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A strange observation about my spending in May

May 26th, 2010 at 08:34 pm

I made a rather strange observation this month.

In May I gave $250 each to my brother and sister. (I'm helping my brother with debt, and helping my sister save for college.) When I add that $500 to the total that I spent in May, I'm on track to spend less in May than I have in each of the previous 5 months.

So basically I started spending less overall when I started helping my family.

I was ruminating on that oddity today. I think I know why it happened. Helping my family gives me focus.

Again and again this month, I found myself contemplating a $50 something or other that I would normally buy. But instead my thoughts wandered to my sister going to college, or my brother travelling around the world once his debt is gone. I started to wonder if really want anything any more. What I really want is freedom and choices for the people I love. What I really want is connecting to the people I love. I already have enough on hand to make food, and be warm, and find love, and relax with a cup of tea at the end of a long day. What more do I want? I want my sister to have a choice about what she does next - that's what I want.

I'm also starting to appreciate the pace of buying used things. I've been discovering again and again how much I like waiting. Eventually the object of my desire shows up at the thrift store. I like to find it there waiting for me, one of a kind, at the end of a month-long search. I love the atmosphere it creates in my home: I'm at the end of all of my searching. I'm there.