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By Janeese Jackson | Broker in Portland, OR

Embracing the "Less is More" Philosophy of Life! What are You Doing to Save $$$???


("Less is More", Joss Stone)

So, 2008/2009 has been a challenge and though most “experts” seem to believe that we have already begun repairing our ailing real estate and economic markets, 2010 will be the beginning of a slow climb out of a big hole!  See recent post on an Economic Forecast .

How do we begin to feel good about wanting less?  The “Less is More” branding is a phrase that actually first came out of a poem written by Robert Browning in 1855, “Andrea del Sarto”:

Who strive – you don’t know how the others strive
To paint a little thing like that you smeared
Carelessly passing with your robes afloat,-
Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says,
(I know his name, no matter) – so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia.

and further embellished and adopted  by Architect and furniture designer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.  The term “minimalist” is often applied colloquially to designate anything which is spare or stripped to its essentials.  Of course, “essentials” being the operative word and that concept being VERY different for different people!!  For a great many of us, the challenges of the last couple of years have been loss of perceived or real value of investments, or loss of jobs, or loss of homes, or loss of income, or loss of security and more.  So, how do we “roll with the punches”?

I read a quote on my Facebook feed:  “If a problem can be solved by money…it’s not a problem”.  I’m not sure I totally agree, but I “grok” the basic concept.  If all it takes is money to solve the problem, how bad can it be?  Well, I’d have to turn to clients that lost their homes to foreclosure or short sales to get a complete read on that sentiment.  Because money or a job or an opportunity could have alleviated a great amount of stress and grief for those people and their families!  But, none the less, the real estate market and the economy “is what it is” and making lemonade out of lemons might be the next step. 

You hear and read a lot about being “grateful”.  Who can argue with that?  Of course, being grateful for what we have and appreciative of those things that really have true and authentic meaning in our lives is essential to happiness, health and well-being.  But, maybe we add a more pragmatic approach and actually research what would really give our lives meaning and how can we accomplish these things for the least amount of money spent?  Always in real estate I’ve encouraged buyers to ”spend the least you can spend and still be happy”.  There is a different “set point” for accomplishing that for each individual, for each family situation and for each station in life.  Since the economic conditions have given us a set of challenges, we might as well have fun planning the solutions.

Check out the book on the weird and wild side of Portland in “Fugitives and Refugees”by Chuck Palahniuk and join him on an adventure through the parts of Portland you might not otherwise believe actually exist.  There is also a web site page on www.about.com regarding the “Top 9 Free Things to do in Portland”:  Free Stuff.  I’ve been recently enjoying spending some of my free time in Forest Park ( Forest Park ), at the waterfront and the Saturday Market ( Tourist in Portland ) and have shared my photos and experiences in recent Blogs!  And, then on www.uptake.com you can read about “Portland Oregon, Cheap and Free Things to Do & Attractions” at Cheap or Free .  On the www.virtualtourist.com site you have a list of Portland Things to Do .  In 2007, the New York Times described Portland as “a full-fledged dining destination” currently enjoying its “golden age of dining and drinking”.  In an effort to do our part for the local economy without breaking our pocketbooks, you can visit www.urbandrinks.com for a list of Happy Hours and what’s included at the discounted price.  What’s your favorite Happy Hour and why?  (I’m always looking for new ideas)!  Or what are other free or inexpensive venues in the greater Portland area?  I’m looking at this as an opportunity to get to “visit” my town like a tourist and “vacation in my own backyard”.

2008 was the first year on record when U.S. house sizes actually stopped growing. This shift is indicative of a trend toward greener and more economical living.  Maybe we can enjoy this opportunity and make it good for us, good for the earth and good for our pocketbooks.  We can get healthier by spending more time outdoors or springing for an inexpensive gym membership.  We can shop in our own closets.  We can watch for sales and clip coupons.  We can carpool, walk or ride a bike.  We can curtail our energy consumption.  We can revel in the challenge rather than wallow in the disappointment?  Well…we can try anyway….





By Jolth,  Wed Nov 17 2010, 14:01
Thanks for the tips and infomration. I have been wanting to start saving money more for a rainy day and just havent gotten down and started doing it. I need to though because I know that there is going to be a point where I need to depend on my own money and can't just work a lot to pay off my debt. I need to start now! http://www.blueorbtours.com
By Janeese Jackson,  Wed Nov 17 2010, 17:20
I couldn't agree more; as "sooner becomes later" much faster than we ever suspect! All the best...jj
By Pdxtraveler,  Thu Aug 18 2011, 14:36
Sometimes I like to go a little farther afield, like Seattle. It is inexpensive to eat in Pike Place Market. Just snack as you go along. Another inexpensive option fo things to do in Seattle is to take a walking tour. I did a Coffee Crawl with Seattle By Foot tours and had a great time. Next time I'm in town, I want to try another tour. Seattle has a great bus system so hop on a bus to get where you need to go. A cheap harbor cruise is to take the ferry to Bainbridge Island. Lots of ways to save money in Seattle!
By Janeese Jackson,  Thu Aug 18 2011, 17:45
Love the sound of the harbor cruise to Bainbridge Island! I do love quick trips north to Seattle!!...jj

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