whore baths” a day as they were called back then. When you did shower, the water was used to get wet with, then shut off while you lathered up. It was then turned back on to rinse, and you were done. When you took a bath, it was forbidden to use more than a couple of inches of water, and in summer that water was saved to water the garden.

Commercial flowerpots were unheard-of unless you were considered “rich.” If you wanted to raise potted plants, you used what containers you had available. Most often those were coffee cans, gallon milk jugs, bleach jugs – just whatever you could find. Bottoms for drainage were the lid of an even bigger container, and dirt was just that – dirt from a rich place in the yard, perhaps mixed with the remains of a rotting tree or some manure. Plants were cuttings and gifts from family and friends.

If you needed it, you made it. My father lost a leg in an accident, and still managed to drive a stick-shift truck. His secret? He took a hacksaw to an “ape hanger” bicycle handlebar (we called them “sissy bars”), took one half and clamped it to the clutch to shift that sucker by hand! Once he copied a automatic tarp spreader on a dump truck after seeing it once! When the transmission went out on our old car, Father acquired a junked car identical to it, grabbed the Chilton manual, and sat on the shed porch calmly rebuilding that transmission with pieces from both cars!

When I wanted a desk, I converted a shelf with duct-tape using sticks for legs. When the gas pedal on a go-cart my father acquired refused to work, we rigged up a pull-cord to regulate the speed, and I learned to trap and observe the local wildlife using an old rusted birdcage, a board, a stick, and some string!

Can lids were the Frisbees of the day. We would cut varying holes out of the center to see if they flew better, and test them out by letting the dog chase them! When we went fishing, bait was dug up, not bought from a store. Instead of a store-bought whistle, we learned how to whistle with a blade of grass. For Christmas most of my aunties would make their gifts of dolls, scarves, hats and toys, and if Grandmother gifted you with a quilt or an afghan, you were special indeed!

New clothes were a treat one did not see very often. Right before start of school every fall, my parents would take me out and give me a budget for all my clothing and school supplies, and if I went over I had to put something back. I would try to buy five shirts, a couple pairs of pants, shoes, socks, underwear, and school supplies. Very rarely did I get more new clothes before the start of the next year, so I got in the habit of buying things oversized – which I still catch myself doing to this day, especially with my own daughter. In fact, the only time I recall getting clothes before a school year was over was after a growth spurt in the first grade. My father picked me up from school and realized that my pants had turned into capris, so he actually took me shopping that spring afternoon!

Occasionally there were handmedowns, and those were treasured, for they were the only real source for things like sweaters and other expensive items until I became older and could earn some money of my own! I once recall growing too large for a pair of tennis shoes, only to have my father cut the toes out and call them sandals. I was delighted at the gift!

As for my parents, I remember my mother once buying a cute little summer short set. My father would buy her new nightgowns and stuff as gifts, and other than that I do not recall her buying another piece of clothing until after my father died. I can look through the photographs and see her through the years wearing the exact same clothing! As for my father – I think once I recall him buying new underwear cause he had to go to the hospital for surgery. Other than that he made do with what he had and what he was given. He wore the same old pair of Army boots he had gotten from who-knows-where long before I was old enough to remember. When the soles became thin and he could not find a repair shop in the area, he cut cardboard and lined the sole. He did buy a pair of florsheim shoes after a doctor insisted (something about his injury) – but they cost so much he very rarely wore them!

Laundry may have been done once a week, and only when there was a full load of clothes, so we tried to make our wardrobes last as long as possible. That meant rotating our two or three pairs of pants, letting them air out between wearings, and trying to squeeze as many wearings as possible out of them and the shirts. If you were out of something to wear and it wasn’t laundry day, you washed it out in the sink and hung it up to dry!

Eating out was virtually unheard-of. Instead, when I wanted something special I would beg my father to fix some homemade biscuits and gravy, or plead until my mother fixed some peanut-butter fudge! Once in a while my father would surprise us with a pizza or a milkshake from a restaurant, but those times were very rare! When we had to stay in a hotel once, we packed a large cooler with lunch meat, pickles, drinks and stuff – that was our breakfast, lunch, and dinner for almost a week! I still recall how delicious the grape Nehi tasted that my dad allowed me to run across the street to purchase that week! The bottle deposit was a dime, so I sat on the stool and savored every drop, because I wanted to return that dime to my father and thank him again for the treat!

