In today’s economy, articles about saving money abound. I’ve skimmed a few (you can’t ignore an article that tells you how to save a few bucks), and while I imagine they’re helpful to some people who have never thought to pack a lunch or skip that morning coffee at Starbucks, I find them kind of obvious.
Call around for insurance quotes. Check.
Buy energy-saving everything. Yup.
Use the library. Right.
Shop around for internet service, cell phone plans, etc. Duh.
What’s bothered me lately about some of these articles though, is the emphasis on going out less (to dinner, to amusement parks), pulling the technology cord, and spending more quality family time at home. A fine idea. But when one writer describes how he “discovered” the joys of the backyard with his toddler, and another recommended playing board games with your kids, I was left to wonder: Aren’t you already playing with your kids in the backyard or playing a round of Candyland now and then? Did it really take an economic downturn to discover the value of play? I don’t think I’m the only kid that thought playing in a cardboard box was the most exciting thing ever.