We all need common-sense

Inspired by the Black Friday counter-movement Buy Nothing Day, I (Michelle McGagh) want to see if I can go a whole 12 months without spending on anything but bills and food. . . Black Friday is looming and while most people are gearing up to flex the plastic in the shopping bonanza, I’m facing a year of buying nothing – a whole 12-month shopping ban. 

This means no meals out, no cinema trips, no holidays, no gigs unless they’re free, no rounds down the pub, no new clothes, no coffee – you get the idea. It also means I won’t be able to buy train tickets or bus fares so my trusty bicycle will be relied on to get from A to B. And I won’t be able to rely on friends and family to pay for me either – it’s a year of no spending, not scrounging. . . . Totalling up my spending on coffee over the past year left me with palpitations (not the ones induced by caffeine either) – I’ve spent more than £400 on takeaway coffee alone. Random trips to the supermarkets for top-up shops and lunches totalled another £1,000 over the year despite doing a big food shop once a month.” (from: The Guardian, Friday 27th November, 2015)

What do you think, could you go a year and not spend any money on non-essentials? 

I couldn’t and I wouldn’t even try as I know I would fail within the first month. 

And, I don't see the point. 

Nor do I go for the frugal/minimalist line either.  I just think we should all use a little common sense when spending — perhaps I should start a new movement called the “Common-sense movement”. We shouldn't go overboard and spend more than we have, but that doesn't mean we need to be so frugal it becomes painful and leads to poverty. There is a balance that needs to be found. Spending too much or being so frugal that one becomes obsessed are both bad — both requires far too much thinking about money and that is not good. — in facts its a sin. 

Common-sense: "good sense and sound judgement in practical matters"

I recently bought two (designer brand) skirts to spoil myself — I decided to visit the op shop instead of buying new (vintage is all the rage!). Found two great bargains that will be perfect. Instead of spending over $100 on new, I spent a fraction. One doesn't need to go without, one just needs to spend wisely. At this time of the year many people loose their common-sense when buying Christmas gifts. I heard on the news that Australians will spend $50 billion dollars at Christmas — enough money to make a differences to many social problems we currently have in this country.  When buying gifts — buy one per person rather than a truck load, buy useful gifts rather than things that will end up collecting dust. Or, instead of buying — offer your services and lend a helping hand. 

I am seeing this extreme view with lots of things . . . sugar is the classic — cut out sugar from everything, why . . . have common-sense and reduce it, but there is no need to cut it out completely. Enjoy a slice of cake containing sugar, just don't sit and eat the entire cake!!

Some people stop using the Facebook, Pinterest etc... in the same way they cut out sugar. Why not reduce the amount of use, but have common-sense and use it less often. Social media is great but one needs to have some self-control when using it. It comes back to having common-sense. 

We are living in a society of extreme views — immigration is another. Recent attacks in Paris by a small group of Muslim extremist thugs has resulted in some crazy ideas such as all Muslims should wear ankle bracelets so they can be traced. No, why not use common-sense and focus on the few bad-apples and leave the others alone. 

"Common sense is neither common nor sense. There's not a whole of sound judgment going on these days (though whether it is worse than in the past, I can't be sure), so it's not common. If common sense was common, then most people wouldn't make the kinds of decisions they do every day. People wouldn't buy stuff they can't afford. They wouldn't smoke cigarettes or eat junk food. They wouldn't gamble. And if you want to get really specific and timely, politicians wouldn't be tweeting pictures of their private parts to strangers. In other words, people wouldn't do the multitude of things that are clearly not good for them." (source)

As Christians we are meant to have common-sense (wisdom), given to us by the Lord and as such we need to make wise decisions but not extreme decisions as far too many are doing these days. Christian women need to use common-sense when making decisions. The Lord gave us a mind and wisdom and we need to use it. — Enough of my ranting on this !!!

For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. 
(Proverbs 2:6)



  1. I agree, common sense and wisdom is what everyone needs for everything!

    I stopped spending for one month, a few years back. It made me stop and think about the why and when i spend. Now I use common sense.
    Try to stop spending for a month. You'll learn a lot!

    1. I think a month is worth whilst as it would certainly teach a person a thing or two about wants and needs. But i think this lady is going even further and not even taking public transport which I thought was crazy.

  2. I love the idea of not spending on material things for a while, as that would help us save more money for our daughters ballet lessons, but i would never stop going to the opera or ballet or musicals, going to the opera doesn't accelerate climate changes as intensive shopping does :-)

    1. I quite like the idea of buying second-hand more than new - I do like to recycle and its good for the environment + its often a lot cheaper. But I am with you - there are some things in life that one shouldn't cut out like going to cultural events.

  3. OH MY! I nearly clicked away when I saw your opening paragraphs, then I noticed it was a quote. I'm so glad I kept reading. You are right, common sense is no longer common. You did have some sensible suggestions however.

    Please drop by and say hello!

    Have a wonderful Christmas season!
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

    1. Common sense is slipping away all too fast!!!! One just needs to turn on the TV to discover that :))

  4. Thanks so much for linking up at Mondays @ Soul Survival! December blessings!

  5. That is a rather intriguing idea - to stop spending on everything except bills and food for an entire year. I say intriguing because it immediately brings out the cynic in me... I mean, making such a claim (and publically) would result in one of two things - either the person would actually DO it (unlikely??) or they would end up excusing things or lying about things... Wouldn't they? I mean, 12 months is a LONG time.
    On the other hand, what a brilliant way to reduce spending and save in earnest, and a brilliant way to reassess what money is spent on and what is really necessary and what is totally unnecessary... Not that 12 months would be required for that!
    All kinds of restrictions like that can end up becoming either an obsession or a form of bondage. If the thing in question isn't sin, then we should be at liberty to use common sense, but if it is sin, then cutting off completely (being extreme) is very wise - eg. the person who can't just take a sip of wine but always becomes addicted and drunk should probably quit drinking altogether!
    We have cut cane sugar out of our diet where we can control it, but we know we still do get some sugar in foods such as mayo & other prepared store-bought foods. We do have a preference for raw honey as it has loads of health benefits, particularly if it can be procured locally. :)
    And, I agree - putting severe limitations on oneself can often lead to feelings of failure... which is a waste of time and mental/emotional trauma... unless it is to do with sinning - in which case it is serious and something we must stick at regardless of how often we fail! :)

    1. My first thought was - what happens if she needed to buy undies for examples. These aren't luxuries but necessities. She does say "no new clothes" so I am assuming that she might be able to buy second hand clothes (not clear). To me it was all too extreme and as you say, set up to fail. There are other more practical ways of cutting back and saving money (if that is her purpose) - i.e. I now use the library for most of my reading and only buy Christian books which I can't get from the library. And I agree - one can get very obsessed with these things and that is not good at all.

      I couldn't be bothered - perhaps she wants to write a book at the end and make lots of money. Or maybe start a blog to catch fame!!


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