If there’s anything that almost entering my fourth decade of life has taught me, it is that there is no point in saving things for the “right” occasion.
From a young age, I was taught the value of money as Mum and Dad scrimped and saved to build a home and send my two sisters and I to private school. Growing up, it was drilled into us that saving for a “rainy day” was very important for our future livelihoods. We had “home” clothes and “going out” clothes. There was everyday tableware and tableware that would only come out when my parents entertained. Food was never wasted. Birthday presents and Christmas presents were limited to one (occasionally two) per child (I have no memory of ever believing in Santa – the presents were always from whoever they were from. That’s a whole other post).
I must say, because I didn’t know any different for the most part, life was what it was and I had a really happy childhood. I say “for the most part” because there were moments at school when, looking back, it must have dawned on me that there were kids out there whose parents didn’t share the same views about saving (and that is fine).
There are many aspects of the way I was raised that I agree with and that remain part of my value system. For example, going into adulthood, I worked hard for things that I wanted and saved for “special” purchases. Money is set aside each month as savings. I still don’t like wasting food. As parents, Eugene and I have started teaching the kids that people work for money to buy things, to live somewhere, to have clothes and food. They have their piggy banks which they can access to buy things we veto but once they are empty or there is not enough for something, they go without.
There are however, certain values when it comes to “saving” that have taken me many years to realise I don’t necessarily agree with (or, put another way, are not values I want to live with). I think as each year goes by, I feel more mortal. I don’t know who else feels like this, but I think having children has somehow heightened my sensitivity to all the bad sh*t that happens in the world – life just seems more fragile and the words “live in the present because you’re not guaranteed tomorrow” hits home a bit more with each passing year. So for me, I no longer want to save the “good stuff” for some other time that may or may not happen. My feeling is that, as long as I am living within my means, I should enjoy life as much as possible. Soooo…in the name of living in the present (to give some examples and ideas from my personal perspective):
- wear the nice jewellery everyday (I’ve heard of someone who bought a fake diamond ring to wear everyday instead of her Tiffany engagement ring)
- use the good crockery and cutlery for all meals
- use the good stationery whenever a written note is in order (this one is close to my heart because I have the most amazing stationery collection, including beautiful papers and writing instruments collected over the years)
- wear something each day that makes you feel a million bucks, whether it be a pair of statement earrings, a ruby red lipstick or your favourite perfume
- carry your best or favourite handbag as your everyday bag
- display your treasures – surround yourself with things that bring you joy
- use up the slightly ridiculously extravagant individually packaged face masks bought from duty free on your last overseas holiday (okay…clearly I’m talking to myself on this one).
What would be on your list? xx