June 8, 2008


Posted in Finances, Inspiration tagged , at 5:46 am by otherdeb

In the fannish community I hang out in, there is a phrase that has become part of the currency:  “not having enough spoons.”  It refers to Christine Miserandino’s Spoon Theory, (available at her website, ButYouDon’tLookSick.com).  This theory came about when she was trying to explain to a friend what is was like to have Lupus.  After having given the friend a large bunch of spoons, they deconstructed the friend’s day, with one spoon being removed for each discrete decision or action.  When the friend opined that she wanted more spoons, it was explained that often running out of spoons was what having Lupus was like. (It’s a bit more complicated than that, and I highly recommend that everyone reading this blog go read The Spoon Theory.  In fact, this is the one time I will virtually insist that you click through to another site, because no one explains it quite as well as she does, and understanding it is important to understanding the rest of this post.)

Back?  Great.  Let’s go on.

Okay, so while you can see how this applies to the amount of energy a person has to get through the day being finite, you can’t see how it relates to personal finances.  Neither could I until I was thinking about it this morning after way too much coffee yesterday and way too little sleep.

First, assume that your paycheck is the bunch of spoons.  Each of us has a finite amount of money we can spend each pay period.  We can sometimes borrow another spoon or three, by putting purchases on a credit card, or by borrowing a few dollars from a friend or relative, but then those spoons are not there for us the following week, because we have to pay them back.  By and large, however, the sane thing to do is to learn how to manage so that we are not spending more spoons than we have. And the process most of us are going through (becoming debt-free, setting up appropriate financial cushions, learning to live frugally, etc.) is learning to conserve our spoons.

The wiser the choices we make as to how we spend our spoons, energy, money, or natural resources the more we will have in reserve for the emergencies that inevitably arise in life.

What spoons can you conserve today, so that you will have them when you need them?



  1. Judy Bemis said,

    But it really is meant to apply to stamina, though I can see the analogy works. And my stamina post knee replacement is being slow to improve :-/

  2. otherdeb said,

    @ Judy Bemis: Hi, and welcome! Yes, it is meant to apply to stamina. But I was struck by how well it fit this issue, too.

    Sorry to hear that your stamina is being slow to improve, but I can sympathize. (Took me almost a year to get even a semblance of mine back after my last surgery, and it still comes and goes.) Hoping for an improvement for you very soon!

  3. […] in announcements at 3:12 pm by otherdeb I have just had an article, Spoons, accepted for the 63rd Carnival of Money Stories, being hosted at Bible Money […]

  4. […] (Deb Wunder) presents Spoons posted at The Dangling […]

  5. […] (Deb Wunder) presents Spoons posted at The Dangling […]

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