Addicted to heroin, coke and e-mail

Actually, no. Not me. Well, maybe e-mail. Who isn’t?

I lifted this line from the opening paragraph in The New York Times article which nicely summarizes Baumeister & Tierney’s book Willpower — a book I mentioned back in March to explain why planning is good for the mind (even for spontaneous sorts).

I was reminded of the book because this week’s card is the Queen of Spades and her assignment is for me to show some restraint. To dig deep into the willpower pool.

Specifically the Queen wants me to work out what I’d be willing to sacrifice today in order to enjoy tomorrow. (What an old fashioned idea! We wouldn’t be in the trouble we’re in had we not tossed it out the window a couple of decades ago.)

I need savings goals and then to do something about them. Like automate my bank account to remove the money without my having to remember each month. Technically, I do manage to save, but very accidentally and in lump sums here and there. What’s worrisome is that I always overspend my monthly take-home and that’s what I think I should probably stop doing.

But why bother? It all evens out in the end. In the bigger picture I don’t really live beyond my means — if I did I’d have debt and I don’t. Still, I do spend my way past my monthly salary.

That’s the key to my assignment this week: to work out why I should try to save more — by pricing some of the things I want in the future. Having specific stuff to save up for is pretty much the only thing that would motivate me to deny myself the things I’m used to having.

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