Thursday, May 14, 2009

Step 6 to Abundance: Examine Your Use of Disposable Products

by Janine Bolon

Sometimes you just have to change your buying habits in order to get the best value for your money. I had one client, Linda, tell me that she was having difficulty figuring out where she could cut corners in her expenses. After two months of tracking, she came to my office and worked through her monthly expense sheet. I asked her about her paper towel use. Linda would only buy one particular brand and she knew exactly how many rolls she went through a week. I showed her that she was spending $520 a year on paper towels alone. It looked like this:

4 rolls per week @ $2.50 each = $10 a week x
52 weeks per year = $520 annually

She was appalled! She said she could afford to buy a new dishwasher for that amount of money! This gave her the motivation to stop using paper towels. Immediately she went out and purchased a bunch of inexpensive linen towels. The initial investment was $12.64 for 20. Even with laundering costs she knew that she was saving huge amounts of money by not using paper towels anymore.

Look around your house and determine what behaviors you have with disposable products. See them for what they really down the drain. Don't let the commercials or the marketing fool you...disposable products are not THAT more convenient to make me give up on financial independence by throwing money away!
Please remember this one important fact, the difference between the middle class and millionaires is that wealthy people are always thinking about what they can do to create their financial independence.


Chaka said...

I'm willing to do without paper towels, just don't mess with my toilet paper budget.

Joanel said...

Thanks for sharing this principle. We changed our habits with the use of paper products, baggies, etc.
Napkins: I use cloth napkins when I need to. I buy them on clearance. Usually we don't use napkins. I have a wash cloth at the table for the babes or any spills. I buy the clearance napkins after holidays for the rare occasions I will use them.
Paper towels: I keep buried in a cupboard for the occasional need. They are around so long they usually have dust on them when I do need them.
Paper cups: I have a set of real cups we wash and keep back for when company comes. No big deal to wash.
Plastic utensils: Don't really like them. I keep some in a picnic basket and some in the car. Putting 20 forks in the dishwasher-no brainer.
Toilet paper: Hmmm my family did not like the Sears news paper so I am afraid Costco still rakes it in on that one.
Baggies, bread bags etc. I went to a local bakery and asked if they would let me buy a box of bread bags from them. They will last for years and I paid pennies. Zip locks. My kids know. They are for specific needs. We use containers or left over bread bags. I also re-use other bags from purchases I make. So many are sold with zips in them now.
I think I can safely conclude that I use paper products.

When I was a younger mother I know I was brainwashed by advertisement and media. Not any more in fact-- don't mess with me it is my money and I will spend it or not as I see fit.

I submit we really look at our lives and decide what do we really need to go forward with our personal missions and give the rest away materially and financially.
Thanks Janine for helping me along the path. I so badly want to be done with this part of my journey.