Monday, July 20, 2009
LIVE TO SHOP, OR SHOP TO LIVE?
I would imagine that Dear Hubby is getting a bit tired of everyone asking him "When are you going to retire?" The frequency with which he hears that question has really stepped up since his bypass surgery. At first it was wanting to get the kids out of school and established, able to stand on their own two feet, and getting his company and his two partners to the point where they can also function without him, that kept him working. Now, I think it all boils down to money. I think he just can't imagine how he will ever be able to get by on a combination of social security and what we can safely draw from our investments. I mean, that man is a shopper, and hardly a day goes by that he doesn't find something in the stores he just has to have, some new gizmo on-line that he just has to order, some gift he wants to buy for me or the kids, or something he thinks we need for the house or garden.
We were discussing it this weekend, and I tried to explain to him how that will change over time, once he joins me up here. That, once you start living the good life, you actually start living - you have time to learn new things, to join in on community activities, to volunteer, to meet and really connect with people who care about the same things as you - and the more you do all of that, the less you need shopping just to make you feel alive.
I never thought in a million years that I would now be living off of what was formerly just my food and entertainment budget, making it stretch to cover fitness classes and continuing ed., a vacation fund, books and magazines, gifts and donations, clothes, a Christmas fund, home and garden purchases, hair cuts and more. And not just getting by, but feeling more satisfied than I ever did when I had twice that amount to spend!
Unfortunately, I'm lousy at trying to explain things off the cuff and face to face, and I don't think I managed to convince him in the least. Luckily, however, I just came across a posting over at the Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op, written by From the Frugal Trenches, and titled Creating A New Normality. She summed up precisely what I was trying to say, but failed so miserably at. I hope my Little Squeedunk, and all of you, will give it a read, and let me know what you think .
P.S. Many thanks to pro.corbis.com for the above image.