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Sunday
Aug192012

jolly urban hermits (or, why i'm buying another kindle)

Today, I left my kindle on the bus because I was in just such a great state, I couldn't be bothered to mind my belongings so I didn't leave them wherever. So, I did leave one somewhere. Specifically on the bus seat across from the really cute punk girl who was playing with her nose piercing incessantly, which made it look like she was picking her nose (though I'm pretty sure she wasn't because she seemed more hygienic than that).

Tomorrow, I'll call and see if I can recover it. That would obviously be good. However, contrary to a recent tweet, I decided to buy another.

I did a quick mental walkthrough of the tradeoffs I'd be making if I chose not to get another one. In brief, I'd be choosing resiliency to a possible but not likely worst case (some urgent and important expenditure) at the cost of certainly doing less of a thing I highly value (learning). Whereas, if I do get another, I'm choosing to prioritize what my values over fear.

Also, I still have my savings from this check. The question that it came down to is whether I could delay any purchases that come up for eleven days. I decided that learning is more important than any of the purchases I've not dealt with yet.

I should clarify that this is not money for food, or fun (those are separate categories in my current budget). This is money for things like kindles, kitty litter, water filters, paper towels, haircuts, what have you. There are very few things so urgent I wouldn't be able to delay. Worst case, I could just use my savings for what I intended it for, dealing with emergencies.

That's risky. This is a new, fragile budget. If I consistently push the limits, I'll never save a dime. That's not what I value. Clearly, at the least I need to delay anything I can rather than dip into savings. On the other hand, it is less obvious that I should be anxious about spending the last dime of my other categories. They're allotted for the purpose of being spent, to prevent any need of spending savings. If I use them effectively, my home should be stocked such that I can live as a jolly urban hermit and not spend any money on anything.

Which is ultimately why the kindle matters: because it supports me being that jolly urban hermit. You have to invest in the structures that support doing the simpler, more fulfilling things.

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