A Mantra For Spending Your Money Wisely
📚 Story of the week #4
‘Is this another one of your phases?’ would be my dad’s go-to challenge when I was a kid. Like how thunder always follows lightning, my dad’s question would always follow from me sharing my latest obsession – Pokemon, martial arts, building my own house out of cardboard boxes. Such is the curse of the infinitely curious.
As is normal for any child, I didn’t want to prove him right. So below is the guiding philosophy I’ve formed over the years to help me be wise in how I spend my money and, in the loving way that only one’s child can get away with, prove my dad wrong.
It all hinges on this mantra:
“Be worthy of the things you buy;
And ensure that the things you buy are worthy of you.”
“Be worthy of the things you buy”
This is akin to ‘Don’t try to run before you can walk’. You wouldn’t buy a Ferrari when learning to drive, so it follows that you wouldn’t buy high-end ingredients for a dish you’re just learning to cook, as you won’t be able to make the most of them.
Instead, set a milestone. Prove your dedication and skills to show you’re ready for next level, perhaps once you’ve prepared the dish perfectly three times. Then you know the purchase will be a wise one.
“And ensure that the things you buy are worthy of you”
Your money and your time are sacred. Make sure that every item you bring into your life isn’t an insult.
Practically, this means asking yourself 1) Do I really need this? 2) What is the best solution for me? 3) What is the price I’m willing to pay: money, ease of use, the cost of more clutter, lifespan, maintenance?
The final step is the ‘Cool Down’. Our world is flooded with adverts designed to promote impulse buying. If you have the urge to buy something, pause, wait a day, a week, or a month depending on the size of the purchase, and see if you still think it is worthy of you.
Find your balance with this. I tend to take it to the extreme. Last month, after 9 years of deliberation, I finally bought a full-size whiteboard. However, I have no regrets. I love it.
P.S. Happy Father’s Day Dad! This edition is dedicated to you.