Sunday, October 21, 2012

Practical matters

Writers are generally not known for their great wealth, and today I thought I'd post some practical advice related to corner-cutting, money-wise. IMHO based on some experience (my own and others'), there are things you can skimp on and things it's best not to skimp on.

I've skimped on clothes (thrift store buying, wearing them as long as they're still whole even if they're out of date), hair cutting ("I can keep these split ends another few weeks"), and cars (owned none for most of my life, now technically own half of one, but usually walk or ride the train). My husband is addicted to coupons and strategic, deal-maximizing food-shopping. I don't think any of that has harmed me, and some of it, like the walking, has probably done me some good.

But there are three things I'd advise people to take good care of, even if the costs in time, energy, attention, and money tempt them to cut corners:

Feet. For Pete's sake, get good shoes. No matter how cute the shoes look: if they're hard to walk in, forget them. Get sturdy comfortable shoes that you can walk in. Think arch support and, ideally, ankle support. Your feet will thank you twenty years down the road, and so will your back and knees.

Teeth. It's easier to get preventive cleanings, to brush and floss, than it is to get major dental work. Also, some dental infections can lead to serious health problems. Influenced by my relation to a former dental assistant, I've gone regularly to the dentist my entire adult life, and I think I've had fewer major procedures at my age than anyone else I know. Major dental work is painful and expensive: set yourself up to avoid it if you possibly can.

Eyes. You only get one pair. Make sure they're okay.

This has been your public service announcement for the day. ;-)


  1. A fourth one, on a long-term matter: ears.

    I'm guilty of turning the music on my earbuds way too much. I'm starting to listen when my ears start to hurt, as to prevent hurting them in the long-run.

  2. Thank you for this public service announcement. We've very cutting corners at our house as well. (Me an unpublished writer, my husband a family therapist, and lots of student loans looking over our shoulders.) I find myself stretching cleanings a few months and vision checkups every 2 years, but shoes, I always make sure good support for my feet. Off to call the dentist