It's so-called Black Friday, and even though I know--most--businesses have had it rough this year, I'm not buying. I'm certainly not buying from Amazon, which had a VERY good year.
The emails from the few retailers with my email address have been coming thick and fast, and I'm a little disappointed. Despite my patronage--carefully and thoughtfully buying Christmas presents or a snazzy diary for 2022--they are trying to get me to part with our savings. How mean and ungrateful of them.
Of course, there is a wisp of desperation about these emails, so instead of resenting them, I'll feel sorry for them. 2021 was a tough year for everybody--except Amazon and all the other pandemic profit
Anyway, you don't have to buy that stuff, and if there is something you do need to buy, consider buying it tomorrow. Don't be the advertisers' stooge.
I dimly remember Boxing Day shopping (or Day-after-Boxing-Day shopping, as it was illegal for retail shops in Toronto to open on Boxing Day for much of my life) being exciting--goodness knows why--
but there are other ways to have fun. For example, the next winter I am in Canada, I will take my mother for a hotel tea. I'll invite my sisters, too. And my niece, my sister-in-law and (if possible) her mother.
Maybe there will be two hotel teas: one in Toronto and one in Montreal.
Thinking of money in terms of time and freedom is a mental revolution. If you think of money as time, and you don't have much time left over at the end of your day---the time having been converted into the products of work for your employer and money for you, you are less likely to spend it willy-nilly. That is, I am less likely to spend it willy-nilly.
Another mental revolution is considering how much money is spent by advertisers and data-gatherers determining how to make people buy more stuff. These are very clever people, and I suspect many of them are more clever than I am. Fortunately, I am too clever to pay attention to the "Earn a thousand dollars a week" advert that appears on Youtube, even though it is in Polish, and yet vain enough to appreciate having thoroughly confused the algorithms.
Anyway, one of the benefits of writing down every penny we spend (literally a penny when the London hotel charged us 1 p to "check that [my] bank card was the one that made the reservation") is that I am wonderfully organised now and ALL the Christmas presents we bought for our family in Canada are now in Canada. Thanks also to the Royal Mail.
But of course the primary benefit is having account to my ledger how much money came in and why it went out. It is not at all depressing. Sometimes I feel my heart lift when I look back and see something like "Late lunch @ 1926/Eating Out/37.00 (We paid for the wine.)" I think about the spontaneous decision on the train back from a TLM at the National Shrine to have lunch with various Youth of the Parish, our fun meal at 1926, and the bottle we, properly fulfilling our role as the eldest, ordered for all (but drank most of, come to think of it). It's a good memory, and not only was it a delightful use of our time, it was worth the time we paid for it, too.
Ah well, writing about money again. Now I must go away and either write about the spike in the deaths of newborns in Scotland in September, which is very sad, or see what someone has written about something equally important and depressing and fix their punctuation.