October 25, 2010

Saving for a Rainy Day

I recently read a blog post by Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, that referenced one of her “personal commandments:” Spend out.

No, it doesn’t mean you should go spend money, it means to stop holding onto something, or, as she says, “to trust in abundance.” 

“I find myself saving things, even when it makes no sense. Not long ago, my last pair of jeans started falling to pieces. I made myself go shopping, bought two pairs -- and yet, I've still only worn one of the pairs. Why am I saving the others? Not wearing clothes is just as wasteful as throwing good clothes away.”  -Gretchen Rubin

Often I encounter clients who share that reaction. One type buys something with the intention of using it “someday,” yet can’t identify when that day will be. The other type thinks they don’t deserve to use an item they have.

I can relate to that thinking even though I don’t agree with it.

I have always enjoyed writing letters and have purchased or received stationery and note cards over the years. Although I like to write notes and send them in the mail, I would save my “good” stationery and buy cheap cards to send instead. I loved looking at the beautiful papers and I was afraid that I would lose something when it was all gone; I was waited for an occasion worthy of using it.

One day I finally realized that if I liked the stationery so much, I should share it with the people I wrote to. When I got down to the last note card or sheet of paper, I promised myself I could save it as a “souvenir.” After a while, I figured out that I didn’t need to hold onto the paper anymore. It wasn’t adding any value to my life and it just took up space.

Now I use up the cards I have, instead of hanging onto them. I don't anticipate there being a worldwide shortage of writing papers.  When I finish what I have, there will be something else out there that is just as nice.  Last week I got a box of cards with designs from Frank Lloyd Wright that I am eager to start sending.

You can read Gretchen’s post for the entire definition of Spend out http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2007/10/what-it-means-t.html

Are you saving something that you could be using? How can you spend out? Click on Post a Comment, below, and tell us.

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