We felt as if we were rich! In fact, at one time we even had three full-time security guards: Max, Tippy, and Candy. A german shepherd, a cocker spaniel mix, and a poodle! If anyone tried to sneak up on us they got a really rude awakening! As backup, my father kept a 38 caliber snubnose around the place! We may not have had alarm bells or direct lines to the police department, but we were never robbed!

We kept some money in the bank, and Father always kept a hundred-dollar bill stashed in his wallet. One of his first lessons to me was to always have money in my pocket, no matter what. He said it may be hard to build up, but a small stash was invaluable, cause it would be there if you were lost or broke down and needed a little cash to get home or food to fill your belly. Another lesson was to keep my school lunch money stuffed in my sock so no one could see it and take it away! The best way, he told me, was to fold the bills as flat as possible and put them under the sole of your foot. That way even if your sock rolls down you are safe! I learned the hard way not to try that with change!

If a gate or door needed a latch, it was made using a piece of wood and a nail for a pivot. Hinges were made out of old strips of leather. Ladders were constructed out of lumber, and lasted forever! Funnels were made out of the tops of plastic jugs, and wood ash was used instead of insect powder in the garden. To spread the ash, holes were punched in the bottom of a coffee can, and that can was attached to a stick at a height above the plants. One firm tap on the ground and the plants were covered! Calendars were collected from every business offering them, and the pictures used to decorate the home.

Instead of band-aids, we used a piece of cotton ball and some tape. Grandfather had some ancient strips of cloth (they reminded me of mummy bandages) he would wash and re-use on his sores. Antibacterial soap was unheard-of, as was liquid soap in the home. If you wanted something sanitized, you dipped it in alcohol or peroxide. Skins and scrapes were treated the same way. Once I recall my father having to practically drench me in rubbing alcohol after an especially bad bicycle accident – boy, that hurt worse than the wreck! It happened to be just my luck that we were out of peroxide during that particular time! Instead of coating sores with antibacterial ointment you used things like Bag Balm – if you used anything at all.

Instead of cigarettes, Grandfather had Prince Albert in a can, and would sit on the front porch and roll a cigarette whenever he wanted to smoke. It was almost a meditative exercise for him, I believe. He would take pieces of wood and weave small baskets as he sat on the front porch to give to us grandkids. When I graduated high school, he presented me with a gag gift – a lightning bug! I still recall the heh-heh-heh of his laugh that evening!

My grandparents saved even more than my parents did. I honestly do not believe they ever threw away a single jar or bleach jug – instead these were rinsed out and saved in the garage. They were used as containers, funnels, scoops – you name it. If a jar had a mouth on it that would accept a canning lid, it would be used the next time my grandparents would can. Otherwise, it was used to hold whatever needed corralling around the house, be it nails, screws, bobby pins, or paperclips!

Leftovers were not thrown away. They were reheated at the next meal. Leftover mashed potatoes were always a treat – they were transformed into potato pancakes! Stale bread? Yippee – we could have french toast or bread pudding! Bones were sometimes used to season stews, but as my parents considered themselves quite well off they mainly got fed to the dogs!

Over the years we raised various farm animals for food. Chickens, pigs – even a bull one year – all raised to go in our freezer. When we had a productive sow, we bred her and sold the piglets for extra money. Father received a good offer on the sow one day so he ended up selling her as well, but we kept a couple pigs regardless!

Gardens were raised when we had the land, and that was where I learned that real food does not have to come from a grocery store – it can be eaten straight from a field! A favored springtime treat was cheeseburgers fried with home-grown green onions, and my father loved wilted lettuce. Carrots rarely made it to the dinner table – I was too impatient!

Today I think I will hang my laundry out to dry, make a loaf of homemade bread, and be thankful for the simple life my parents gave me. They showed me beyond a doubt that one can live on a whole lot less than what the Joneses make.

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Is Liquid Soap Expensive?

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One of the things I have done in the past is make my own liquid soap to save money. I got lazy after a while and just went back to using the bar however.

Katie prefers liquid soap over the bar type so she has been campaigning for us to start buying actual liquid soap again. Since I was concerned about the price I decided to find out just how much it cost us to use store-bought liquid soap over making our own or just using a bar.

