Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"I Ain't Sayin' She A Gold Digger..."

This post has nothing to do with bookbinding but instead, just something on my mind. Sometime last week, this website was posted on Yahoo. It's called the Global Rich List and my-oh-my, is it humbling. The premise is, you enter your annual income in your home currency (mostly just the big ones are listed). And then it tells you how rich you are compared to the rest of the world. And even putting in what we would consider a poverty-level income here in the States, it still puts you in the top 15% at least. For example, I entered $5k as my annual income (thank goodness I make a little more than that) and I am the 863,571,764th richest person in the world, in the top 15th percentile. Crazy! When I enter my husband's actual income, he's in the top .8% of the world. And we would not consider ourselves rich in the slightest. It really makes you think about what you need vs. what you want.

This thought-provoking website has me thinking about my own lifestyle and what "things" I don't need to get by. In some ways, I look at our typical consumerist behavior and internally, I justify it by saying to myself, "When we have kids, it won't be this way. We won't have as much money, we'll be spending all of our time taking care of them, and we won't be able to afford these things. So we should get them now." But I also look at consumerism as an addiction. This isn't a behavior you can just turn off, ESPECIALLY when you have a reached a new (stressful) point in your life. And my love for retail therapy can prove that. Looking at myself honestly, I don't think it will change much when I have kids, unless I recognize it now. By no means are we out of control. We just like to spend money on nice things that we don't always need. But I'm trying to start a conversation with myself concerning these wants so that I can start kicking the habit now!

Just as with weight loss (something else I struggled with), I need an end goal. I need to know that my efforts mean something. And my goal will be peace of mind. Knowing that I have a nice savings should anything happen. Knowing I will have taught my kids a way of life that is smart, independent, and meaningful.

As for my own vocabulary, I'm trying to trade the word "want" with "have." Everytime I feel the need to explain what it is I want, I must also describe something that I have. I'm a notorious impulsive buyer. If I give myself even just an hour to think about it before buying it, or just leaving the store, I know I don't need it. I'm adding my vocabulary technique so that when I'm still in the store, I can justify not purchasing it (and it's usually clothes or books). And frankly, I just don't go "window-shopping" when I don't have money to spend (and who invented that anyway??). Hubby and I put a lot of money into working on the house and at some point, it's going to have to be finished (for now anyways). I think once we complete the landscaping we're doing over the next couple weeks, we will step back, take a look at what we've done, and say, "Look at what we have!" instead of "I still want to update this..." Wish us luck!

1 comment:

  1. I have such a problem with this when it comes to buying things! I have a lot of bills, like car, rent, etc... and then I try to save my money, but sometimes I just get sick of saving my money and I want to buy stuff. And its not usually even good stuff, its makeup or something. I think its a good idea to treat yourself, but I need to remind myself to buy better things. I would rather travel or something than buy makeup. Its just hard :/ Hopefully you'll make out better than I!