Saturday, 27 April 2019

The Art of Spending Money

For those who have been fed up reading about the importance of saving money, the heading of this article would have come across as a whiff of fresh air. After all, spending money is fun; earning it is not. People have to learn how to earn their living; nobody needs to teach them how to spend. They are intuitively good at it.

Sure, we are all different and hence our priorities can vary. But there are good and bad expenditures. For instance, an expenditure that makes your life more comfortable, reduces the risk, or cuts some pain is generally a good expenditure. On the other hand, an expenditure that solely satisfies your desire may be a bad one. 

Let’s try to understand it with an example. Most of us have to commute to work on a daily basis. This commute can be enervating. Not many of us would say that they like to commute to work. Now if you can make your daily commute comfortable by spending some extra money, it can go a long way in improving the quality of living, yet many of us try to save money there so that it can be spent elsewhere.  

Similarly, if I have to travel a long distance, I prefer a flight rather than a train, even if the differential in the fares is substantial. To me (and I am sure, for many others), sitting in a train for a long time can be absolutely tiring. By paying some money, you can avoid that trouble.

Many of us are in the bad habit of saving money at just the wrong place. But when it comes to other negotiable and even potentially harmful expenses (smoking and drinking for example), we don’t mind. That’s stupid. The real value of money is unlocked when it is used to improve the quality of living, not when you buy the latest smartphone available in the market.

Amassing money for its own sake is foolish as well. While you do need to save for the future, hoarding more money than needed because that’s what pleases you also leads to misery. Strike a good balance between saving for the future and enjoying the present. Similarly, strike a sensible balance between good and bad expenditures. That’s the art of spending money.

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