For this I purchased two small (7.5 oz) pump containers of liquid soap and placed one in the kitchen and the other in the bathroom. Each container cost $1 each, or 13 cents an ounce.

The container in the bathroom lasted a month while the one in the kitchen lasted two. This means that if we were to switch to liquid soap it would cost us $18 a year if we purchased it in the pump container every time.

If we purchase a large refill container our cost drops significantly. A 56-oz bottle costs $4 or seven cents an ounce. We would use 120 ounces a year or slightly over two refill bottles. At seven cents an ounce, that would drop our annual cost down to $8.40, almost half the cost.

I have never calculated the cost of using bar soap before but we go through about a bar a month in the bathroom. Judging by that we probably go through a bar in the kitchen every two months (I’ve not paid much attention so this is an educated guess). A two pack of bar soap costs $1 so that means we typically spend $9 a year on bar soap (not including the soap we use in the bathtub).

This means that using liquid soap bought in the larger containers would actually be a bit cheaper than bar soap. It also means that if we were to purchase the individual pump containers each time that we would spend considerably more.

I’m not even going to try to run the numbers on a family pack of bar soap since we rarely buy it that way these days. I’m going to assume for the sake of this post that it would be cheaper than even buying liquid soap in the larger container.

Now that I’ve ran the numbers I have to ask myself is it feasible for us to switch to liquid soap to make Katie happy? Fortunately for her the answer is yes. I will actually save a few pennies if I purchase the large refill bottles, especially if I water it down a bit to stretch it :).

If I wanted to I could really go cheap and just whip up a gallon of liquid soap from scratch like I used to. A gallon would cost about 50 cents to make and last a year. Katie wouldn’t be as happy with it as she would with the store bought type (she’s getting picky in her teenage years) so is it worth eight bucks a year to make her happy1?

Yeah, she’s worth it!

  1. Also, since it takes about an hour for me to whip up a batch with all of that grating (I grate by hand), does the time vs. savings ratio justify the extra work? 

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The Failed Financial Experiment

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After rereading my copy of Unautomate Your Finances I decided to take the suggestion of writing every single purchase down so that I could see exactly where my money goes. I thought it would be enlightening and reveal ways for me to save even more money than I already do.

I kept it up for a month. To my dismay, I did worse financially when I tracked my spending than I ever did when I didn’t. I became stressed out at every purchase, worried that I would forget to write something down and obsessed with the balance in my bank account.

Minimalism is about simplifying life, about being able to relax and enjoy your time and do what you love. I didn’t enjoy tracking my money and soon realized that it was a waste of my time. I always have more than enough, don’t use credit and am able to tuck a few dollars away into my savings every month, so I have decided to be content with that.

If I was stressed out over money or watching my debt climb every day my experience may have been different but frankly, I don’t spend that much money and when I do I want to enjoy every darn penny I spend, not beat myself up over every purchase I make.

Normally I spend as I see fit and only look at my bank balance a couple of times a month. I don’t balance my checkbook, though I look over my purchases to make sure that they match my mental tally. Even with that I am always pleasantly surprised with how much money I have available. I guess that thanks to minimalism I spend so little that it really doesn’t matter – especially since I always have money to spare.

As a result I am filing this experience in the “failed experiment” category and moving on. I’m doing good enough already.

Have you ever tried something that is supposed to be beneficial only to discover that it really wasn’t? Please share your stories in the comments below.

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Minimalism is a Life Hack

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Most of the attention minimalism receives is on the stuff you don’t have or don’t buy. As a result many people miss the fact that minimalism is a beneficial life hack.

For me, minimalism allows me to live life on my own terms. It allows me to be a stay at home single mother and to live well on my book royalties – an amount that many people would consider ridiculously small.

Minimalism gives us a wonderful life. Instead of spending money on things we don’t need, we are able to spend our money thoughtfully on the things that we really enjoy.

For instance, it gives both of us immense pleasure to visit an old school mate of mine who is a hair stylist. We enjoy being able to get our hair done professionally without having to worry about the bill. Minimalism allows us the extra money so that we can afford to do just that.

