If you’re anything like me, spending money can be painful.
Always comparing credit card statements to your bimonthly paychecks to see if you’re coming out ahead.
And then there’s student debt. Car insurance. Weekly groceries.
Why is spending money so stressful?
For most of us, financial pressure stems from not having a clear picture of what it’s building towards.
In the past few months, I stopped spending money altogether.
Every cent I spend, I now think of as an investment. That simple change has alleviated much of the stress I used to associate with my bank account.
I don’t spend money on food. I invest in a future in which I live to be 100 years old. This helps me spend more money on fare that benefits my body and mind, and not on TGIF Endless Apps (which I just “invested in” last week — nobody’s perfect).
I don’t spend money on clothes. I invest in confidence and the freedom to express myself the way I want. This helps me buy clothing that I’ll still love in 5 years and not on things that will be in the donate pile in a few months.
I don’t spend money on books. I invest in life lessons, captivating stories and deep learning. This helps me select reading material that will make my life and the lives of the people around me richer and more positive.
I don’t spend money on rent. I invest in a temporary home that defines my relationships and provides experiences worth remembering. This helps me think about my life like a collection of experiences that are well worth writing a check for every month.
I don’t spend money on my fiancé. I invest in our happiness and the shared experiences from which we can continue to grow. This helps remind me that we’re building something to last a lifetime, not just a few years.
I don’t spend money on educational material. I invest in skills and strategies that will help me make more money in the future. This helps me determine what will bring the most success to my business ventures.
(Yes, I want to make a million bucks just like the next person…)
So next time you pull out some cash from your wallet or enter your credit card number online, take a second to think about if you’re spending or investing.
Your investment doesn’t have to have financial return, but the result of the purchase should bring value to you in the long-term.
Will we get this right all the time? Hell no.
You’ll probably mess up a lot. I sure have.
But if we can get 1% better at this every day, this shift in perspective will stop us from spending on the non-essential, put our money to work and help us build happy futures.
If you’re looking for help putting every cent you spend to work building your future, check out You Need A Budget. I just recently dug in, but YNAB really helps me budget for every purchase and track my entire portfolio.
This way, I know exactly what I’m investing in. And if it’s paying off.