Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Monetary Fast

Some days I leave my house with only my MetroCard and my ID in my wallet. This fast for my spending is a monetary version of fasting after a feast - much like one's stomach after a big meal, I know my money has been stretched, and I need to create some balance.

Not having the money in hand stops me more often than I'd like to admit. When I think "I would like to have some tea," or "Oh, I could order that item I've been thinking about," I suddenly realize I cannot. I realize I have to wait on that purchase, and I'm pleased, not disappointed. I know that it wasn't a necessary purchase and I've done well to put it off or avoid it altogether.

Of course, this requires some advance planning. One wouldn't want to have a full day away from home and not be able to buy lunch. An easy fix is stashing some fruit or granola bars in a bag before leaving home, or if one is headed to work, she can have a few days' worth of food she keeps there. A box of tea at work, or a couple delicious tea bags in one's purse, requires only finding a cup and some hot water.

Each time I force myself into a fast of my spending, I am surprised at the little things I haven't noticed buying recently -- and am reminded that those cups of tea at the deli really add up after a while.

P.S. - I love the teas from The Spice and Tea Exchange. I gave them all away last time I bought some, so I recently stocked up on several just for me. Website here, but they really must be smelled in person.

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-Kurt Vonnegut