Yes, we could go cheap and do our hair ourselves. We could go even cheaper (and more minimalist) by just letting our hair grow out and not having it done at all, but minimalism is about eliminating the unimportant to make room for what is important on a personal level – and having our hair done is important to us right now because of the pleasure we receive from the experience and the ego boost we get from having the hairstyles of our choice.

I enjoy being able to stimulate our local economy. I love being able to financially support the business of a friend, but I would not be able to have that pleasure if it were not for minimalism.

For some people, minimalism may allow them to pursue their love of traveling. For others, it may enable them to live in an area that they otherwise could not afford. For some, it may give them the freedom to work less, retire early or even switch careers. I have one friend who minimized his expenses so that he could start a pit bull rescue to save the lives of his favorite breed of dogs, while others I know have used minimalism to retire, go back to school, start businesses, escape unpleasant relationships or pursue careers in music and art.

By removing the unnecessary and unimportant you make room for the things that are important to you personally. This is why minimalism if different for everyone. It allows you to customize – hack your life if you will – so that you can make room or money available for the things that you love by eliminating the things that you don’t.

When we try to have it all and do it all we spend so much time flitting about that we aren’t able to focus on what we enjoy. Minimalism fixes that.

What has minimalism allowed you to do? Please share your stories in the comments below.

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Car Free: Public Transportation

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Part of me is still in shock at the fact that I no longer own a vehicle. I’m even more surprised at the fact that it has been well over six months and I don’t even miss it.

One of my major concerns was how I would handle Katie’s doctor appointments or grocery shopping but thanks to public transportation that hasn’t been a problem at all.

One of the good things that the Obama Administration has done is to help fund public transportation in smaller towns like mine. They have issued grants to companies like FTSB, which is now able to run smaller buses on an appointment basis almost like a taxi thanks to the money they received. It costs $1 a mile ($2 per in-town trip per person) and they even have bus passes that will take you to work in places as far away as Lexington on your work schedule for $40 a month – you can’t buy gas that cheap these days!

Since they don’t have scheduled routes (other than the inter-city bus that runs to Lexington), you have to schedule your trips at least a day in advance but I don’t find that a problem at all.

When Katie visits her allergist, which is across the street from the local WalMart, I arrange for the bus to drop us off at the clinic and then pick us up at WalMart. We just walk across the street, do our shopping and then call them for our ride home. The drivers are wonderful and will even help carry our shopping in the house. Some days we even walk to a nearby fast food place and grab a bite before we shop for an extra treat while we are out (we’ve only done that once so far though).

It’s actually better (and cheaper) for us to do this than to get my daughter or a friend to drive us because I don’t feel guilty for taking up their time or feel obligated to pay for their meals, which can get a bit pricey when my daughter has her SO and child with her. I’m also not rushed while I shop, which is a godsend because I can take my time and stock up then!

The inter-city bus goes from the Cynthiana WalMart to the Paris WalMart every morning from Monday to Friday. They pick up passengers there and then head on to Lexington, where they drop off at three places: the Greyhound bus station (I can take longer trips!), Bluegrass Airport (meh, not much for flying) and the LexTran bus station, where you can ride all day for $1 a person according to the drivers. You can arrange for the local bus to pick you up at home and drop you off at the inter-city bus stop even, which is wonderful! The price for a round-trip to Lexington: $10 a person, $12 a person if you have them pick you up at home. According to my information, the inter-city bus will drop you off at your front door if you live in town (which I do) since the local buses may not be available when they bring you back that evening.

Katie and I are SO going to do that one day! I’m not big on shopping, but it would be so nice to walk around the mall, visit the bookstores, hang out at a coffeeshop and do some exploring like we used to do so often when we lived in Paducah. I may not be big on shopping, but it is still a treat to look at all the pretty things occasionally.

Future Plans

My love of public transportation makes me think hard about my future plans. Do I really want the burden of having to purchase another vehicle after Katie is grown, or would I be happier just moving to a place with an established public transport system (regularly scheduled bus routes, etc.) and traveling by bus or other methods to explore?

Oh well, I don’t have to figure it all out today. I can chew on the thought for a while as I savor these last few years of Katie’s childhood.

Do you have public transportation in your town? Please share your stories in the comments below.

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Breakfast For Dinner

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sausage and eggs

I looked in the fridge to see what I needed to use up and stumbled upon some sausage. As a result I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to have breakfast for dinner.

