Ever since I can remember I’ve had an odd feeling towards spending money. I’m not talking about the day to day items such as food or transport. My oddity has been around spending bigger sums of money: buying myself clothes, purchasing new tech or even buying big household goods.
I remember in 2003 I’d saved up all my money for almost a year to buy a new speaker/radio. I researched the one I wanted for ages. I’d chosen one that had CD/MP3 Disk and radio capability, as well as an alarm setting. While we were in Australia I finally bought it.
And the next day I was really upset.
Not that I didn’t love the device. I used it every day for nearly 4 years after that. I was upset because I felt like I shouldn’t be spending money. That I should rather hoard it and save as much as I can.
Part of this may have been a fear around whether I would get more money, which is something that lingers to this day. And part of it is that money is fungible. In theory, I could have spent my money in many ways, and I got to imagine that. But as soon as I bought the radio, I was locked in.
I’ve since tried to begin adapting this mindset. The idea isn’t to spend more money or be more irrational around spending it. And it doesn’t mean buying everything I want.
Instead, I’ve started to look at my needs and the utility of a purchase.
For example, I went shopping for comfy pants the other day (mine were stolen in the robbery… I mean, who steals a guys pants? That’s just rude. And they took my nachos. And Amarula. And my freaking keys… okay let’s move on).
I found two pairs of pants, both of which I really liked and both of which were on sale.
I initially thought to myself “I should only buy one of these, otherwise I’m wasting money”
But on second thought, I recognized that I would probably wear both of them really often. And when one was in the wash, I’d have the other to wear. It wasn’t a reckless decision, I was fulfilling a need.
Recognising these in built quirks about ourselves is important, especially for managing the way we make decisions. I’m trying to learn to look at money differently, and understand that I’m allowed to use it to meet my needs. And I’ll slowly unpack this, one purchase at a time.
Image was taken today in the Greenpoint park while on my run 🙂
Song of the day: Vengaboys – We’re going to Ibiza