Recently, a coworker made a passing comment to me that he doesn’t spend a bad dollar. Quietly, I thought, wow, that is such a consciously responsible way to live. I wish more people were as responsible. The thought resonated with me not so much because of what was said but because of who said it. It made me reflective as I contemplated whether I was a bad spender and if so, how I could be more responsible.
A couple weeks later, I placed an order at a hotel for some burgers because I thought that I did not have the time to prepare a meal. When I got there, I waited twenty minutes before the order was delivered. Subsequently, I discovered that the price had increased from the last time I patronized the business. Additionally, I found that the bun was “properly wet” rendering the burger uneatable. Who likes wet bread? Certainly not me. I concluded that it was a waste of money and therefore a bad spend.
Interesting, over that said weekend, I had two other incidents that caused me to ask the sobering question – can I afford to spend a bad dollar? In answering that question, I found myself acting in ways I wouldn’t normally. Instead of just shrugging at an unsatisfactory service – I politely expressed my displeasure and asked that it be corrected or made a conscious decision not to patronize that business anymore.
With the change in several families’ income because of the COVID-19 pandemic and/or mandates that come with it, certainly there are people reminiscing on how responsible their spending has been. The unfortunate thing about money is – once it’s gone, it’s gone.
One of my favourite books is Peaks and Valleys by Spencer Johnson, M.D. It is filled with many invaluable lessons. Here are a couple of them:
Lesson 1: “Peaks and Valleys are connected. The errors we make in Today’s Good Times create Tomorrow’s Bad Times. And the wise things that we do in Today’s Bad Times create Tomorrow’s Good Times.”
Lesson 2: “We can change our Valley into a Peak when we Find and Use the Good Hidden in the Bad Time. If we do not learn in a Valley, we can become Bitter. If we truly learn something valuable, we can become Better. The pain in the valley can wake us up to a truth we have been ignoring.”
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