Rethinking My Spending Mentality

I was re-reading old shopping-related posts and had to smile at the wistful tone of some; There’s a clear yearning to shop and my belief that buying a much-wanted item will bring me a small degree of happiness.  For now, I can truly say that the book “Your Money Or Your Life” has already made me re-think that belief.  I don’t know if it’s a lifelong change or a momentary one.

I think it’s hard to not equate purchases with happiness. Some purchases do still bring me happiness, especially if I got a great deal on something I still love years later.  Unfortunately, love usually fades after a few months.  Most often, those things get old and retire to the back of a closet until they hit the Salvation army pile.  Or I get used to that new thing and it’s just another old thing in the house.  Most times, it’s the newness that makes us happy and that’s why we crave more and more.

And speaking of “Your Money or Your Life”, I’ve decided on a “magic number” for my actual income earned once you factor in commuting time and work-related expenses.  I’m keeping this magic number a secret for privacy reasons.  Two things to note:

  1. My “magic number” may be far off from my real wage because I just took some numbers from the book at face value, such as their estimates for gas and clothing
  2.  Assigning a real number to my work hours helps me to stay focus.  It’s easier now for me to spend mindfully now that I can ask myself, “Is this item or service worth X hours of my time?”

I have found that knowing this number, real or not, has confirmed my belief that hiring cleaning and gardening help is well worth it.  Our gym memberships may be on the high side though.

I also wished that I had read this book before having children.  While I had made “plans” to hire more help once kids came along, I never actually crunched numbers to see if it was do-able.  I just thought we use our emergency fund money for this new luxury.  Not the best plan, not a plan at all really.

Back to reading..

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3 responses to “Rethinking My Spending Mentality

  1. Great points. For us, reading YMOYL really drove home that the vast majority of our purchases ended up bringing at BEST a small amount of temporary happiness–which almost always faded quickly. That was an enormous insight for us. Keep going!

  2. Pingback: YMOYL: I Hate Charts | Oilandgarlic's Blog

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