Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Things I Want to Buy and the Three-Day Rule

A recent review of my personal finances has led me to once again list things I want instead of buying them with one-click on Amazon.

I don't need one-click shopping to get in trouble. I did this for a while some 15 or 20 years ago when I thought I needed a cool-down period before shopping.  It is a simple habit. When I want to buy something (other than groceries and other necessities) I write it down (on the memo on my smart phone), with the date, and refrain from buying it for three days. I'm not "postponing" a purchase. I'm giving an impulse a waiting period to see if I really want the thing in three days or have thought better of it.

I'm sure I picked this idea up from a helpful book.  Not the book shown to the right. It's here because it was a sudden keen desire for this book that made me suspect I need to slow down and finish the last book I bought.

I learned about this book in one of John Tarrant's generous pieces on koans. This one was, "If you turn things around you are like the Buddha," which Tarrant notes is found in the above collection.   I think you do it like this:

You have a thought ~
I waste too much money on impulse items.

You can turn that around and think~
I don't waste money enough.
or, in my case,
I don't waste enough time.

Actually, I personally do.  I waste a whole day every Sunday.  And I waste money enough, I believe. Yesterday my new UP24 arrived. This is a bracelet (like a FitBit) that coordinates with my phone and logs my steps, graphs my sleep, and vibrates every 45 minutes to remind me to get up and stretch. And logs my food, if I want it to.  It seemed like a silly luxury, but 24 hours with it has me feeling like it's the greatest thing I ever did. I think it will help me get back in shape and be honest with myself about what I eat.
from HenriettaAndMorty on Etsy
The above pillow, on the other hand, is pretty nonfuctional.  I added it to the wait list yesterday.  Buddha with a sense of humor. Really, I love it, and if I had to choose I'd probably get more joy from it than another book of koans.  I do like koan work; over the years it has nourished my general ability to feel joy.  Here's a personal koan I have often carried with me when I shop for clothes~

Does this make you want to do a little dance of happiness?

Actually, it does.

1 comment:

  1. This is a very sensible thing to do. I practise it all the time, having been forced into it by budgetary constraints.I don't write it down, but I file it away mentally. Also, I may walk around the store with the item in my hand or basket just to get the feel of it (do I really want/need it?), then more often than not, I put it back on the shelf.