I really like The Simple Dollar. It’s wholesome. Hearty even. Here is a post, inspired by the 3 questions that the Simple Dollar posits as life changing. Do they change your life? I’m not sure. But can they improve the way you view and spend money? Without a doubt.
Is it Value For Life Energy?
At one of my jobs, I earn $20 an hour. It’s a fairly decent wage for hospitality. But nothing is more upsetting than the moment when I realise that I have gone out and spent the equivalent of two hours of my life on a shirt I don’t even like that much. The Simple Dollar suggests this is an imperative lens in which to view your spending. Is the purchase really worth the amount of life energy you had to put in to earn that money? Isn’t it easier to do your job, knowing that the money is going towards something important. Someone I work with is working insane hours in order to get overseas for what will probably be the trip to die for. While most of us would complain (me especially), he seems perfectly happy doing the most frustrating of tasks because he knows the money he earns is going to be spent on something worthwhile- he is getting value for his life energy. If you find that you aren’t- then it’s time to start changing your lifestyle patterns. Ask yourself that question every time you go to the store and I guarantee you will buy less. On top of that, this mindset is a great way to think about the work (or life energy) you are exchanging for a secure and well-funded retirement.
Is The Life Energy Being Spent On The Right Things?
I used to love going out to the pub. I was living in a share house and whenever our flatmate had a band practice, or we didn’t want to cook dinner, or pretty much any other time, we would go the pub. Now, the pub is a great and I still love going for a drink or two with friends, but when I think about the money I spent in those days, I wince. On what? A beer belly and a hangover to go with it. These days, I know that there is so much more I would like to spend my money, time and life energy on. A dinner at home with friends. A Sunday family lunch. An aftermoon playing guitar and re-reading my favourite books. And some more mercenary things- I like to spend money on a good bottle of wine. A good heater. When you sit down and think about it, chances are you’re spending your life energy often on things you don’t really even enjoy. As soon as you filter them out, you’ll find yourself happier and with more stable finances to boot.
How Might Expenditure Change If I Didn’t Work For A Living?
This is a novel idea- one I had never thought of before. How much is your work costing you? Not solely in life energy costs, but in actual dollars and cents? The commute, the clothes, the friday night drinks. You might find switching to what might seem a lower paying job actually leaves you financially better off. And it might give you the time to pursue the things you really enjoy. Ask yourself these 3 questions, and see where they take you.