I’ve been think about money a lot lately. It’s not an easy thing to do. It’s not an easy thing to talk about either. I hope I craft this post well enough so that it does not end up being offensive.
There’s this old saying that I heard a long time ago…
I think it originated in the Great Depression and it makes me think of the thriftiness that people had to have back then. It was a necessity. They used and recycled and reused and recycled and more often than not, they did without.
I have to say that I don’t think I’ve ever REALLY ‘done without’ a day in my whole life. As an only child from a divorced home, I pretty much got whatever I wanted. And yes I realize that makes me spoiled. Getting whatever I wanted continued as I grew older and my father continued to pay my bills. It continued after he passed away and left me more money to pay my bills. Go without? It was never a consideration. There was always a reason I needed everything I bought.
But would someone from the depression era – my grandmother perhaps – consider my reasons valid? Or would she think that my lifestyle was extravagant and superfluous? (Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying I’m renting private jets and flitting off to Paris at the drop of a hat but for a woman who raised 10 kids and ran a household on her husband’s salary, perhaps going out to dinner when you’re just too lazy to cook would seem extravagant and superfluous.)
History has never really been my thing but I’m starting to become more and more fascinated by the Great Depression. I think of all of those people, struggling just to put food in their stomachs and clothes on their backs. They were resourceful and determined and tough. They didn’t have a choice.
Obviously in this day and age, most of us do have a choice. I don’t need to swing by the drive thru and grab myself breakfast after I’ve just fed my kids and dropped them off at school. But I do and I call it a treat. And I don’t need that new pair of jeans to go out this weekend especially when I know they won’t fit quite right anyway. But I buy them and blame it on having nothing to wear. Sometimes the thought of not having can be emotional and scary. It can bring up feelings of doubt and inferiority. But why not go without? What would be the worst thing that could happen if I went without?
If I went without those drive thru stops for a whole year, I’d be much healthier and my wallet would be quite a bit fatter. Would it be enough to take my family camping for a weekend? Probably.
If I went without a pair of not-quite-right jeans or three, I’d have less stuff that I don’t love in my closet. And I wouldn’t need to add ‘make consignment shop appointment’ to my to-do list every six months.
Can I go without a trip to the grocery store this week and get creative with our menu? Probably. And would that kill me? Doubtful though you might want to watch out for some more kitchen failure posts coming soon if I do. Ha ha!
Are you fascinated by the Great Depression? Have you read any books about it that you think I might enjoy?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether ‘Miserly Monday’ should become a regular feature or not!