As is evident from the title of this post, I am absolutely obsessed with Mr.Money Mustache. This is a blog written by a man who through sensible saving and spending, has been able to orchestrate the retirement of both himself and his wife by the age of 30 (or around 30, I can’t remember exactly). These are not multimillionaires, just people who have broken free from the brainwashing of what society has told us that we need to consume. For anyone who has yearned for financial independence and or does not want to be a slave to the 9 to 5 forever, you should check it out. By the way, this is only my opinion and is not an advertisement. I am just a big fan.
My own philosophies on money are very similar to that of Mr.Money Mustache. This could partially be due to my somewhat debilitating anxiety when it comes to spending. My money anxieties began during my time in University and I cannot for the life of me figure out what the trigger was. A switch inside me was flipped and I became the most irrational cheapskate I know. You know it’s bad when even your Indian friends are calling you cheap. But I will further discuss my money anxieties in a later post.
In my opinion, society spends too much money on just about everything. We do not need to spend excessive amounts to be happy and luxury is not something that can sustain happiness. I realise that this may upset some people and rest assured I am not trying to convert you. I am simply writing this to open the eyes of those who have open minds.
From all of my readings and personal experience, I believe the key to really having control over spending is to constantly be conscious. This means asking yourself “Will this make me happy? Is this something that I absolutely must spend my hard earned money on?” each and every time you make a purchase. And be honest with yourself, because that new iPhone is not a must have. Sorry. It is a nice to have but the model from last year that you are currently using is perfectly acceptable. At the end of the day, it comes down to what you value more. If you value that new iPhone more than paying your electricity bill, while ill-advised, so be it. But lets face it, in this scenario the electricity bill is an absolute must and the phone can wait (and there are even things you can do to reduce that electricity bill). And think very hard about whether the new phone will REALLY give you SUSTAINED HAPPINESS when you already have a functional device that you bought last year because you thought it too would give you sustained happiness. This is conscious spending and I think more people need to participate.
While we all have to take responsibilities for our own spending habits, know that the odds are stacked against us. We are bombarded with absolute crap at every turn. Advertising is unavoidable and there is a reason ad agencies make so much money. It’s because they are great at turning their message into profit. At our expense I might add. While there are financial vultures lurking at every turn masking themselves as convince providers and joy enablers, it is up to the individual to see past this and place a higher value on your time. Time equals money. Do we spend 8 hours at work 5 days a week just so that we can blow that money on something that we won’t remember purchasing one month from now? Again it comes back to consciousness but also priorities.
This is not meant to be a preachy post. I just feel very strongly about people not spending money that they don’t have. I have many tips and tricks that I use to reduce my spending and keep my bank accounts happy. I will share these tips but as this post is becoming long, I’ll save it for another day to keep you engaged 😉