With the day after Thanksgiving sales in full swing, I wanted to bring up a little something that has been thrust on me lately. That being, I really need to watch what we spend our money on. Since we recently went from being a two income household down to a one income household indefinitely, I have had to change the way I shop. I can't complain. For the last few years I haven't had to pay attention to prices on grocery items. We don't spend much on other things and rarely splurge on big ticket items even though both of us make pretty satisfying salaries.
Now our costs (mostly due to a new mortgage) outweigh my salary. I'd have to trim things down (like cancelling most unnecessary services like cable Internet, cell phones, etc.) but we'd still have a deficit because of Emma's preschool. Fortunately, if we need to we have enough saved to keep us not too bad off until Emma is in public school.
So, what I've become lately, which I haven't been regarding shopping is: mindful. Before I get in line at the store I go through the cart or basket and analyze whether or not I actually need the item or whether it's just a frivolous or unnecessary purchase.
Each new product you buy has its own environmental impact whether that be from a manufacturing standpoint (materials, water, energy, labor) to shipping and distribution. Will that item last and, most importantly, be used a long time or will it be ignored and eventually discarded after the initial excitement has worn off?
As we head into our most consumerist time of the year, I urge you to do the same. Not for money reasons, although that is a great side benefit. But for needless consumption. We feel like we need the newest this and the bestest that. But do we really? Does it really make you feel better? Or do you get a hollow, empty feeling inside?
No matter how cute that Mr. T Sock Monkey is, I doubt the gag gift factor will last very long. And if it doesn't, I pity the fool.