I fried up the sausage, cooked some eggs and made some toast. A bit of orange marmalade slathered on top and dinner is served!

Katie is exploring vegetarianism so all she had was two eggs and some plain toast. She’s also on a diet (she thinks she’s fat), which is why she passed on the marmalade.

Since we don’t eat breakfast this is how we enjoy our favorite breakfast foods—whenever we want! Who says breakfast is just for mornings?

The eggs in the picture look a bit ugly because I use the same skillet to cook both the sausage and the eggs. Less cleanup that way, and I can reuse the grease from the sausage to cook the eggs. Katie’s not picky about that, fortunately.

Am I boring you yet?

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Bathtub Laundry

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I’m feeling lazy so I’ve decided NOT to go to the laundromat this week. I’ve stuffed our jeans in the freezer (jury’s still out on whether it works) and tossed the rest of our clothes into the bathtub for a good soak.

Throughout the day I will agitate them with my hands, changing the soapy water as it gets dirty. When I feel they are clean enough I will give them a good rinse and hang them out on the front porch until they are dry.

This is probably more work than just loading up and going to the laundromat but it’s still rainy and I’m not in the mood to spend the extra money on the bus so there it is.

If I can make Katie put her dirties out incrementally (as opposed to her usual way of giving me mountains at a time), I may do this every few days instead of going to the laundromat. It’s not that hard with just the two of us if we are conservative with what we wear.

Have you ever washed your laundry in the bathtub?

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The Benefits of Sleeping on the Floor

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Originally published on the Yahoo Contributor Network.

In today’s modern home, one item that is ubiquitous is the bed, that behemoth sitting in the middle of your bedroom taking up space and chewing on your wallet. Have you considered the benefits of eliminating your bed and sleeping with a futon mattress pad on the floor instead? Here are eight reasons to ditch that bed!


  1. Your back will thank you. If you sleep on the floor with a small pad beneath you, there will be just enough cushion for comfort, but plenty of firmness for an excellent night’s sleep. If you suffer from back pain, you may discover that the pain goes away when you sleep on the floor.

  2. It will be a cooler area to sleep in. Heat rises in the summer, so sleeping on the floor will put you in the cooler area of your home, enabling you to perhaps turn off the air conditioning at night and sleep with only a fan. Even in the winter this would enable you to sleep better, by allowing you to snuggle down in blankets without worrying about overheating.

  3. It will be healthier. Futons are light and portable enough you can take them outside and air them in the sunshine on occasion. This will not only freshen the futon, but help in eliminating any critters like bedbugs that may be nesting within. Try doing that with a regular mattress!

  4. You won’t have to beg or hire someone to help you move your bed. A futon mattress can easily be moved by one person and can be transported in a small car. Compare that with the average mattress/box spring set that takes two people to move and a truck, trailer or large van to transport.

  5. You will save money. It costs less to invest in a futon mattress or pad than it does to purchase a bed, mattress and box springs. If you are on a budget, this may enable you to afford a higher quality mattress. If you absolutely have to purchase on credit, consider the fact that it is easier to pay off the smaller amount of just a futon than it would be to pay off a whole bedroom outfit, possibly saving you hundreds of dollars in interest payments!

  6. It is better on the environment. You will be using fewer materials, which means you will be leaving a smaller carbon footprint than if you purchased a bed frame, mattress and box springs.

  7. You will save space. A futon pad on the floor can easily be folded up and stashed away during the day, meaning that you can save space in your home. During the day you could use the room for work or play and at night just unfold the futon and get some sleep. Considering that we only spend about 1/3 of our lives sleeping and another 1/3 of our lives working, would it not make more sense to have a single area for both? This would mean less area you would have to rent/purchase, less area to heat or cool and less area to clean and maintain.

  8. You will be making a statement. Instead of following the path of the Joneses, you will be making the statement that not only is less more, but it is fashionable as well! Your decision to sleep simpler could influence others to live with less, not only reducing the volume of things purchased, but also helping to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released when beds, mattresses and box springs are produced, moved to the stores and transported from home to home as people relocate.

    Just because everyone around you has a bed does not mean that this is the best path for you. Consider your personal needs before making that purchase. You and the environment will benefit in the long run.

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