I read a fair amount of personal finance advice these days. I’m also a consumer of green living tips, and I enjoy learning about how people are making their lives more sustainable. But here are ten common tips that I would be happy never to see again:

1. Eat less meat.
2. Drink less soda.
3. Cut back on premium cable channels.
4. Drive less.
5. Use fewer processed foods. Shop the edges of the supermarket.
6. Consider buying used clothes at thrift stores or consignment shops.
7. Scale back subscriptions to magazines and services like Netflix.
8. Discover Freecycle, and other forms of community barter.
9. Grow some of your own food.
10. Refinance/consolidate your debts to a lower interest rate.

I am already doing all of these things. In most cases, I’ve completely outdone them. I’ve never eaten meat. I’ve never been a soda drinker. I’ve never had cable TV. My household has one 13-yr-old van we rarely drive. I buy my food from local, non-retail sources; I haven’t set foot in a supermarket in months. I don’t shop at thrift stores because I swap for all my family’s clothes with other families or at clothing swaps. I have no subscriptions. My garden takes up most of the outdoor space on our property. My highest interest debt is a 9% rate on a credit card.

Some of this is particular to me: not everyone has been a lifelong vegetarian, or works at home, or has space to garden. But does anyone seriously start slashing their expenses and not notice that HBO or SUVs are a bad deal?

Far from helping me, being admonished over and over to do these basic things simply depresses me. Is this all there is? If I’m doing this stuff and my finances are still broken, does that mean they’re unfixable?