I’m not sure why it so offends me but it does. Being overly concerned with the price of things can let money rule your life. I associate being stingy with being mean and I can think of no nastier form of punishment than being forced to spend my life comparison shopping.
I can afford to have this attitude.
But that’s a relatively new development — for many years I could not afford this attitude. Literally. Enter, a state of continual debt.
I’m very interested in both generousity and frugality — are they opposite? Not really, but sort of. I’m convinced these are approaches to money that we inherit, but do they simply reflect how we’re raised (and whether we chose to rebel against or adopt the ways of our parents)? What if they reflect a deeper ancestral tendency?
My assignment this week is to examine my profound dislike of frugality. I’ve long believed I developed this allergy during my early adolescence where a lack of money became the dominant theme within our household and that I (over)reacted by refusing, point blank, to ever allow modest differentials in costs to drive how I spent money.
But any story you tell yourself over and over is likely to be just a version of the truth. There are other explnations that might equally explain why I resent frugality in a manner reminiscent of a petulant teen.
And so my assignment this week is to consider the advice of frugal do-gooders and to see ask whether I can disentangle what just might be a pointlessly expensive attitude to maintain.