One of my
tormenters trendy friends pointed me to a financial guru (whose name I’ve already forgotten) who suggested that in preparation for a downsizing in income,* one should try a Month of No Spending. To which I said, “Ha! May is Mother’s Day, gardening, and two birthdays!”
But my fiend… erm, friend is very insistent on trying new things and dragging his pals along for the ride. So I did a Month of Low Spending.**
Obviously I saved more money than usual. I also observed what I considered “essential spending.” But I also saw how my spending habits reflect my mindset.***
- Extras Just In Case. I have never turned down a deal on cleaning products, at least until this month. It’s ridiculous because I don’t need them; most grime succumbs to soapy water, a rag, and muscles.
- Public Library vs My Library. You’d think that after purging my shelves, I’d never want to purchase another book. You’d be wrong, especially since a favorite
drugdealerbookseller had a special sale on Stone Bridge Press publications. I literally destroyed one book by emptying an entire cup of coffee into it (super-absorbent, those SBP books!) but at least I didn’t have to pay a fine.
- Good To The Last Drop. On the flip side, my frugal habits of yesteryear rose like familiar ghosts. I mended an old skirt for the final time – the fabric is literally wearing away. I added water to bottles of shampoo, soap, and make-up. I steered clear of the theatre district, favorite stores, and the Internet – the most tempting spots.
Overall, I think I have a lot of room for improvement.
*According to the Big Boss, a% reduction in pay is coming. At least 10%, but as much as 25%. Excluded in his calculations was the increase in personal cost of health care.
**But first I prepared for my friend’s challenge by paying ahead for nearly a month of cafeteria lunches in April. (It’s not cheating! It’s being clever! I got a discount!)
***What really struck me is how I’ve absorbed certain hang-ups about the proper behavior of white collar workers or people of education. A kind soul gave The Factory workers certificates for free breakfast at McDonald’s. Colleagues gave theirs away, not because they don’t eat fast food, but because McDonald’s is not on par with Panera or Starbucks. Why not? They’re all corporations serving food-on-the-go.