As I go through this process of saving money, I realize that it’s sort my only real focus or goal right now. I think it’s important to define some other needs or wants in the short-term and long-term, but I find it very difficult to do.
If you asked me “what do you want?” I’d say (and I’d actually insist I was being truthful when I say) “oh nothing, I’d be perfectly happy living off soup and bread and never spending a dime again.” But then you look at my spending and it would completely contradict that.
In theory I want nothing. In fact, I’m even trying to embrace minimalism so technically I want negative-stuff, but in reality I’m drawn in by shiny objects, delicious-smelling food and a whole host of things that give me a temporary endorphin rush from buying.
It’s probably partly that I’m very susceptible to advertising, and if I’m being honest, partly that I don’t feel totally fulfilled in my life. Is my marriage perfect? I can’t say that it is. Are my children the loves of my life? for sure, but they still drive me insane on a near daily basis (well, maybe not my baby girl, she’s not verbal or mobile enough yet, but certainly my tantrum-throwing, limit-testing 3-year-old). And my “career” (I use that term very loosely) is a hot jumbled mess. I feel like I must be spending money as a surrogate for some authentic happiness I’m lacking in my life.
I need to start really thinking about what’s going to truly increase my happiness if I want something more substantial than the sporadic and fleeting joy from spending.
Reflecting on it now, I realize that despite how much I sort of groan and complain about the work involved with taking care of two little babies, they really are my greatest source of happiness, and maybe I need to start focusing on doing more to foster all the best qualities in them: their kindness, wonderful imaginations, their joy in learning and my joy in watching them learn. I know that being more present in their lives and more deliberate in how I spend our time together will bring me far more happiness than fast-food or trinkets ever could.
And now for confession time:
This whole post went a complete different direction than I thought it would.
When I first thought of the idea of the post, I knew I wanted this title, but I actually thought the post would be about me sort of listing some things that I wanted to save up for in the short and long-term. My rationale being that if I knew what I really wanted to buy, it’d be easier to resist spending money on crap that wasn’t on the list.
But instead of sort of documenting my wish list, I’m happy that I was able to dig a little deeper and see that there are some areas in my personal life that I need to give more attention to and doing so requires no extra money at all!