A few weeks ago, I bumped into another grade 1 parent at the park, an acquaintance I knew from school events. As we chatted about our strange time since mid-March (working from home; restless but resilient kids; he hadn’t stepped foot in a store for 3 months...), he made an interesting remark:
We’ve looked at our bank account at the end of each month and thought, “what were we spending all that money on?!”
Many people have lost jobs or decreased employment this year. But, there are many others who have continued to generate the same salary, with reduced expenses.
Some everyday expenses were simply on pause and will eventually come back around (or have already by this point): haircuts, dentist appointments, errands deferred...
But, there are other missing expenses that, like my neighbour, may have you wondering: What even were we spending on? Did we even miss these expenditures?
I suspect that some of my neighbor’s mysterious spending could fall under the banner of “lifestyle creep”. Coffee shops, meals out at restaurants, birthday party gifts, idle spending while browsing the mall or the grocery aisles (this phenomenon doesn’t exist with online grocery shopping!)... etc. Not the essentials, but some of the things we spend on with discretionary money, as we have margin.
What a fantastic opportunity right now to re-assess this kind of spending!! To ask: does this kind of expenditure actually improve the happiness of my life? When I didn't do this or buy that, did I miss it?
For some of the subjects of these questions, the answer will be a clear yes, and some will be a (perhaps surprising) no.
We went for a dinner date and felt delighted to both enjoy the meal at a favorite restaurant and support a business that we want to succeed. On the other hand, Wayne also said that he had been getting a $5 coffee every time he delivered our parcels (pre-covid) and after the cafe re-opened, he felt like he only wanted to go once in a while.
Does this experience resound with you at all? What are the yes-worth-its and nah-maybe-nots that have arisen from a decrease in expenses? Share with me in the comments below, or email me.
The threat of technology to our humanness is no new fear (hello, Blade Runner! …actually: goodbye, you are a super boring movie 😆). But, there seems to be an acute crisis of our current cultural moment, as we relate to technology.
Here is just a fraction of writings from the past month addressing this:
With so much pain, brokenness, ugliness in the world, attention to beauty, joy, & wonder is absolutely necessary!
Beauty may not solve problems itself... A stunning photograph will not end famine or war. Banksy's graffiti art does not solve Middle eastern contested-land conflicts.
But, the restoration, hope, and inspiration that come from creativity and beauty are like gas in the tank — fuel for the drivers & changers of the world.
We don’t receive a lot of returned items, but it does happen. Of course! There is some degree of risk in shopping online, always.
Stores take different approaches to return policies, sometimes with great sophistication in how it will impact your willingness to purchase. Here's a little peek at what I've learned over the years (as a customer and also as a retailer) about return policies.