Oftentimes when we think about shopping more thoughtfully or ethically or fair trade or organic or what-have-you, it quickly becomes overwhelming (But my shorts are from Bangladesh! My phone was made by who knows who in some factory in China! What can I do?! I like shopping! I’m on a budget! Baahhhhh!). Sound familiar? Or is it just me…
I’ll be honest – the response I often have when I feel paralyzed by the massive, systematic problems tied up in EVERYTHING is something like: “I’m just not going to think much about this, because it’s too much! But I definitely need to give some money to a charity somewhere…”
In the face of this totally unhelpful all-or-nothing paralysis, I’ve been trying something out. Trying to get down to the very basics of what and where I am spending my money. Namely:
Do I really want to give you my money?
On Sunday night, we tackled the insane: taking our 5-, 3-, & almost 1-year old kids with us to a professional hockey game. We were given free tickets to the game by a Calgary Flames rep at an open venue practice on Saturday, so we packed everyone up with low expectations and headed down to their arena, dubbed the Saddledome.
Photo credit: GEC Architecture
For me, there is something very appealing about the tap beer at the Saddledome. Don’t ask me why; it’s watery and flat-ish… it’s really not good. But when I’m there, I want one. When I was pregnant with my first daughter and went to games more often, it was all I could do not to have one!
But then I see the $8.50 price tag, and I think,
It sounds good to me, but just not that good.
Here, on the other hand, is a picture of me in 2007 at Yankee Stadium eating a $5 hot dog:
A FIVE dollar hot dog! Absurd, right? I’m pretty sure there was a $10 beer at my feet, too. Complete extortion, right?!
Was it worth it? Absolutely.
Am I a sucker? Maybe. But, really, I don’t think I’m any different from any of us. How we think about our money is not always logical, and it will always be subjective.
But if we even begin to think about the where and the whatof our purchases, the why and the whether-or-not will begin to surface as well. And we will be well on our way to shopping good.
What is something you have purchased with an unreasonable price tag which was totally worth it to you?
I love to read, and I love to read memoirs. There are loads of lists out there of great memoirs, and, well… this is another one.
Some titles will be familiar & common, though I’ve left out some faves that I’ve already mentioned (many times) before — Born A Crime, The Glass Castle, Bossypants — in favor of other titles [though, truth to tell, I have also mentioned some of these before.]
I hope that you can find something to read over the holidays! Happy Reading!
I've said before that while I advocate for shopping thoughtfully & being slow... I love gifts! Actual, tangible, pull-the-wrapping-off gifts.
We want to make the gifts that we give worth it. Worth the money, the materials, the effort... So, how to choose a thoughtful gift that will be meaningful to the recipient?
Intentionality simply means the act of being deliberate, purposeful.
If you are a committed budgeter, there is no question of being intentional; you probably account for every dollar. But, nobody — even if you track every receipt — spends every single dollar how they wish to (dishwasher repairs, new socks, & lost library books come to my mind...).
Even so, we can be thoughtful about how money leaves our wallet, slides onto our credit card, decreases our bank balance… we can be deliberate & purposeful with even the smallest financial decisions.