Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Saving Money Isn't Everything: A Different Take On Personal Expenses

Sometimes it feels like all we ever tend to hear is that we should save our money. Well,
from everyone except all those companies bombarding you with ads which are constantly
trying to sell you something of course. It seems like every alternative news outlet, every
friend you have, all your family members, all those protip articles, they all just give you
tips on how to save money. While there is nothing inherently wrong with saving money,
in fact it is often rather beneficial, which is probably why it is such a popular point of
discussion, there are things which are arguably more important than being able to save
money. “Outrage!” you might say to yourself, “What could be more important than saving
money and eventually buying a house?” is probably the reaction which most people have
when hearing such an outlandish claim. There is no black and white outcome with this topic,
and everything is somewhat biased by whoever puts forward such claims, purely due to
the fact that they are based off the said person’s previous life experiences. It is impossible
to portray these the following views as objective, but hopefully, by the time you have
finished reading this you may want to reconsider your personal finance strategy for in
the future.

Image source: Pexels

Money exists to be spent


No matter what way you look at it, the money you make is only being made so that
one day it is going to be spent on something. Except for the extremely unlikely case
of you starting up a money museum one day and wanting to store several specimens
of each type of note and coin for preservation purposes, the chances are that your
money will one day end up in someone else’s hands. Now, that is not at all a bad thing,
after all, if money is never spent then it becomes as good as useless. It loses its value as
it holds no weight in an exchange system, so don’t think that you’re wasting money if you
just so happen to spend it on something. Of course, some purchases tend to be regrettable,
while some may be much more calculated than others, but at the end of the day, money
comes and goes.

Image source: Pexels

Spending money =/= wasting money


Keep in mind that just because money is spent does not necessarily mean that it has
been “wasted”. First of all, money is not “wasted” when it is spent on something, it is
“used” or “utilised”, for lack of a better word. It has served its purpose, and whether it
was exchanged for a tasty sandwich at lunch which helped you be more efficient during
your day at work, or maybe it was spent on some equipment which will help you in your
profession, there was some use in the spending of that money. This goes for most other
things as well, even some seemingly useless clothing purchases which might seem like
the stupidest thing at the time, in the long run, it is something which is hopefully

Of course, just because you can spend money, does not mean you should. As previously
mentioned, all money was spent in order to attain a certain goal, and each transaction most
probably has some sort of objective benefit behind it. It should go without saying that
some purchases are much less beneficial than others, opposed to some smartly-spent
money which could potentially turn into an investment.

Image source: Pexels

Investments come in many forms


Much like the previously mentioned beneficial spendings, not all investments are created
equal, but just because some purchases or expenses don’t have a direct link with
profit of some sort, does not mean they are not an investment of some sort. Not all
investments have to be of the traditional kind, and not all investments look like
purchasing Bitcoin in 2012, despite how much we all wish we might have done that.
Some investments only go as far as buying better food, or drinking more water during
the day, or even investing in a gym membership. All those things are possible factors
in improving your daily performance, both at work and at home, and may result in finally
getting that promotion at the end of the year. Purchasing a new laptop or personal
computer which helps you work more efficiently can prove to be a rather huge investment,
especially if you work from home or anywhere where you can find some internet access.
By now you can probably see where this whole idea is going.

Potential benefit


Paying for someone else’s services, whether it’s an individual, perhaps a freelancer,
or a company, can also be considered an investment. Not just a theoretical
investment, but a practical investment as well. For example, let's say you live in the
Chicago area, investing in a Chicago personal injury lawyer can prove to be rather
beneficial. Not only will it take away the headache and stress of having to squabble with
bureaucrats after a theoretical accident, it will give you the time of day to recover at a
much faster rate, and perhaps even continue your work. Sure you might have spent
some money on that lawyer, but considering all the potential outcomes, this could very
much be considered an investment from the get-go. During the time you gained from
having someone else take care of your other problems, the potential money made
during that time, be it at work or somewhere else entirely, could easily outweigh the
initial expense of the lawyer. If that is not a textbook definition of an investment, then
nothing is.

Image source: Pexels

Some closure


To really drive that point home, here’s a brief reminder. Just because something is a
theoretical investment, does not mean that it is a worthy one of your time. Much like
any other area in life, some undertakings in your personal finance can prove to have
much more potential profit and benefit than some other ones, but what’s important is
to break that long-running stigma of spending money. Spent money is not wasted
money, and money sitting hidden away somewhere in a safe in your basement is not
exactly doing anything profitable either. Money exists to be spent, and if you’re clever
about your expenditure, you could have much more profits with some more active
money handling rather than just leaving it alone for a decade.

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