If you are reading this it is likely that your kids are gone, or on the way out, and you’re sporting the “what next” deer in the headlights look.
How the hell did we get here so soon?
Now that you aren’t paying “Pay to Play” fees, picture fees (I swear there is a photo session for everything my kids ever took part in!), school lunches and replacing multiple book bags that don’t hold the dozens of books your kids cart back and forth you probably have a little extra spending money.
And that’s where we can stop, do some thinking, and be choosy about who does get our money.
Think – what do you really need at this point in the game?
Yeah, you could go on a little vacation, a small spending spree or treat yourself to a new vehicle. But are those things you need? Truly?
My philosophy at this time in my life is to buy less and choose well.
Do I want a company that gave a whole lot of money to #45 to get my money? NOPE!
Do I want a company that is destroying the earth to get my money? No.
Do I want to spend it on cheap goods that will self-destruct in 3 months? Again, No.
This is a very personal choice and only you can make it. But I would like you to give it some thought.
And yes, I know, there are still plenty of us living paycheck to paycheck at this point in our lives but make sure you aren’t adding to your expenses.
Here are some of the things I’ve started considering before spending.
Put your money where it will do the most good.
Do you really need new clothes or would your money serve you better by staying in a savings account? Maybe you need to buy a gym membership (some in my area are only $10 a month) to help you live a healthier life rather than spending $20-$30 a month in coffee shops (pointing the finger at myself here).
If you have a bit extra donate to charity.
Even if you can only donate a few dollars every penny counts for those who have nothing.
Buy goods that aren’t produced with slave labor or in unsafe conditions.
In this day and age it’s simply a shame that we have so much STUFF and it’s made with slave/child labor. We like to put blinders on and say, “that doesn’t happen any more” but it does.
Buy the best quality you can afford and take good care of it.
Washing machines and dryers really beat clothing up. Try washing your clothing less and hang them on a line to dry. Mend clothing rather than tossing it out. I used to be a Grade A mender and then I got lazy. I have a basket of mending near my sewing machine, and while it’s not my favorite chore, I feel better about mending over tossing.
Think about your money and how many hours you worked to earn or save it before you whip out the credit card. Now that you have a little breathing room (no matter how tiny that is) you can sit back and put your money toward things that are important to you.
Yes, I know we don’t all have extra to give to charity. I’ve set mine up as an automatic payment and it’s only $20 a month. On the months where I’m scraping the bottom I feel good knowing that I did something for someone who has less than me, I count the days until payday and I make another egg sandwich for lunch again.
It’s not easy but it’s a choice that makes me feel good.