Today’s post is a simple, but important post. It’s about something that many of us human beings will always struggle with: spending money.
It is so easy to spend money.
On phones, on computers, on clothes, on food, on friends, on dates, on concerts, on furniture, on cars, on boats, on homes, on anything at all.
But, if we don’t get a handle on ourselves then we will really be screwed. Remember, that no matter how much money you have, you can spend it very easily. There is always something out there with a high enough price tag that you can easily waste away all that you have come into.
Take Terrell Owens for example. One of my bosses back at BMW actually had his daughter on the same volleyball team as T.O.’s daughter so he got to know the man personally. Small world.
So Terrell Owens was an absolute NFL Superstar who made over 60$ million while he played football. Now he is worth somewhere between 100,000$ to 2$ million. Much less than what he used to be. And why? Because he couldn’t control his spending habits and his life decisions. You truly can have all the money in the world but if you don’t watch what you do with it it will be gone an instant. And then you might find yourself in a new position where the money doesn’t come in like it did. In his case he was a professional athlete who lost the inevitable battle with time and was no longer as fit to play as he used to be.
And we will all lose to the battle of time. That is why we need to invest.
And this means evaluating our desires. Do we really need those things that we think we do? Today I was looking at a little camera pouch for my camera to put in my backpack. I went into a camera store looking for a cover, but I really didn’t find anything that worked that great. The store worker then kept looking for something else that would fit but each time the price was a little higher and then I thought to myself.
“Do I really need this?”
My answer was no, I don’t. So I thanked him for his time but said that I think I will pass on getting another accessory today and walked out. In that moment, and now, I am proud of my decision. Yes, it was only for 20$ or so, but that is 20$ that is still in my pocket. I didn’t need to spend it and I am glad that I did not.
Further, I recently have been evaluating the things that I have thought about doing to my car. I wanted this suspension, and this intake, and this tune, etc. But then the more I thought about it, I really don’t need to spend all that money on extra parts for my car when I have a payment to worry about. Sure, I wasn’t really going to do it and it was something more for me to think about more than anything, but it got me thinking, if I did come into money where I could take care of my payment and then modify my car, that would not really be wise. I would spend all this money on something that will inevitably lose money (cars) whereas I could save it for more useful purposes such as rent and other investments.
Cars are a principal example of something that I enjoy that can and will eat up all my money if I don’t get a handle on myself. I love lots of cars, but I never will be satisfied. And I have started to coming to terms with this such that I now am really starting to love my current car, a 2015 BMW 435i. Now, I always liked my car, but I had a 2015 M4 before it.
Now, that car was cool.
But it was also a lot more money, and also pretty dangerous. Among other things. Unfortunately, or fortunately (life has a strange way of making things work), a man crashed into me and totaled the car. I ended up walking away totally fine (knock on wood nothing happens down the line) and I actually made money off the crash via the insurance company. I also then was offered a job to sell insurance as a result of going through the claims process and then I quit my job in BMW auto sales and passed my insurance test. A ton of other things happened, but that is another story.
But after the crash I got another BMW but this time I decided to get a car that was not as expensive as the previous M4. I do well now, I won’t hide that from you reader, but taking on the M4 payment was a little much. I luckily had the time to re-evaluate my purchase and get something that was easier to manage. And it also has taught me a good lesson too.
It really is about the payment.
If you can afford it, then do what you want. But be careful. What does afford mean? I would define afford as your ability to spend money on things that essentially you don’t need. The type of money you would burn otherwise.
So think about that. Save your money, and if you are going to spend some, think about whether it’s burnable money. If it’s for something that you need, then you have to get it. But if you don’t need it, but you want it, think if your money is burnable.
If it isn’t, save it.
Otherwise you won’t have any left in no time.