words and images by mk swanson
Life as Usual

Life as Usual

While I look for work, I continue to eat, drive, watch TV and read. Money is becoming tighter; I started to look for ways to save, ways to cut back.
This is what I was doing: not buying extras, like dinners out, books or a stereo for my iPhone; buying cheaper brands that may not be organic or free range; buying fewer Christmas presents; and considering putting off my charitable giving, usually done at the end of the year, until I am safely rolling in dough again.
But then I started listening to others say what they are doing in anticipation of the possibility of not having enough money, and I read about a study that indicated that when people are prompted to think about money, they reduce their generosity.*
It occurred to me that we tend not to think about the guy we didn’t buy our pizza from, or the bookseller who didn’t get our business. What’s going to happen to them when I don’t buy?

I can’t spend the same way I did when my family had two incomes, but I will consider the other guy when deciding when–and where–to spend what I do have. I’ll try to keep the world going ’round. Call it work karma.

* “How Money Hardens the Heart,” Nov/Dec issue, Spirituality and Health Magazine, www.spirituality-health.com