Train of thought: buying stuff

I go through waves of being content with what I have and wanting to buy lots of stuff.

I’m currently wanting to buy stuff.

I like to read books, and I prefer them on paper, but a Kindle would be simpler for travel. Should I buy a Kindle? It would be nicer on my eyes than the iPad for reading. Do I really want another thing that needs to be charged?

My “books recommended to me” list has 200 books on it. Even if I eliminate the cook books and reference books, that’s still a crazy amount of books. Which should I choose? And how many? Would I read more with the simplicity of carrying that around?

I bought a real camera (hooray!) and there are a bajillion lenses and accessories and I want all of them but I don’t even know the basic functions of the camera yet… but Facebook’s advertising is (finally) spot on and I want All The Things.

I want to hang our race medals in the kitchen and hang plants in the kitchen windows and hang Camelbaks in the little nook which requires moving the teapots. Oh right. I can do most of that without buying anything. I just need to do it. <grumble grumble>

I saw some stackable baskets that would make the pantry a little more organized and they might be useful in the freezer but they might be a little too big. I wonder if they come in a smaller size and if that size would be useful or if it’s too small or if a basket really just isn’t a freezer thing.

A net would help contain The Kid’s stuffed animals. Most of the time, I don’t care about the stuffed animals, but it’s a pain trying to change the sheets.

If we had more (cloth) placemats and napkins, I could wash them less often. But then we’d also need a larger container to put the dirty ones in.

If I Marie Kondo-ed my closet, I’d have almost nothing left in it, which is only a problem because I do still actually need to get dressed. And I can’t wear jeans to work every day. And I’m heavier than I want to stay, so buying new clothes now doesn’t make sense.

I think shoe racks in the hallway would work better than keeping shoes in the closet because I always take my shoes off as soon as I walk into the house and if the racks were there, I could just plop them in and they’d be put away. But that will make an already-narrow hallway even narrower.

The Kid’s iPad doesn’t work well any more (it’s quite old by technology standards) but he can use his Kindle Fire but there are so many more apps available for the iPad but it makes no sense to buy an iPad because he has a Kindle. (For the record, I would get the new one and he would get mine.)

A bistro set out front would be lovely. Nicer chairs out back would also be excellent. But screening in the back porch first would make more sense because then the furniture would stay cleaner (still dusty, though) and the mosquitoes would mostly stay out so we could sit out there more. And nicer rugs, because lots of tree debris has collected in the current rugs but that wouldn’t be an issue so much if it was screened in. Or maybe just painting the concrete would work well, since sun would be less an issue.

I saw a picture of how I’d like to finish the garden area. Climbing Daddy is on board, but it involves a lot of rocks and a lot of pavers.

If I had a laptop instead of a desktop, I wouldn’t be stuck in the office to write. But I like the large screen on the desktop. But I like the mobility of a laptop. Maybe I should just use a keyboard for the iPad.

And on and on.

(This only scratches the surface of house-related stuff that I could easily drop a lot of cash on.)

I’m not totally sure what kicks this all up.

How much am I actually going to buy?

Immediately, probably none. (Some of the house-related things will be acquired eventually.)

Even without the financially restrictive aspects of being partnered (that’s not a complaint), I’ve always been anxious about spending money.

My dad was frugal to a fault (I think we call that cheap?); my mom spent recklessly. They fought over money constantly. He cut up her credit cards more than once. She would take us shopping but “don’t tell your father.” They would yell at me for asking for things that were expensive (like a flute, when I started playing, or summer camps). We got an allowance, received no financial guidance, but were made fun of for making poor decisions. I’m sure that all has some bearing on my financial mindset.

I’ve also never made a ton of money. Most of my adult life, I’ve had some but not a lot of disposable income. So I’ve always wrestled with which thing I would actually buy. Often, it turned into “none of the above” when I couldn’t decide which thing I wanted most. I’m often stuck on “what if I wish I hadn’t spent the money later, so I could buy ___ instead?”

An example I always come back to from before adulthood: I spent a month in Germany during the summer between junior and senior years of high school. I took $600 in spending money and came home with over $500. At the front end, I didn’t want to run out of money or not be able to buy something I liked better later, and at the end, there weren’t things I was interested in buying. (Going back to how I was parented—my mom was pissed that I came home with money.)

So I’m a little bit minimalist just by getting stuck on buying.

Because of my mental hurdles, shopping isn’t really fun most of the time, so retail therapy is rarely a thing.

For now, I’ll just wait for this to pass… and maybe get done the projects that I already have all the stuff for.

What’s your relationship with consumerism?


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