Saturday, February 20, 2010

Just say no.

Sometimes I like to see how long I can go without spending any money.

Most of the time it's not long. I have two teenaged boys, for god's sake.

But there are periods when I can try to impose a moratorium on spending. That means sucking it up when I want to go thrifting, get some songs on itunes or go out to lunch with a friend. I have to talk myself down from the ledge when I assume I need to run to the grocery store.

Unlike our country, which has made it a practice to spend more than it makes, I only have so much money to spend. I have neither a printing press on which I can make crisp 20s, or a money tree or other foliage from which money grows.

Sure, one of my wishes in life is to find a bag of unmarked bills, but I'm not counting on it.

My reality, and the reality of most people, is that I can't spend money whenever I'd like on whatever I want. It's one of those reality lessons of adulthood that's good to learn, even though I'd rather not have to.

And in truth, I've realized that the act of spending money can be such a distraction from what I need to be doing. When I go out and browse, even if I come home empty-handed, I've successfully avoided what's staring me in the face - the closets that need to be cleaned, the book left unread, the floor that has a distinctive crunch.

Like food, alcohol and other diversions, spending money can be a way to escape from life's unpleasantries.

So it's a good personal test I like to take on occasion, to see how long I can go without whipping out the debit card.

Sometimes it's easier said than done. But I'm trying to live more consciously, and it would follow that introspection on my spending habits would fall under that "living more consciously" umbrella.

Sometimes the kid in me doesn't want to hear what the adult has to say.

It's hard to hear "no, you can't have that," especially when you're saying it to yourself.

1 comment:

  1. My mother always told that is the thrill of the hunt anyway. The less you spend...the more you enjoy!