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.
This week, I posted on my personal Facebook page about Amazon's Prime Day, with some stats that bothered me.
A thoughtful friend commented with honesty,
"Could you share some more of your insights about Amazon. I don’t disagree that their model is terrible but I also haven’t been convinced enough to forgo the crazy convenience of it.
Help convince me!"
Here is the response I posted.
Colleen sent in this message:
Hi, love the items and have purchased several.
Question: last week I had put a classic throw in my cart and then shopped for another and placed in my cart as well and when I went to complete the purchase, they were marked as sold and unavailable.
How does this work? Was extremely disappointed!
I completely understand — what a disappointment! Let's talk more about this...
(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.