Can’t Live Without

November 4, 2009

What can’t you live without, even when money is tight? What’s most important to you?

I’ve heard it said that you can tell what’s most important to you by looking at how you spend your money. In the past, I haven’t wanted to believe that because I was ashamed at all the frivolous things I paid money for, but I think it’s probably pretty accurate.

These days if you look at our bank account you’ll see that most of our money goes to our mortgage, other household bills, and food. I guess that’s the part of growing up that isn’t too fun. But even so, I think these expenses say something about us. We didn’t have to buy a house, but it was important enough to us to have a place to call our own, to settle down, and to have a yard for our dogs to play in. We don’t have to pay for cable and internet, but it’s our link to the world. We don’t have to give money to our church, but we believe that God gave us everything we have anyway, and our church is our family. It couldn’t support itself without the giving of its members.

Apart from those things, there is very little that I won’t deprive myself of in the name of saving money, especially now that we’ve started our new budget. But the following are the few things that I find myself purchasing no matter what, even now.


Lean Cuisines for lunch. I realize that these are relatively expensive to bring to work every day for lunch compared to bringing leftovers or making a sandwich. But I can’t tell you how much I love them, and the ease of just throwing one in my bag in the morning is a big draw.


Netflix. First of all, we don’t really go to movies anymore. $9 a pop? No thank you. Netflix is more expensive than using Redbox, but we do it for the selection. It’s our compromise. Right now we’re watching through some of our favorite TV shows that we missed the first time around.


The occasional new book. I’m a big fan of the library, and I’m also a member of and, so I rarely have to buy books I want to read. But sometimes our book club chooses a book that is either insanely popular or brand new, and then I have to bite the bullet. If I can’t find it used, I go to Barnes & Noble because I still have a membership there.

Of course, what I really can’t live without can’t be bought with money. Love of family and friends, hope for a future, and a purpose for my life are some of those things. If I had those things, I could live on the street scrounging for food and make it through.

What about you? What can’t you live without?


This post is a part of 20SB’s Blog Carnival: Can’t Live Without, and is awarding prizes to lucky bloggers and readers!

Posted in: personal, domestication, personal, me, personal

Comments on Can’t Live Without

  1. 1

    From Kyla Roma:

    Those book websites just BLEW my mind- I’ve never seen them before! Thank you so much!

    I can’t live without my hubby, puppies, and friends to drink wine with. No questions =)

  2. 2

    From mediumcrazy:

    You guys kind of covered the important nonmaterial things, so I’m going to stick to material things. I looooove personal care products like moisturizer, face wash, lotions etc. I don’t buy the really extravagant stuff but it’s just my little luxury in life and doing my nighttime pre-bed routine is one of my favorite parts of my day. So…I would be really sad to have to scrimp on that stuff.

  3. 3

    From Megan:

    What does it say about me that the only things I can think of are food or beverage related? Dark chocolate. Good coffee. Cheese. Guacamole. French fries. Wine… I’ll stop with the list.

    But yeah, love and friendship and all that stuff, too.

  4. 4

    From DeMo:

    Ahhh I missed another 20sb thing! I need to get more involved there.

    I put my netflix on vacation for a little while. It wasn’t so good when I let my neighbor borrow a movie and told him there were no late fees. Wrong answer! He kept it for a few weeks before I finally got the guts to ask him if he had watched it yet (no). I think that little gesture of goodwill cost me $10. Since I’m doing the budgeting thing, I use redbox, and watch movies on hulu.

  5. 5

    From Mom:

    First of all, family and friends wouldn’t let you live on the street and scrounge for food, even though I realize it’s metaphorically speaking. Secondly, I can get up in the morning only because I know Jesus loves me and has already taken care of what is going to happen that day. I can’t live without Him! Thirdly, of Jesus’ blessings, my family is by far the greatest, and I would be devastated to have to live without one or more of them in the world. And fourthly, even though it’s petty after the foregoing, I prefer not to live without my coke in the morning, even though I can, and, some days even, that is my preference.

  6. 6

    From steph anne:

    I can’t live without Diet Coke no matter what my budget is!

    I really want to stop with Blockbuster since we’re on the monthly plan now and it’s ridiculous! But Netflix doesn’t have closed captioning online so we’d only be able to receive movies from the mail. I’ve thought about Red Box but I’m not sure.

  7. 7

    From Blogger Carnival: Can’t Live Without Results!:

    […] Me, Yours Truly Dear, The Rest Is Still Unwritten, Bridge & Tunnel, The PQ Nation, Kapachino, Sans Limites, Doniree, Stephanie Writes, Red Letter […]

  8. 8

    From Leonard Block:

    I love using redbox. But, I have found a kiosk that is locally owned and operated.

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