MIDWAY : Parsimonious prattle

Preena Shrestha:

Do you think money grows on trees?” Okay, I get it. One of my dad’s favourite things to do is lecture me on the importance of parsimony. He rattles off the relative advantages of saving up for something significant, forsaking current pleasures for the rewards of tomorrow. But I’m sitting there, nodding my head in agreement and letting out an occasional “yes, dad”, while in my mind, I’m actually trying to remember the price of a sweater at a downtown store.

Now, I’m not stupid. I can see where he’s going with the whole ‘anti-excessive-spending’ thing. It’s only practical. People work hard for their money, parents too, and their motivation does not come out of simple love for their profession. They have an obligation, to provide for us kids, and to give us everything we need, and more, perhaps, which makes their jobs all

the more indispensable. Obviously, they would expect and want us to appreciate their efforts. And I do.

Considering how careful I am with spending my allowance, I am aware of my father’s concerns. Extravagant buying is something I disapprove of, it’s just a case of temporary satisfaction, and it wears off soon. I see a lot of kids my age spending money they didn’t earn, and bragging about it too. Parties, drinks, bikes, clothes, and more parties - what would happen if they lost their seemingly unending supply of cash? They would be lost because when it comes to personal accomplishments and skills, they come up empty-handed.

True as my dad’s sermon is, I can, however, see the possibility of reaching the other extreme too. What’s the use of accumulating fresh banknotes and chequebooks in the closet, when time, something far more important than all else, is running out? Or when you could do something you really want to with it, such as going on a vacation, eating out, taking kids on a trip - the possibilities are endless. A moment gone is a moment lost, and believe me, you do not want to end up old and bitter, whining about missing out on that weekend in Goa, or that birthday dinner years ago.

Life is too unpredictable and way too short to waste on simply planning and forecasting. You have all of today, don’t screw it up in preparation for a tomorrow that could or could not exist, because you never know. Let there be a balance between saving for worthy causes, and allowing yourself to take that step towards things that bring you joy. Right now, for me, it’s the sweater. If it makes me happy, and doesn’t turn good ol’ dad bankrupt, why not buy it?