Retirement business rules 2 & 3 deal with decreasing spending. For most newly-retired people one of the first Retirement Merit Badges, donned is “Fixed Income.” I have done so, and look forward to flashing it proudly and bravely when dealing with internet service providers, utility companies and politicians.
I have begun, in earnest, my decrease-spending training. I begin my daily warmup by reading the day’s glossy full-color advertisements included with the newspaper and saying, out loud, “I don’t want that” to every image I see. Sometimes this is easier than others. When I don’t want the thing I’m looking at, it’s a breeze. When I do want the thing I’m looking at, it’s not only difficult to say I don’t want it, it’s difficult to not want it NOW!
There’s been a lot written about the social trend of the desire for immediate gratification. That there has been a lot written, is not going to stop me from writing more, because this social trend is impacting my success with decreasing spending. After all, I enjoy being socially trendy.
Spending is too easy! Many have had to hock their “Fixed Income” merit badge to finance a sleepless night of watching infomercials. I have lain in bed, finished the e-book I was reading, and purchased fifty dollars’ worth of additional e-books from my e-book’s easily-accessible e-shopper without even rolling over. I remember the good old days (that’s what we “Fixed Income” merit badge wearers call it) when I had to get in my car, and drive to a bookstore during normal business hours to spend fifty dollars for books. I usually wouldn’t spend fifty dollars, because carrying fifty dollars’ worth of books could be awkward.
The every-other-day spending fast is also, partially, in response to the current ease, and increased methods and opportunities, of spending. Since, to date, the only fast I’ve mastered is the fast fast (this could be interpreted either as a fast that begins, and is over almost immediately, or as abstaining from fasting altogether), I’m struggling. After all, spending is gratifying. I must tell myself, “I don’t want that.”