Did I end up with less? Yes and no. I purchased a Dungeons and Dragons Starter Set, partially because I’ve wanted to get back into roleplaying, and partially because my daughter showed an interest in playing. The other item I got was a movie to add to my collection, which is a good thing and a bad thing. I have a lot of movies that I still haven’t watched in my collection, and with a lot of movies and television series showing up on Netflix and Prime Video, it becomes overwhelming and I don’t watch anything because of that.

The last thing I got, and only because I had a short amount of store credit to spend, was a little plush turtle for my daughter, to not only show my love for her, but also to show that I can share the wealth. I also told her to remember what I did, because I may want something small in the future, and returning the favor would be nice.

I know. A lot to put on a child. She’s eleven. She can handle it.

Anyway, I have the opportunity to make some money (a lot of money) in the near future. I am looking forward to it, because I was hoping that I could have a little bit of it to spend. I know it is a habit, but at least it is small things, and not giant things.

My wife showed concern, only because it changes our tax bracket, thus setting a chain of events that cause us to have to have money put aside to make up for the fact that there is extra money in our life.

I took it as she was not happy about it by her reaction. I understand what she was feeling that way, but I thought she would be pleased with the extra money.

Then, I became frustrated. I don’t have any money to spend. My daughter has Christmas money of her own to spend, which as many children do, has blown right through it. My wife has used some of her extra money that she has made in her second job to get more outfits for the second job because she did not have any extra to wear.

I, on the other hand, have spent $2.99 of my wife and my money to get a digital copy of a book because I needed it for my publisher I was working with, and I also did not want to use my signed copy that I won in a contest.

You may not see the frustration, but I’m being selfish because the people around me are able to spend money and I am feeling like I have a cap on my spending because I have nothing to show for it (a job, basically). I know I’m being selfish, but I realize that in becoming a minimalist, I’m losing the one thing that I used to love, which is buying new things. If you want to make room and declutter your life, you have to come to the realization that you can’t spend money like you used to, and you need to find other things that make you happy.

I think the other reason for my frustration is I have spent the last month amassing a large library of free books that I have gotten through signing up for free subscriptions, newsletters, or winning in contests. I went “hog wild”, as you might say, and downloaded close to 70+ books over the last month onto my three Kindles.

“Are you planning on reading all of those books, or the books you were planning on downloading in the future?”

At the time, I thought I was. Now, looking back as it creeps slowly to the beginning of a new year, I tend to wonder if that may not be so true after all. I was merely downloading random titles, and not just being extremely selective in my choices. Plus, I thought that the day would come that I would never have anything but my books, and I needed to stock up like a person preparing supplies for armageddon.

I made a mistake. I need to realize that this was a choice I made, and I need to practice what I preach, and not get so frustrated that I can’t buy something to entertain me for five minutes. I think it is also time that I narrow down my selections of digital books, and only keep what is really worth reading. I say that, because 9 times out of 10, most books have the exact same premise, especially when they are free. I only hope that when I do become an author that I make original content and not the same old, same old.

So, to my wife, I’m sorry for my frustration this morning. I was wrong. I know what I must do to make myself healthy and happy.