Saturday, August 14, 2010

What I Buy When I Don't Spend

I've been gone for a few dear readers, busy preparing for returning to work. Once I have my groove in place, I plan to regularly update this blog. This is different type of entry one I think is very important in the infancy of this blog. I am a consumerist. Yet my consumption is to fulfill needs that I feel are essential to my being. Everything I buy is with good reason. I do not shop for shopping's sake. That being said, I am somewhat frugal in my pursuit if a good time. You should spend the day with me. I know how to save money and I know how to get what I want. 

This leads me to yesterday. I had a lovely day with my mom and daughter yesterday. We drove down a couple of miles down PCH, (Pacific Coast Highway,) just to enjoy the ocean view. We went to the Pacific Mammal Rescue Center in Laguna Beach, (totally free to view the sea lions and other rescued animals,) only to find that we had gotten there too late. So we just turned around and went to Laguna Main Beach and played in the water. We had fun chasing the pelicans and the waves. My mom took pictures. The cheap day will be one we'll remember for a lifetime. I have many days like this especially since I haven't yet returned to work. I spent $2.00 on parking. Since I have a toddler and I try not to buy fast food or spend unnecessarily, I always pack mini meals in my purse. Unless I make plans to go eat, I rarely spend money on food outside of the home. 

Coincidentally I came across an article today, over at, that stated
Spending on Experiences Instead of Possessions Results in More Satisfaction (click the link to go over to the article.) I have to agree with this. Even though I write a blog "What I Buy," most of my expenses, (other than necessities and bills,) come from spending on creating memories. 

For example, for my daughter's birthday, I made sure that the day would result in memories instead of stuff. We had a beautiful day at Tanaka Farms in Irvine, a beautiful organic farm, where my daughter and her guests were treated to a hay ride, freshly picked organic fruits and vegetables, and everyone got their own mini watermelon to take home. I'm not going to do an inventory on this, as I think it would be tacky, but it was an inexpensive way to celebrate and thank family and friends for being a part of our lives.

We had a ball. Although my daughter loves her gifts, even at two years old, all she can talk about is the tractor and the watermelons. I think this is a tradition I want to continue. I did not buy my daughter anything other than the party for her birthday. I think that I will use the day to create memories that she will share with her friends and family once I am gone. 

Don't get me wrong, I like stuff. Things I purchase bring me pleasure in some way or another. But I have become so much more aware of creating memories and traditions after becoming a widow and a mother that I try to ensure my dollar does more than it used to. 

So what I buy when I do not spend is memories and experiences that I can reflect on and give me pleasure for a lifetime. Hopefully more of my money from when I do spend will do the same. 

For more info on Tanaka Farms, please visit:
For more info on Pacific Marine Mammal Rescue center in Laguna Beach, CA, please visit:

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