I don't need a new bag. I am not really sure that I really want a new bag. But I'd like one. Especially when I see bags that call out, "Hey Pru! Let's be shoulder-mates!" And when I see a bag that I like, I think, "I want that! And I can afford that!"
But I try to stop myself before I start thinking that I deserve a new bag. You know because crap day, crap job, crap life, crap insert your own reason...
Entitlement is something that I'd rather not be known for and the "I wants" and "I can affords" can very quickly become the "I deserves." These recent thoughts have led me to the conclusion that there are at least 3 types of entitlements:
- Arrogant Entitlement;
- This-is-My-Normal Entitlement; and
- Ignorant Entitlement.
I certainly hope that I have never been Arrogant Entitlement. But I fear that I am walking the This-is-My-Normal and the Ignorant Entitlement line.
The This-is-My-Normal Entitlement is just that - what we have always known and thought of as normal. This is something that people who are middle-middle class and above can easily suffer from. Without having had to rough it or risk losing the basics (and slightly more than the basics), we expect certain things in our life. It's all we've ever known. It's our normal.
Raise your hand (or fingers) if this is you?!
This entitlement can be very hard to wrangle. With a complete lack of empathy, you can very quickly end up being buddy-buddy with Arrogant Entitlement. But with the right dose of empathy, you end up with a good life that you are thankful for and cognizant of all that you have and what you can quickly lose. (I'm striving for this.)
Last of all is the Ignorant Entitlement. I consider this to be another name for Lifestyle Creep Entitlement. It happens slowly enough that you are completely ignorant to its existence. This one can also very quickly become Arrogant Entitlement or This-is-My-Normal Entitlement. Ignorant Entitlement also forgets where he or she came from but usually with good reason - i.e. because the past wasn't great.
Those who move from middle-middle class to upper-middle class (usually due to career choices or marriage) need to be especially careful.
What is all this about?! Good question because I do tend to ramble on ;-)
It's about awareness. I recently read something that said more and more people will need to work until 70 (70!) in order to have a secure-ish retirement. I can't work until I'm 70. I don't even want to work until I'm 60.
With more and better awareness of my thoughts and spending actions, I can rein in my entitlement thoughts and reduce outflows of cash. Practiced consistently over a few more years, I have a good chance of not having to work until I'm 70 (or even 60!).
For now I'm opting to NOT buy a new bag.