Thursday, August 30, 2007

America's Cheapest Family

A link from the Yahoo! page leads here, an ABC News min-report about a family of seven who lives on $35000 per year debt free. It's amazing to me. They obviously never had student loans and excellent health insurance.

The report was too brief, but the little that was reported was fairly intuitive:

1. Don't buy it if you don't have the money.
2. Buy cheap: think used and think thrift stores.
3. Use coupons.

Here during the lunch hour I realized that there is little spiritual comment on this. Perhaps its obvious. But just in case: living simply, doing more with less--or less with less--is not only an active and intentional way to fight avarice, but also serves as a witness to our consumer culture. Avoiding greed not only saves your soul, but it also may save those who see you rejecting this world and its glory--and yes, that includes flatscreen tvs and ipods.

Of course, it would also garner its fair share of disapproval and rejection from those whose very identities are based on materialism and consumption. It's only weirdos who intentionally do less and have less less than those around us. And it should go without speaking that if you feel that living more simply, giving up some modern conveniences, even, God forbid, getting rid of your tv is unjustified and strange, then where do you find your identity and ground for life and culture?


  1. Doorman-Priest said...

    I think we in the West can learn from this tale. Christians too are prone to conspicuous consumption.

    Check out my new Lutheran blog on