7.30.2008

Time To Get Rich

mood ring

We went to the park this morning to meet some friends, and even though our friends didn't show up, it was a perfect morning. Aidan was content to swing the entire time, pumping on his own; Avery and her friend explored every nook and cranny of the area; and I sat on a blanket and read several chapters of Not Buying It by Judith Levine (which by the way I did not buy).

The girls stopped by the blanket for a few minutes to read my mood - apparently dark blue means love. "Love" is not the word I would choose to describe my mood as of late, I feel "peace" or "contentment" would be more appropriate, but "love" works because I am most definitely loving my life right now. Reading Not Buying It has led me to analyze my place in the economy, and as of late the economy has been on my mind and probably yours as well. I'm not much of a consumer, I need and want very little. I no longer get warm fuzzies from shopping sprees. I haven't earmarked a page in a Williams-Sonoma catalog for years (especially not since I cut my credit cards in half). My mother-in-law asked me what I wanted for my birthday - and I couldn't think of a single thing. Well OK, a shopping spree at Anthropologie on someone else's credit card did flash through my mind for a split second, but I doubt it would give me warm fuzzies.

In my own personal view of economics, I am wealthy beyond compare. I own quite a bit of stock in the commodity I value most: time. I can spend it how I want and everyday I get more. I can afford to take my kids to the park, sit for hours reading a book, try a new recipe, nurse a sick child, visit with family and friends, and write about it - all in one day with time to spare. I can even afford to postpone doing the dishes because I have time to do that later.

I'm sure few people share my views on economics. In fact the world economy might come to a crashing halt (even sooner) if people subscribed to my ideas. Or maybe not. Time as wealth puts all of us on an even playing field - we each get twenty four hours a day and free reign on how we spend it. Of course this is all a gross simplification of economics, but I'm Buying It, and feeling pretty satisfied with my purchase. Consumer confidence is king after all.

26 comments:

  1. BRILLIANT, Molly! Right the heck on!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I loved that book. I've gotten out of the habit of conspicuous consumption as well. I still enjoy thrifting and I do buy fabric and notions but aside from that, my shopping consists of trips to the grocery store. It feels good, huh? :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm going to have to see if my library has this book. Your words are soooo right- I've been trying to consider my place and what I need verses what I want this summer (while not working because I'm taking a bunch of graduate courses!)

    ReplyDelete
  4. just wanted to share -

    "A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone" -Henry David Thoreau, Walden

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the book recommendation! I put in a request from my local library. ;)

    We are on a "no-buy" month and I'm really enjoying it so far. It feels so much better to really think about where our money is going then to mindlessly spend. Now I need to figure out how to do this consistently.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The husband and I went into major credit card debt when we first bought our first home together. We already had some debt and then by the time we moved 6 years later, we were nearly 50 thousand dollars in the hole just on credit cards. We couldn't go anywhere, do anything or buy what we wanted because it cost money and all our extra cash was going to the credit cards. It got to the point where our interest was hitting nearly 30%!!

    Something had to give. We were miserable and 80% of what we bought on the credit cards were long gone so we had nothing to show for all our debt. We made a vow to pay off the cards, get rid of them and never use them again. We are now credit card debt free and we will never go back to where we were. It was a hard (and expensive!) lesson learned.

    We only shop at yard sales and thrift shops now, and usually for items that we can re-sell on ebay. I couldn't tell ya the last time I've been to a mall. They give me the heebie-jeebies now!

    Time certainly is a valuable commodity and it is one that we are rich in right now.

    ReplyDelete
  7. i do get you!

    i wish i had the adrenaline rush i used to when walking in a store or imagining my next purchase.

    now i get that feeling from cleaning out a closet.

    i need to read that.

    ReplyDelete
  8. So true! Leaving my job to be able to spend time at home makes me feel so rich, much more than if I was earning a paycheck.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You nailed it. Sometimes I feel like I should be 'doing' something and then I remember I am soaking up the rays of my children's childhood. Something I'll never be able to buy, their love, hugs, kisses, muddy fingers in my hair...

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is a brilliant post, Molly. So well said.

    ReplyDelete
  11. All I can say is totally agree.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yes, this makes me smile. Yes, I'm getting it. And no I'm not buying it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you for this post. It's funny that as a potter- making things meant for consumption, I actively try to reduce our consumption. It's difficult when you're surrounded by ostentatious displays of consumerism, but we have no credit card debt, are boosting our savings and investments, and find that we enjoy a trip to the thrift store as much as target (haven't been to the mall in years!). I'd earmarked that book a while ago, maybe the library has it now.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I very much agree with your post. Prior to children I played a different role in the economy. Now, I more deeply relish my new role. I recently read Affluenza, and was wondering what type of economy we would have if everyone changed their spending habits, utilized technology to their favor and enjoyed one another more than things.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I too have been musing about this lately (lie everyone I guess, which is great to hear)but had not heard of this book. I loved your post. Time is oh so much more valuable to me too! As for my kids, it seems to be getting better as they get older and learn (from being given the freedom to spend on what they wish) that it doesn't end up doing much for them after a while. They are wanting less and less.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for this post. It's beautiful ... and exactly what I needed to read today.

    ReplyDelete
  17. It took some hard financial lessons for me to get to this place, too. I cut up my credit cards a couple of years ago, and I've never looked back. I find my life is so much more peaceful without having to worry so much about money.

    I haven't read Not Buying It, but I am reading Better Off by Eric Brende right now. It's very good, and I recommend it, if you're looking for another good read on a similar subject ;).

    ReplyDelete
  18. Well said. I'm going to look for that book.

    ReplyDelete
  19. love your post.. I am a SAHM, I dont shop mindlessly because I dont have a car to get me to the mall (husband takes it for work) and yet we still have a house full of stuff and plenty to waste our time on.. I wish I had a little more money for fabric and crafty stuff though....

    We have time and we are lucky.. I love what you said about being able to nurse a child and leave the dishes... we have time on our side... I love it too... actually this year my older two are at school and I just have a 2 year old at home...and I do so much for me now.. and I think you know I deserve it.. it has been 7 years of having small children this year I deserve to relax, read a book and snuggle with my one at home... I deserve a year to go slow and do what I want...

    cheers to that

    ReplyDelete
  20. love your post.. I am a SAHM, I dont shop mindlessly because I dont have a car to get me to the mall (husband takes it for work) and yet we still have a house full of stuff and plenty to waste our time on.. I wish I had a little more money for fabric and crafty stuff though....

    We have time and we are lucky.. I love what you said about being able to nurse a child and leave the dishes... we have time on our side... I love it too... actually this year my older two are at school and I just have a 2 year old at home...and I do so much for me now.. and I think you know I deserve it.. it has been 7 years of having small children this year I deserve to relax, read a book and snuggle with my one at home... I deserve a year to go slow and do what I want...

    cheers to that

    ReplyDelete
  21. It's been said already...over and over. Great post! Very well-written...I really love the way you write, Molly. I've mentioned before we're in down-spending mode and will be for awhile. I think the most important lesson is in learning to respect money--you will either be freed by it or enslaved by it and both situations are seldom a function of how much you make (absent true poverty, which I don't mean to diminish). Most of us don't realize that we truly do have enough and it's willy nilly spending that does us in.

    ReplyDelete
  22. yes, brilliant!
    I wish I could buy more stock in time. It's my one major issue right now.

    ReplyDelete

Archive

email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
Share |