An article in the January 10, 2009 Toronto Globe and Mail's Business section, "Professional cheapskates give their 2 cents on coping during tough times", offered some good advice and reminders. I'm not linking it because that cheapjack rag will charge you $4 to download.
David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber, says,
"The single biggest mistake people make in financial planning is buying more stuff. Not convinced? Help a friend move- conspicuous consumption has overwhelmed us."
It's a rather chilling exercise to review what I bought over the last six months, and ask myself if I needed it. What about those patent flats I bought in Paris, that nestle unworn in their flannel bag? ("Don't you have about ten pairs of black shoes?" Le Duc asked when I bought them, but did I listen?)
If one has the means, there's more to life than strictly need; beautiful objects or sensory pleasures are on sale at every turn. There are times when beauty lifts the spirit, sustains us. No, I don't need a lush fuscia cyclamen, but I'll enjoy its bloom for weeks in this bleak winter.
It's the just-another category that I want to expunge. One of my girlfriends saw me at a holiday party. She admired my new sweater and said, "Oh, I've seen that skirt before." In fact, I wore it for the first time that evening. But I have several so similar, how could she tell?
I'm determined to consume more thoughtfully, to reduce not only expense and clutter, but also because I feel lighter and happier when I wake from the trance of more.