Invest To Improve

In my previous blog post, I had mentioned an interesting perspective on money and investments. Here’s the blog post as promised!

This is not going to be an outright blog post on finances. Rather it is about a different vision and attitude towards money.

We spend money on things we love, be it books, gadgets, clothes, jewellery and everything else. Sometimes we “shop till we drop”, which means we keep buying stuff until we cannot anymore. There is a spendthrift in all of us, and there is no denying it. Of course, to each, his own.
We spend on things and items that interest us, which may not necessarily interest others.

With spending comes the very obvious fact that our money keeps diminishing from our wallets. After the initial high of a good shopping spree, we come back to earth and realise how much we have spent. And suddenly, all that enthusiasm seems to vanish and the familiar feeling of dread and guilt comes over (sometimes though).

You feel that you have done a lot of impulsive buying and maybe that one particular item was not really needed. You see your pockets or your bank account and that outflow of money leaves a gaping hole in your heart (and well, your wallet). The vicious cycle never seems to end and each time you purchase something, you are caught in this guilt trap.

What can be done about this? There must be some solution, apart from completely barring yourself from spending. (That doesn’t work. Not at all.)

There is a simpler and extremely useful approach towards making better choices with spending your hard-earned money. Ask yourself a simple question every time you decide on buying something.
“Will this improve my life in any way?”
That’s it. One simple question. If you truly think over it, you’ll automatically make smarter choices when it comes to money.

Another great way to change your perspective towards money is something I came up with. It is to view the outflow of money as an investment towards your life, rather than an expenditure. Surely this cannot be applied to ALL expenses (read: necessities like groceries and medicines). But for most other spendings, this perspective works beautifully well. It can be considered as a linkage to the question mentioned above.
Are you buying a book? Ask yourself if the inputs from it could help you improve your knowledge and thought-process.
Are you buying a gadget? Ask yourself if it is going to make life easier and save you time.
Are you buying a new dress? Ask yourself if you’ll feel good and confident wearing it.

In an event of sheer coincidence, a day after discussing this blog post with my brother, I came across the EXACT same thought and perspective about money in a book I was reading.
The book was “Am I There Yet?” by Mari Andrew (highly recommend this super light and delightful book to all young adults).
The author wrote, “Spending money sucks because then you don’t have as much money as you had before. But another way to think about it is that you get to cultivate and invest in the things you cherish. Spending money shouldn’t make you feel guilty; it should make you feel grateful. You get to select something that will make you happier and more expressive. Keep this in mind when you’re buying anything. Even food!”

Simple as that. What’s great about this theory is that you can take it forward to your habits and lifestyle choices. Do an audit of all the habits you nurture and the choices you make and ask this question for each of them. It is going to bring a lot of meaning to your life and improve the quality of your life. Guaranteed.

What are your thoughts on money and investments? Please do let me know in the comments!

Until next time, stay blessed.
~ The Soulful Nib

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