Do I Really Need More Stuff? I Guess I Just Don't Care
There is a story in our family of my first Christmas, or one of them anyway. I open a gift and begin playing… with the box. After waiting awhile for me to get tired of it (apparently I wasn't), my parents show me the toy in the box so I begin playing with that. They have to practically force me to open my other gifts, which they think is pretty funny. Little Nicole would have been just as happy with the box.
At the same time I'm mulling this over, I think of all the advertising I'm exposed to about Father's Day. The need to make Father's Day special. The need to find Dad that perfect gift.
You may or may not know that my dad died in November at the age of 51. This is my first Father's Day without him. "Well, at least I don't need to get him a gift." I thought, attempting to look on the bright side of a not very bright situation. But wait a minute, I don't usually buy him a gift. . .
When my dad was alive, the thought of buying him one more knick knack did not seem right. Besides going to his camp, golfing, and hanging out at home with my mother, my father had no hobbies. He didn't read. He didn't collect things. He wore the same pair of jean shorts all summer until they wore out. My gift on Father's Day or most any other occasion was often just showing up, sometimes even with a card. He never gave me any indication that this was anything but fine. He was always grateful that I could drive from wherever I was living and just hang out for the weekend.
So I play with boxes; I don't buy my father a Father's Day present; and I move all the time. What a bizarre person, you're probably thinking. There must be a point for my little stories.
Here's my point. My motivation for saving is simple. I ask myself what I'd use the money on. More stuff I'd have to pack in a box a year from now and move a few hundred miles then unpack again? A gift my father wouldn't even use or remember? If I didn't buy stuff, I guess I'd just have money which sits in a bank somewhere. I wouldn't be buying more things to strain the environment, exploit workers, or take up space in my life or others' lives. Saving becomes pretty easy when you look at it like that.
So my motivation is a lack of motivation to buy and need more and more and more. Is that yours as well?