Dec 08, 2020

Spending priorities

I find people’s spending priorities peculiar.

People will pay $50 a month to be a member of a gym that’s packed and inconveniently far away from their house instead of $100 for the gym that’s near them and has more amenities. That same person will also have no problem spending the difference they saved making that decision on a night out drinking.

You may consider health and happiness important, but what does your spending reveal about your priorities?

I have some ideas for better spending habits.

Health: Eat out less often; it’s unhealthy and expensive. Instead, buy better ingredients at the grocery store and cook (even buying the good stuff at the grocery store is cheaper than eating out). Also, don’t be afraid to spend up for a gym membership that will make it easier for you to commit to going. It is a worthwhile investment. The fitter you are, the more time and energy you will have. It is a virtuous cycle.

Happiness: A nicer car, a bigger house, new clothes, more stuff—these things will only make you happy momentarily. Only buy new stuff when you need to replace old stuff. Instead, spend money on experiences. That trip to Italy will bring you happiness leading up to it with anticipation and fond memories for years to come.

Time: Is it really worth twenty dollars to wait in line to return something? Do you really want to spend your life dealing with customer service? Throw items out or give them away to someone who can use it. Whenever you see an opportunity to trade money for time that you don’t want to spend, it is worth it. Time is the most precious resource we have. Don’t squander it.