...I went into the boys' rooms and made lists of last year's gifts (those that were still around), writing down the cost of each and estimating the time each had been played with. Some (jigsaw puzzles and board games) proved to have been good buys. Unfortunately, in other cases, my estimates showed that my husband had worked more hours to pay for a toy than my children had played with it!
I love my kids to little bits. I love to give them gifts and make them happy. And I hate it when I have to tell them "No, I can't play with you/read to you/talk to you right now. I have to work" (I work from home). So it makes no sense to spend all those hours working to buy them gifts which give less pleasure than if I worked less and spent more time just being with them. I'm sure Ed feels the same.
There's another quote I'd like to share with you from an article I found via this week's Festival of Frugality. The author of the quote is describing his feelings about finally buying his dream car, a Mercedes convertible:
The good feeling doesn’t last. We get used to having the Mercedes.
It’s spectacular. It’s better than sex the first week.
It’s better than a meal at a great restaurant the second week.
It’s pretty damn good the third week.
And after that it’s just your car.
(from A Penny Closer)
If you haven't a clue what I'm talking about, if you find that your purchases give you enormous and lasting satisfaction, then I'm happy for you. But if what I've written strikes a chord then remember your hourly pay, and ask yourself before buying something - just how much pleasure is this going to give me? Is it really worth ten hours at work (or whatever)? Or could I spend this money better?