Priorities?

1

November 1, 2008 by missmegany

While I was talking to Pat the other day, I talked about WHY I was trying to only spend 74.65

This is what we said:

me: and I do want to see if I can actually stick to this amount…. because I think it’s so easy these days to spend money without thinking about it effortlessly

Patrick: yeah, I understand –same with me and Netflix [We had been talking about my eMusic account–which I still haven’t cancelled]
me: the money I spend hasn’t even been earned with that much hard work. Not compared to the labor behind the goods I purchase…. it seems like an imbalance
Patrick: but I still love the convenience of it and don’t want to give it up…but it’s just another expense I should know better than to have
me: maybe I’m fighting against convenience? Or the temptation of it?
I don’t know…
Patrick: maybe a bit of both…complacency and expense

me: yes, probably that and apathy. Both towards the goods (which are often seen as temporary/disposable—I’ve NEVER been to a cobbler, or used a repairman for an appliance) and the long chain of people who are involved with (and exploited while) making them.

It dawned on me that a big reason why I’m trying to do this is because of the whole concept of consumerism. So now I’m wondering if I should alter the way I’m doing this. Most things that we buy we treat as disposable–we don’t show an acknowledgement of how much work has gone into it. In fact, out of a range of options, we’ll often buy the one that took the least amount of effort. We don’t think about the impact on the environment or the people who have made it. I want to avoid this and try to be more aware when buying things.

However, times when you are directly paying the producer (a gig, homemade clothes, art, crafts, etc) don’t really fit into that. Actually, I suppose that isn’t true. Arts and crafts and clothes still require materials that come from the same long chain of producers (unless it’s from some sheep farmer who dies and spins and weaves their own wool for clothes. . . . nothing I own falls into that category) So gigs. I directly pay the person, I don’t get a tangible item to take for granted. SO should those be exempt? Would transportation fall into the same category?

Mac said I’m just trying to justify what I spend money on. Robin said “you not counting going to gigs would be like me saying that I’m not going to count buying clothes”. I’d like to think that isn’t the case, but. . . .

Any thoughts?

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One thought on “Priorities?

  1. Pawtucket Pat says:

    It seems that Mac and Robin are both essentially saying the same thing–and they’re pretty much right. But we make these little excuses for ourselves every day, and for all kinds of purchases.I recently came into about $100 worth of Amazon gift cards for a present. Whenever I’m given a present or award or something of that nature in the form of a gift card or cash, I try to make a conscious effort to spend it on myself, since that would seem to be the intent of the person giving it to me. Most often, you get these types of things around the holidays, some earlier than others, and a good deal of the time it would seem to make fiscal sense to just buy someone else a gift with the gift you received, but that hardly seems right? But then you go out and buy something with your own money for someone else while you purchase something for yourself that you maybe didn’t even really want and certainly didn’t need…but that money is gone anyway and you’ve just accumulated more junk.So I bought a retro super nintendo and NBA Jam with the Amazon money, and while I wanted it, I certainly didn’t need it, and while it was more or less free, Amazon is a worldwide marketplace and I could buy gifts for half my family on there with that money. So did I do the right thing?Although I think I’m way off topic here, my original point was basically to say that there’s going to be things you want, there’s going to be things that you really want, and there’s going to be things that you need. It’s okay to group the last two together most of the time, I think.

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Less and Less and More is all about enjoying more, all whilst worrying about less. Whether enjoying better health because you eat less junk, having more time for friends and family because you spend less time on acquiring, or lots of other big and little things that we want more of, I look at examples of people doing more.

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