For a few days now, I have been thinking about how I spend my money. I told you guys previously that I spend it all. A couple of days ago I did some number crunching of my own financial position. I have a rough idea as to where it is now, and seeing the numbers on the screen means I either confirm my guesstimates or clarify my views on where I went wrong. I always have a rough idea as to where I stand from a financial view point. I guess this means I think about it often - and it is true, I do think about it often because I'd like to know that I am heading in the right direction.
My money allocation throughout the years change with my preferences. Travelling used to be a high priority on my list and I travelled like there was no tomorrow. At the time I thought if I were to die then, I would die happy because of the destinations that I have ticked off my list. I travelled a lot as a child - courtesy of my father, so most of the destinations have been ticked off that way. The ones that linger on my mind I visit again as an adult, and in some of those destinations, I travelled solo. It was one of the best things I have done and I would recommend that to anyone who is looking to gain new experience/skill.
These days, I don't travel as much - the travel bug has left me for a while now. My focus has been establishing myself professionally. My current job does not involve any travel at all. The upside of this job is that I learn to like this city. I learn to appreciate it and its quirks. I discover the things that I like to do here, and I intent to do them while I can. Right now, my travelling desires (whatever is left of it) is fed by reading the travel section of various newspapers/magazines. Sounds lame, I know, but it is what it is.
I think for someone my age, I am doing ok. I think I am still far from brilliant (I personally know some people who are doing way better than me right now). I manage my money fine. What I have a problem with is actually spending it on the things that I want - and when I say things, I mean physical things like clothes and the like. I have been decluttering on a regular basis and I am sick and tired of seeing things that I don't even like after a few months. So I promise myself that I am not spending my money on junk. This is actually good because I am more conscious on how I spend my money.
The downside is that sometimes I get bored of the things I do own - granted they are mostly classics, and I like variety. I browse fashion blogs and I think to myself, hey, that's a nice look, I'd like to get that jacket/shoes/bag. Of course most of the time I don't get those things - because if I have an item that I haven't worn in a few months, I much prefer to just let it go so that other people can use it and I have less clutter in my apartment.
So I used to spend any amount between $0-50 on these things that I end up donating. And as some of you have guessed it, I am sick and tired of wasting my money on temporary thrills, so I deliberately stop shopping. If in any given month I donate 20 items, then that is like any amount between $20-$1000 down the drain. Don't know about you, but I think that is a lot of money - money that I can spend doing something else, like eating (hehe).
Sometimes I get the itch to spend money. Most of the time, I feel somewhat guilty spending money if I know that I am not going to treasure whatever it is I am buying. I get that this whole thing is about balance, I just have not quite found where that point is for me.
Because I feel this way, I really feel out of touch with most people my age - because they prefer to just spend and think about the consequences later. I often hear things like, why would I want to wait and save for it, when I can have it right now and pay for it later. Yeah true. Who doesn't want instant gratification, right? Well, me! I don't want instant gratification. I prefer when there is some sort of pain involved in the beginning so that I can treasure what it is that I am working hard towards. I think hard work makes a lot of things in life more worthwhile - at the very minimal, it enhances its value.
I bet these sort of things are very funny to be coming out of the mouth of someone who grew up (and still lives) in abundance. I have thought about this long and hard, and if I have the option to have something that I want right now with minimal effort (like a gift), versus working hard for it one way or the other, then I think I prefer to have it the latter way. It is not that I don't appreciate gifts, I do (and I love them) - it is more that I prefer to work for it so that I know that I truly deserve it, I obtain it myself, and I gain immense satisfaction from it.
I guess what I am saying is this: I get satisfaction from the process, in addition to the end result. In fact, I think people should be encouraged to work hard for the things they have in their lives. If you want to look good, great body, great skin, then work hard for them. If you want a nice swanky place, then work hard for it. After all, nothing in this life comes free.
It is going to be interesting if one day I have children. I would provide them with the basic necessities, but I swear I would try my hardest not to spoil them. I have a nephew and his parents spoil him to bits. I would concentrate my efforts on instilling self-discipline on my children, because I personally benefit from self-discipline a lot. Yes, drive and motivation matter too, so I guess I would try to instil some of these in my children too - if I am blessed enough to have children one day.