The road to spending less is paved with contentment.

Consumption is a big focus of this blog. Saving money while consuming, yes. But consuming nonetheless.

There’s no doubt that a certain level of consumption is inevitable, normal, and even healthy. I mean, we’ve gotta feed our families, right? They need toothpaste to brush their teeth and shoes to run around in.

So, I don’t want to knock shopping. And I certainly don’t want to knock deal shopping. I love it as much as the next person. Probably more, if I’m being totally honest with myself.

But I think there is a fine line — which I struggle mightily to walk — between being a wise shopper and being a consumer stam.

When we moved into our new home in February, I spent about six weeks doing an inordinate amount of shopping. I bought everything from sconces for our dining room (which we still haven’t put up) to BPA-free storage containers for my kitchen pantry. I must have made three dozen trips to Home Depot.

We had carefully budgeted for our move and all those incidentals, but even still, I was spending, spending, spending. When I finally checked off the last of my lists, and the UPS guy stopped coming to my house every day, I felt decidedly let down.

It was like I was a junkie – a shopping junkie – and I needed one more fix. I kept perusing Amazon and Overstock, putting stuff I didn’t need into my cart, just to experience that thrill again.

Oh sure, I didn’t actually buy the stuff, but I wanted to. Like a weed, stuffitis was breeding itself. The more I bought, the more I wanted to buy.

Maybe some of you are immune to the lure of stuff, but I suspect that most of us have fallen prey to it to one degree or another.

So, what’s the cure? I don’t know about the rest of you, but for me, I think the only way to truly quiet the I-want-to-buy-something-anything-right-now pangs is to practice being content with what I have.

I used to think that contentment was synonymous with settling. With accepting an inferior bill of goods.

Now I’m coming to understand that contentment means seeing the bounty all around me, both material and spiritual, and being profoundly grateful for it. So grateful that it quiets everything else. Even the wanna-buy-it pangs.

When I can focus on having this level of contentment, I inevitably spend less. Because I need less. Because I already have more.

Shabbat Shalom, dear readers!

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. Hi –
    if you haven’t seen the Story of Stuff video, it is worth watching – it is about 20 minutes – all about the “stuff” we have and want to buy. If you don’t want to watch the whole video – at least jump to the consumption section.

    http://www.storyofstuff.com

    • @Deanna – Thanks for commenting! YES! I’ve seen the Story of Stuff and you are so right! It is very powerful and a def. cure for “stuffitis”.

  2. Amen and Shabbat Shalom!

  3. I love reading your blog. The problem is I read and read it, but haven’t found the courage to go out and start finding the deals. So in the meantime I’ll just keep reading and try to come up with a plan!! Thanks so much for the great ideas.

    • Aww, thanks! The first few times, it’s intimidating. But then you’ll get more and more confident and realize how much fun it is!

  4. This is a great blog and very fun to read! You are doing a great job!
    I love ideas as well as the recipes so thank you so much!

  5. This is a very wise and honest post. I’ve experienced that feeling of wanting “more, more, more” of something and that is BOOKS.

    When I was first married I only allowed myself to buy one book a year! A lot of thought and time went into selecting that one book (I read other books from the library). Well, now, after all these years, I don’t *have* to limit myself to just one book a year. And, while I’m still frugal and get books cheaply from a variety of sources, I kind of have an addiction to them. Just last night I vowed to “shop” from my bookshelves for awhile and be content with what I’ve already got.

    Excellent post! Thank you for sharing. Blessings!

    • Wow, thank you so much for your comment Mary. You really touched me with your words. While I’m content to get free books (and DVDs) from the library, my husband is very much like you and wants to possess the books! Even if he hasn’t read them in years, he finds great comfort in seeing the books lined up on his shelves.

  6. I understand where you are coming from because I get that way easily. The more I shop, the more I shop. Thanks for sharing.

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