Keepin' Life Cheap And Simple

For quite some time, I've noticed quite a few "nobody" writers become "sombebody" authors on the Internet — all thanks to blogging. From poking fun at people "who claim to be different but look the same (i.e. hipsters, fauxhemians, etc.) to amassing personal, public failures in one place (FML, TFLN — check the sites to figure out the acronyms), the blog-to-book deal by documenting human activity seems like the best bang for your buck. But a recent Time article entitled "Cheap Thrills" brought attention to the alternate realm of making bank while blogging: swearing off daily possessions for cheap living.

Recounts such as living life on merely a Washington One Dollar Diet Project and pushing the limits of not using an automobile (The Gubbins Experiment) serve as a "spiritual cleansing ... or to raise awareness of big issues like the environment," notes Brad Tuttle in Time.

And these efforts have spawned nationwide trends for people to live with less. But Tuttle isn't completely convinced by these spartan do-gooders:

Sometimes self-deprivers adopt rules that turn out to be not only impractical but counterproductive. Rachel Kesel, a conservationist in San Francisco, has blogged since 2006 about living according to the Compact, a group with more than 10,000 members on Yahoo! who promise to buy nothing new other than food and medicine. But Kesel's work involves long days in the woods battling invasive species, and trying to get by in secondhand clothes meant that she was often pulling weeds in pants that had more holes than thread. Now Kesel begrudgingly buys new, highly durable gear, though only when she must, she insists.

What's your take on these extreme thrifters? Would you give up buying new clothes for a whole year?

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