thoreau quote“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it” – Henry David Thoreau

As I was reflecting on the idea of “spend less”, money cha-chinged its way to the forefront of my mind. Money, Money, Money. Either we have too much, too little, we don’t spend it correctly, or we are chastised for being too stingy. Now don’t get me wrong, money is important, as evidenced by my student loans. I could write a blog post about what to spend less of your money on and that would be all and well. But let’s be realistic. It’s the Christmas season (…what even are Gifts?) and it’s almost finals week (binge buying pints of Graeters). But beside all that, this Advent season I am challenging myself to take the “spend less” mantra one step deeper.

Upon reflecting more deeply, I thought to myself, “why does the CFJ call us to spend less? Besides not hurting my wallet’s feelings, why does it matter?” After all, the idea of spending less is a simple matter of arithmetic: when we spend less, we save more. If we spend less, technically we are able to spend more on the things that really matter. But what does this mean for practical life? This led me to think about what I have to spend, all the different kinds of currency we have. As humans we can spend time, energy, resources, and even heart. But it was energy that really stuck out to me. After venting all of my concerns about a certain issue, I had a close friend recently ask me, “If it doesn’t bring you joy, why do you continue to invest your energy?” Each of us could name a countless number of things we spend our energy on. But what worth do we put on our energy? What value does it convert to? When you buy a product do you ever think, “Is this worth what I’m paying?” I do this constantly, and each time my response is normally NO. But rarely do I think about the cost of my energy. I never stop to question, “Is doing this going to make my life richer?” If we spend less time on things that do not make our lives richer, it leaves more time for things that fill our hearts.

If this Advent season, you feel called to spend less, I challenge you to spend more. Spend less energy speaking poorly of others and spend more time loving them. Spend less time on social media and spend more time talking to the people around you. Spend less time making commitments that don’t bring you joy and spend more time caring for yourself. Spend less energy overreacting and spend more energy toward being content. The purpose behind spending less is so that we can spend more on the things that really matter.  So this advent season I implore you not to spend less, but to spend more. Spend more on the ideas, things, and people you love.

colleenColleen Kaminski is a junior nursing major from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time she enjoys eating the cream out of Oreos, listening to Spotify to avoid homework, and hanging with pals.  Colleen is also extremely charitable and will always lend a Candy Crush life to a friend in need.  Her opportunity to do Summer Service Internship provided inspiration for this blog post.