You might think your spending habits are about how much income you make or how closely you stick to your budget.
Your spending habits are an expression of how you decide to live your life.
We all get a set number of hours to be alive on the planet. We don’t know how many hours we’re going to get, but we know for sure that we won’t get an unlimited number.
About one-third of your life will be earmarked for sleeping. And the first one-fifth of your life you probably can’t remember.
And for most of you reading this, at least one-third of your life has already happened.
That is time you cannot get back no matter how hard you try.
Given the enormity and seriousness of that finite supply of conscious life that you get, don’t you owe it to yourself to spend that time intentionally, on purpose, and in a way that is aligned with your values?
Bad spending habits are poor uses of your time.
If you are a professional, does it really make sense to trade 8000 precious hours of your life or nearly three full years of working just to pay the interest on your 30-year mortgage?
If you make minimum wage in the United States, it will take you more than 74 working hours to buy that new iPad.
Is it worth it?
As location independent entrepreneur Tynan reminds us, no one cares if you buy a Rolex:
No one even realized I had a Rolex– or cared– except for one creepy guy at a party who also had one.
That was one of many reminders in my life that you can’t buy your way into being someone interesting.
The point is not that purchasing this thing or that thing is bad in and of itself.
Hell, buy the iPad if you really want it.
Acquiring objects that have real meaning to us can be fulfilling and profound.
The point is this. Think about the purchases you make as it impacts your finite supply of time.
When you take out a student loan for college, the school, the guidance counselors, and the bank don’t tell you how many years of your working life it will take to pay off the interest (let alone the principal). They have a vested interest in downplaying this information. And since you don’t pay immediately, student loans don’t feel like they cost anything.
But how many years of your life do you want to spend paying off this debt? 10 years? 15?
Are you okay with spending 20% of your life doing something you might not want to do in order to pay for something you did decades ago?
No one can answer this question for you. And you shouldn’t let them.
You have to think about spending for yourself.
When you spend with purpose, you can begin to take control of your cash and break bad spending habits, instead of letting money control you.