I shared on Instagram recently a post that Gretchen Rubin had written (taking concepts from her book, The Happiness Project), entitled,
I've written a lot over the years about spending wisely, thoughtfully, holding back, slowing down, and really considering, "Do I want to spend money on this [insert item, service, etc. here]?" I still think that this line of thinking is crucial — a necessary counter to the bombardment of our culture towards buy-buy-buy.
But, Gretchen was tackling the question from a different angle: yes, being thoughtful; but, actually with a focus on the positives of actually spending the money.
One of the chapters in her The Happiness Project book is all about money, and I was particularly grabbed by the idea of "spending out".
You're familiar with the concept, certainly (if perhaps by another term): Instead of saving the elegant linens or personalized stationery for a special occasion, using them for any occasion!
"As part of my happiness project I wanted to stop hoarding, to trust in abundance, so that I could use things up, give things away, throw things away. Not only that — I wanted to stop worrying so much about keeping score and profit and loss. I wanted to spend out."
There is a real freedom in the release of the scarcity mentality (I'm going to run out!), but I think it takes a big mental shift, too.
This was one of my main curiosities about Emily Teo's reflections on her family's travel life: how do you go from being so diligent with money (in your everyday life) to spending so much money?! (inevitable on vacation)
Her answer, and the answer from my budgeting system YNAB, is that having boundaries is actually for freedom's sake, not to be oppressed. Creating a budget line for vacation, or being more aware of your inflow/outflow isn't about creating a rule you have to follow, but more like opening up a sandbox in which you can play. An allowance to spend out without worrying about scarcity.
The concept of spending out is not just for fancy possessions, but can be applied to: ideas, energy, time, generosity... many things that we hold onto.
What do you think of the idea of "spending out"? Is this a mentality that comes to you naturally or is it super counter-personality (hands up, enneagram 5s 🙋). Share your thoughts below or email me email@example.com !
(Photo courtesy of Friends of Basha)
Reflections from my experience visiting a Brothel in Bangladesh
As impossible as it is for me to believe now, earlier in 2020 I flew around the world. The primary objective was to visit Bangladesh and see, in person, the life-changing work in which dignify has had the privilege to participate over these past 8 years.
A friend recently asked on Facebook for “the most challenging and enlightening resource you have read/watched about the problem of racism in America”. This question received numerous responses within the day: half a dozen films, dozens of books, podcasts, courses, and other hubs of information resources (as well as the astute reply, “Conversation”, which is, of course, the most relational and human of “resources”).
I think that this experience was shared by most people in early June (as protests & concerns over racial injustice had reached a critical volume): so many resources, so much to learn.
But now, 2 months later… what have we done with the magnitude of worthy, fascinating, perspective-altering information & insights that have been brought to our attention?
And this it only in the area racial injustice. In other interests & concerns: How much do we know? How much have we learned & read & listened to already?
Approximately 25 years ago (in March 2020), we did a customer/reader survey. I asked what you like to read on the blog & one of the respondents suggested a post on "living generously". What a fabulous idea and perfect for this time in history!
[The title of this post implies some kind of authority or expertise — ha! Nope, no experts here... just some thoughts on generosity from a fellow human, trying to make my way!]