Friday, 30 September 2011
It's because he is a Northerner.
Do people mistake your choice of lifestyle for stinginess?
I have sometimes been judged for my choice in not spending money on things that other people spend money on and have often heard the phrase 'it's because he is from the North'. I am not entirely sure how Northerners ended up with a label of being less forthcoming with their money than others but I am proud of where I come from. Perhaps it is partly why I have never really fitted in living where I do? I have a good friend who is almost the entire opposite of me, spend, spend, spend, and not little purchases, massive ones, is there ever a reason to have more than one car when you are a single person? I respect the way he lives and he respects my choices, but we have such differing views on why we do what we do. I have taken a few years to get to the mindset I now have, but I have never knowingly wasted money in my life and it is only as I have got older that I have now much more care about the impact I, personally have on the World around us. I have wanted to get back to nature for many years and have only really felt totally comfortable and at home when I am wandering in the countryside, quietly, upsetting no-one. Now that I am finally making positive steps towards that I feel more at peace than I have felt for years. I have moments of wondering if I am crazy, moving somewhere that I know very few people, where I have only one real friend and where I am going to cause myself problems with working (a lot of my work will still be in London) but then I think about the countryside, that will be on my doorstep and I know that I am making the right choice. You may wonder why I have not done this earlier? after all, 19 years living somewhere I don't like sounds ridiculous. I always had it in my mind that perhaps it is something I would do with a partner, something we would do together. But one day I woke up and realised that this was just an excuse and if I waited until I met the right person then I could end up never doing it and another 19 years could pass living somewhere I don't like.
Anyway, as ever, my un-concentrated mind has wandered from my original subject.
The other day I listened in to a conversation between two colleagues, one of which had just spent a large amount of money on something completely unnecessary. To hear the justification in the mindset of why such a large amount of money was used was quite amusing. One said to the other that sometimes it is necessary to spend just to make yourself feel good - an all too familiar analysis. Surely if you recognise this in yourself it is easy to undo? I happen to think that it is more that people are addicted to a lifestyle, the lifestyle that they think they ought to have, based on what other people have and want. Once you break that habit everything seems to fall into place and you find other ways of filling your needs, saving becomes your addiction more than shopping.
So yes, some people may think that I am a tight-wad (I'm not), some may think that I am judgemental of the way they live their lives, I certainly am not, we all have a choice and I have chosen a way to be that is different from the crowd, but everyone is free to make their own choices and live with the decisions they make, who am I to say otherwise? I am far from perfect and still have a whole load to learn, mistakes are made every month, but it is a great personal journey and one that hopefully will end up here: