Clearly, you buy stuff. There’s part of me that says, “Put it way, you might need it,” but really, then it just joins the mass of undesignated money in the bank account and is never used in any specific way. So spend it. Spend it on something you’ve been wishing you could afford, or something you need but were on the breaking point to afford.
For example, two days ago I rolled my change. This change has been collecting since my first year of university, if not earlier. I had $9.50 in pennies, $14 in nickels, and $25 in dimes. All told, this adds up to $48.50.
Like any young person attracted to the life and teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, after depositing this money in the bank (my bike was so much lighter to ride after that!), I went to Crux Books at Wycliffe College and grabbed the $44 St. Francis Omnibus of Sources. I leafed through it. Thought about it. Hmmed. Hawed. Put it back. Looked for the Secular Franciscan guide. Eyed Rowan Williams’ book about praying with icons of Christ. Wandered a bit, picked up the Omnibus again.
Then decided against it and left.
My reasoning was thus: Yes, I want it. I like St. Francis. He is cool. I used to want to become an associate of The Society of Saint Francis. Or a tertiary or something. Nevertheless, I have lots and lots of books that I haven’t read. And while I someday will read this book, or at least the contents thereof, that day is not today. These two hefty volumes will simply sit on the shelf with other books I purchased well-meaningly and gather dust until some date, possibly years in the future.
So, in the interests of simplicity, I decided to spend the $48.50 on something I would definitely use sooner and more frequently than a Franciscan omnibus:
That’s right. In the interests of the discipline of simplicity and Franciscan spirituality, I bought a sci-fi TV show. From Futureshop for $24.99.
I also ordered Serenity, the movie sequel Firefly, from someone on amazon who was selling the widescreen brand new for less than amazon itself was! This was about $10, leaving me with $14 left.
Since St. Francis was the original concept, I’ve ordered the Society of St. Francis’ Celebrating Common Prayer, which is essentially an Anglican Breviary with the daily office in it designed for Franciscans. Many people like it and it has been recommended to me before.
So there goes my $48.50. I think I spent it well. Not that DVDs and prayer books equal contentment. But being critical with one’s resources is a pleasant thing to do.