Monday, September 10, 2012

This Week's Spending

My spending this past week has been as follows:
  • I paid a medical bill that was due.
  • I pre-ordered a DVD of the latest project by my favorite independent filmmaker. Pre-ordering did provide a discount, though the purchase itself wasn't ultimately necessary. Oops...
  • I paid off my credit card bill.
  • I bought blank DVDs and cases for a freelance project, and was reimbursed.
  • I bought almond milk for my breakfast shakes, Greek yogurt, and fresh mozzarella cheese.
  • I bought a dress using a $25 gift card plus the extra 15% off. Despite the deal, it was still an unnecessary purchase.  *wince* I need to knuckle down!
Also, I was in my cousin's wedding this weekend, and paid for:
  • a fruit plate for the bridal party to share the morning before the weddin
  • having my hair don
  • my share of the limo bus
  • a monetary gift for the wedding couple
Being in someone's wedding is certainly an investment, but I wanted to support my cousin (especially because I was asked to step in for someone who abruptly left the bridal party one month before the big day).

I also made an appointment to take my cat Loki to the vet tomorrow, and there will likely be expenditures related to that. As you may recall, Loki got sick during my spending fast last spring and had to be rushed to the vet. Lately she's been pulling out her fur and I fear she is having an allergic or anxious reaction to something, so I'm taking her in to be tested. I want her to be healthy and happy!

I know in this first week I've spent more than I needed to, but I know that being conscious of my spending has hindered impulse purchases of more clothing and various to-go beverages.

Besides this, I find myself increasingly aware that I am already surrounded by stuff I don't need. Even now, at my work desk, I feel tempted to just swipe my arm across the surface and knock everything away. Being surrounded by too many things creates an unrest in me, and I seek peace by continually poring over everything and thinning it out. This process is undoing years (decades) of habits embedded in my psyche, where spending money and acquiring things is considered a very normal part of life. It felt natural to me once; now it feels inhibiting and binding.  Still, the desire to buy will surface from time to time, and I have to summon my willpower to go against the grain.

Finding value in people and experiences instead of money and things is my ultimate goal here. I want to live well, be well, and treat my world well. The only tough part is unlearning what I know about being a consumer. Making a conscious decision to change is the hardest step.  Having more money for retirement/investments/travel/housing because I don't spend in excess, having better health because I don't buy fast food/junk food/processed food, and spending less time cleaning/fixing/sorting/storing/selling things that I didn't acquire in the first place... these are all very easy. More on this in a later post. For now, I challenge you to become more mindful and aware of what you spend money on, why you value it enough to hand over your wages for it, and if there is a better, healthier, or even greener alternative.

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