I don’t know why, but I’ve been a complete meiser with money lately. Well, I sort of know why – business hasn’t been as good as usual. But yet I find myself holding back money even on necessities.
I won’t even let myself think of going on a fun shopping trip or buying something that’s not needed like clothes or shoes unless I’m wearing threadbear duds. See our related story Are Americans Getting Tired of Being Thrifty? and how this mentality may have worn people out already.
I get into these penny pinching modes every once in a while and I am a naturally thrifty person most of the time. It’s good for me. It actually helps me to not focus on material things and to instead focus on things like my physical health, relationships, and spirituality. It’s a very healthy “breather” for me in other words. Having material things and abundance can work both for you and against you.
Realizing that material items and having enough money to spend on things you want isn’t the only thing in life definitely brings a welcome sense of perspective. I find that I’m enjoying the little things in life a lot more. I’m not totally preccupied with making my business better all the time.
Instead, I’m getting outside more, taking jogs and long walks, enjoying our briefly blooming magnolia tree, and enjoying my physical health, reading, and well being more.
In some ways, it does bring a bit of peace. Now don’t get me wrong. If we were in dire straits and not able to make house payments on our mortgage or were losing the house, this would have quite the opposite effect. But we’re not anywhere in that realm – we’re just in a pullback and are trying to really save money where we can so that we can afford to pay for things like food, shelter and basic health care.
My heart goes out to the thousands of couples that are in foreclosure or are having a really hard time making ends meet. For them, this is not a wake up call, or an emotional awakening, but rather a nightmare in which their relationship is likely compromised, their dreams shattered and their hopes for the basic American dream dashed.
I think looking at situations like that has made me ever more grateful that I still have my basics – I have my health, my relationship, my house and enough food to keep me sustained. And for that I will be forever grateful and never forget.