In these times, I’ve been finding myself going back to how my grandmother did things. Big pots for dinners, freezing part of it for another day, laying low on the financial front, making time for creative and free family fun.

Something I think we could all go back to is seeking out the good ol’ layaway plans. Maybe I’m alone in this, but I had forgotten about that option. For example, I had been wanting to get Dave a new bike for years. His 6’5″ body needed a proper tall frame and they were all so expensive. So when Sophia and I found a bike at our local shop that came in an extra large/tall frame, I couldn’t fight the urge to call it “the one” and figure out how to get it into our possession. Luckily the store offered layaway, so we put $50 down and went home with big grins on our faces, knowing that this would be the best surprise we’ve pulled off for Dave since we’ve known him. That was at the beginning of the summer. Each check I got, I’d go by and put another $50 down. Then the day before his birthday I went in to make the last payment, feeling great that I had gotten him something I know he’ll use for many years, had not racked up any debt, had not paid any interest charges, and had done things in a way I could feel good about. He’s actually out with Sophia and her friend right now on the bike trails enjoying a nice fall ride.

I guess my point is that the basics are good. Racking up oppressive debt is bad for the soul. It crushes your happiness. Little things that are in reach, doing things “the old way”…these are good. I think this is a good practice to stick with. No credit cards needed, just save up and do it right.