Table of Contents
“A Guide to Conscious Spending”
"affording it" is not the issue, how do we decide how
much to spend? This question is complicated not only by
a dizzying array of choices in the marketplace but also
by our own conflicting values. The following are some
criteria that can help guide thoughtful spending. Do you
use these criteria or others? How might you map out your
own decision-making process?
Which among various options
best meets your real needs?
Can you meet the same need by spending less money?
Will the purchase make a significant difference to you
Does the item's social and environmental impact feel
Overall, does how you spend
money feel balanced (e.g., among basic needs, luxuries,
personal growth, family, community, philanthropy)?
What does your quiet, inner
voice advise you to do?
Jill and Alan decided not to go to New
Zealand. They had mixed
feelings about how much to spend on travel (Criterion
E), were uneasy with the environmental impact of air travel
(D), and wished to vacation more with non-affluent friends
(C). Jill thought of various options, and finally settled
on one that seemed to meet several needs (A): to invest
in land abutting the closest state forest and build a
cottage. Over many years, this proved to be a cost-effective
(B) and delightful get-away for herself, Alan, and their
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