What Are You Saving It For?

Mark and I both wear glasses. Several years ago, I bought many microfiber cloths so I could clean my glasses, especially at breakfast. For some reasons, my glasses attract fingerprints and smushes when I’m sleeping. (I know, the smushes were there when I went to bed, but I don’t see the dirtiness in the evening.)

Mark has suggested many times that I use the spray bottle of glasses cleaner when I clean my glasses. I don’t often do that, because I’m saving the glasses cleaner for when my glasses are really dirty.

I was stretching at the kitchen counter this morning and saw an 8-oz bottle of glasses cleaner. I said, “What a great idea. When did you get this?”

“Several months ago. I refill all the glasses cleaner little bottles with it.” Mark paused. “Yours wasn’t empty.”

I cracked up. “Nope, I was saving mine.”

“What for?” he asked.

I didn’t have a good answer. That’s when I realized—again—that I choose what to do when, and how to do it. I make choices in the rest of my life. Why not something as simple as glasses cleaner?

The best answer I have right now is that I have the scarcity (vs. abundance) mindset when it comes to glasses cleaner. (As I write this, I’m shaking my head at myself.) The scarcity mindset makes us think in not-normal-to-us ways. We think we need to save something.

Here’s the real problem: There’s very little scarcity in our lives, except for what we create. Sure, some things might be out of our financial reach, now and forever. For example, I’m not ever going to be able to have a personal jet. Just not going to happen. On the other hand, I can take a commercial jet to get to places past driving distance. A personal jet is outside my financial reach. I can live a great and fulfilling life without a personal jet.

I choose scarcity for some things in my life, such as key lime pie. We just returned from a vacation in Key West, where the key lime pie is outstanding. I chose to have some bites of Mark’s, and at one point, I asked him to build a barrier so I wouldn’t have any more bites. You can see the remaining pie plus the coffee, water glass and water pitcher in this picture.

I’d already had three small bites and I was in danger of taking more. I asked Mark for his help—the barrier was so I would have to work to get more pie. I successfully avoided more temptation.

Most of the time, I don’t save things. I wear my clothes (in appropriate occasions), use the cookware, and use the tools at my disposal.

We live in a time of abundance—not everything for all people, but many things for most people. I even—now—have abundance for the glasses cleaner.

That is the question this week: What are you saving it for?

4 thoughts on “What Are You Saving It For?

  1. Jim Grey

    Growing up working class as I did, I have a built-in scarcity mindset that even in middle age I still have to challenge. I have a tendency to not want to buy too-nice things, and when I receive something too-nice as a gift to want to use it sparingly. In truth, this is part of the reason I drive an old, fairly basic car with lots of miles on it. I wouldn’t feel as comfortable with a new car with luxury features. Actually, I had one of those once when I was much younger, and I always felt conspicuous and ridiculous in it. Today, I would rather spend the money I save on not owning a new luxurious car on dinners out or long weekend trips with my wife.

    1. johanna Post author

      Jim, you are consciously making your decisions—which is a great idea. Notice that the glasses cleaner is inexpensive. There was no reason for me to save it!! I do make conscious tradeoffs, and not quite often enough. I’m working on it.

  2. Marsha Browne

    Johanna, another great post. Fabulous question — I made the decision regarding “saving” long ago, after becoming the friend of a hoarder. She invited me into her home. Talk about a scarcity mindset? There it was, crammed into every available nook, corner and cranny of all three floors of her house. In the office space (large, about 25’x20′, she and her husband had so many reams of paper, computer magazines and newspapers, they actually built a wall to separate themselves. She had a huge house, and every inch of it was covered in stuff she was keeping “just in case,” or “for later.” She had clothing in every size imaginable, and could have stocked a women’s boutique with all the stuff she couldn’t wear.

    When I went home after that visit, I looked at my own home differently. I realized I could replace anything with very little effort or expense if I had to, and that many things weren’t necessary for my lifestyle. I didn’t want all the clutter and baggage of having to maintain duplicates and triplicates needed for “just in case.” I gave things to charity, I sold some stuff, and I recycled as much as I could.

    The abundant mindset gives you the freedom to manifest what you need, when you need it, without struggle or privation.

    That’s the life for me.

    1. johanna Post author

      Marsha, when we moved into this house, I took the opportunity to get rid of a ton of stuff. I pared down my clothes, we sold/donated a ton of housewares. I even sold (via consignment) jewelry that no longer worked for me. I didn’t win all the “discussions” I had with Mark. We have a box of baby bibs and sippy cups for the eventual grandchildren. No, our daughters are not yet married, so grandchildren are still a little ways off :-) However, it’s only one box, not an entire house of hoarding.

      I wrote about part of that in What Did You Say No to Today?.

      I’ve been replacing my physical library with an electronic library, little by little. At least, I’m not adding to my physical library! That’s part of the abundant mindset. Yup, abundance makes more sense to me.

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