I used to follow all the sales, and I would be mobilized into action by hearing that the low price would “expire soon” As a result, I bought a lot of junk I didn’t need. And instead of saving money, I ran up my credit cards thinking I was getting a terrific bargain. Now I get this cynical smirk on my face when being offered a low price. Remember: You will be paying an even lower price if your spending is zero.
Unfortunately, with the economy being the way it is today, it would help if more people were spendthrifts—but not if, by so doing, they got into serious debt.
For me, the biggest temptation was—and still is—books. On Sunday, Martine and I took a walk on the campus of Loyola-Marymount University in Westchester. Because I’ve seen as much of the campus as I want to, I usually accompany Martine for only the first half of the walk and spend the rest of the time in the nice new Hammond Library.
While there, I took a look at a relatively new book by Karl Schlögel entitled Moscow, 1937. It was a fascinating picture of the Soviet capital during Stalin’s purges. I was so enthralled that I read the first chapter in its entirety (about Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita) and scanned the rest of the book page by page. The illustrations and maps were amazing.
Needless to say, I was sold. That evening, I found a cheap new copy on eBay and purchased it. As you can see, I can present myself as a bit of a cheapskate; but I still have, hidden not so deep within myself, a raging spendthrift.