Spend Wisely

July 21, 2022

If you’ve read the wildly popular book Atomic Habits, you may already be familiar with the work of its author, James Clear. James publishes a weekly newsletter called 3-2-1, in which he shares 3 ideas, 2 quotes, and 1 question to consider. (It’s a must read for me – feel free to subscribe here and see for yourself)

He recently shared a quote that felt like it was directly aimed at me, dealing with spending money. This likely comes as no surprise to you (given what I do for a living – save and invest) – but I don’t exactly excel at spending money. I prefer to save it, invest it, and watch it grow for a rainy day.

Sure, I know how to treat myself and spend freely on things I view as non-negotiables (healthy food, a safe car, proper insurance, etc). However, with any material purchase, I spend a LOT of time debating my options, evaluating whether or not it’s worth it, seeing if I can find a more reasonable alternative, and asking myself “do I really need to spend $x on __fill in the blank_?”

I have a feeling this quote shared by James (as told to him by Sasha Aickin, former CTO at Redfin via her grandmother) may be very helpful to me moving forward:

“When you buy something cheap and bad, the best you’re going to feel about it is when you buy it. When you buy something expensive and good, the worst you’re going to feel about it is when you buy it”

Does this sentiment ring as true for you as it did for me? I can apply it to virtually every recent material purchase I’ve made (both the good and the bad). Even though the initial purchase may give me a pit in my stomach, it usually ends up being more than worth it. Take my recent kitchen renovation. I agonized over my cabinetry and whether having them custom made by a local woodworker would be “worth it.” I mean, how can lumber and hinges cost so much :)? And now – I cannot imagine having any other cabinets in that room. They fit perfectly and are the exact right shade. Every morning, I am so grateful and feel so at peace in my home.

I have a feeling I’ll be hearing Sasha’s grandmother in my ear in the future as I weigh my options in the future and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get a bit better at spending. Time will tell!

You’ve worked hard for your accumulated wealth. Now, go spend it wisely..(but only after you save according to your financial plan!)

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