Over the last year I think I must have been having what Hot Stuff’s mum calls a spend up. Even so I’ve given quite a lot of thought to my consuming habits. But with retirement looming, I’m going to have to be even more careful. For years now I’ve made it a habit to have a wish list of the personal things that I want to buy for myself. It stops most impulse buying although I can be still be a bit of a sod for charity shop trove. Last spring my list seemed comprehensive: an electric bike, a new laptop, a new bed, prescription sunglasses, a few bits of clothes and footwear, crafting tools, a couple of board games and some books were all on there. Next to each item I’d written the price that I’d budgeted for each item. As of last month the list is empty.
Most of the things that I wanted I got below budget, by sourcing secondhand, sale shopping or buying a cheaper equivalent. I bought a new mattress and used my existing bed base for instance. No-one will have heard of the brand of my laptop but it functions perfectly well. Some things like a new wetsuit, my swimming poncho and a bag for my bike I received as gifts. Other things that made it to the list came off it again after a bit of thought. A delay before spending is good for that. So I decided that I didn’t need fancy printmaking tools because I can’t pursue that hobby at the moment. The house is in enough turmoil without messy inking. Those Ternes Burton registration pins can wait until the house is in order and I get some surprise birthday or Christmas cash.
I can’t quite believe the list has actually gone and I’m going into retirement with everything I want. Two years ago owning a lot of the stuff that I now have seemed like a pipe dream. Money was tight back then. Treating myself in small ways rather than a full blown spend up was actually rare. I was making do with a very clapped out computer and a lumpy bed. Perhaps this manifesting stuff actually works! It goes about its work quietly rather than producing the goods in a razzle dazzle style.
I made a last concerted effort to clear my list while I still have a wage coming in. I bought a couple of pairs of smarter shoes as the ones I had were past it. Maybe my wishes weren’t unmanageable because I don’t actually want a whole lot of stuff. I treasure what I have rather than what I lack. This is a good perspective as personal spending money will be tighter in the future. My priority will be to use a good chunk of any cash left over for travelling. No more ‘spend ups’ are planned. But I should have enough in the piggy bank to replace what breaks irreparably and for ongoing craft supplies of the type that I can’t upcycle. I feel truly blessed and I reckon that’s a good state to be in.