Be good at spending

When I say I want to be good at spending money, you guys probably think that I am on my way to be a money-splurging tai-tai.

As far as my tai-tai dream goes, it stays... as a dream.


Most people define 'spending money' here simply as an act of buying material things. However, in my opinion, 'spending money' can be defined more broadly than that. How good is one at spending money, I am talking about how prudent one is in exchanging his money for value. It can be exchanging for material things (act of consumption which is what most people define it as), gaining an experience (travel, setting up a business, volunteer projects etc), getting an education, accumulating investment assets or even lending. Recalled this post Time or Money II that I wrote a couple of years back?


Credit: STIL on Unsplash

Material


In terms of spending for material wants, nothing beats applying the famous, yet simple Marie Kondo's concept here. When de-cluttering, it's all about keeping only the items that spark joy in us and discard the rest. Similarly, when we are good at spending money, we are prudent when buying things by NOT just going for the cheapest nor the highest quantity per unit price but going for the things that spark joy in us. Sometimes we may find ourselves buying things 'just because' and find no use for them later, or the things do not actually bring us the joy that we hoped for. Often, the ephemeral thrill of shopping or owning something for the first time is mistaken as the item sparking joy in us. Perhaps Marie Kondo should emphasize that sparking joy must be a consistent and repeatable experience. Perhaps before hauling home our entire basket of "joy", ask ourselves first if these will turn into clutter 1 month down the road before swiping the credit card.


Is that small joy or big joy?

Experience


Spending money to gain an experience and to relax, the most popular choice would be travel. I won't go into details on how to go about finding the best hotel and airfare deals, or planning the most cost-efficient itinerary. That we could easily find on many travel blogs. The idea on prudent spending is about how to get the best experience out of the projected holiday budget, sunken costs (eg. airfare) and time spent. Eating cup noodles daily, scrimping on lodgings and transportation, I bet you, are not going to give you the best experience you are looking for - so please just chill when it's holiday time.


Investing


Being good at spending money on investments, it's essentially about how good we are at generating returns. In another word, money spent here is supposed to generate MORE money. If it's not the case, then we have to reflect upon the way we have been 'spending' it. Perhaps a consolation when that happens is... erm, we have bought ourselves some lessons.

We can also look at ways of investing in ourselves which would indirectly generate more income for us or give us a better well-being. This includes taking up courses, picking up a new hobby or doing an image haul-over.




As we widen our perspective on spending and utilizing money as a resource, we will realize it is no longer about staying on budget, getting the cheapest deals or having the best credit card. Given spending by choice, it is about how we use our money to get a richer life.


So when I say I want to be good at spending money, this is what I meant.
Money does not make life more interesting, it is HOW you spend it that makes life interesting. Isn't it?

Cheers ;)


Credit: Anthony Delanoix on Unsplash

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