If you’re like me, you might feel resistance when you have to spend a lot of money, even if you’re not necessarily strapped for cash. It doesn’t feel very good, and it can take away the joy from the item you’re buying.
Personally, I don’t shop very often, I wait until I desperately need a new pair of shoes to go out and buy them. When I do shop, I often compare prices and choose the cheaper option. This probably has a lot to do with my relationship with money, but I’ve found there are certain things I don’t question spending on- my health and wellbeing.
Over the last few years my money mindset has shifted from a place of scarcity to a place of abundance and investment. I view spending my money on things like the gym, the food I eat, tools that make my life easier, clean water, education, networking opportunities and so on as investments in myself and my health and wellbeing rather than expenses. I’ll spend a pretty penny on these because I see the benefit in the long run.
Now, take this with a grain of salt because when we make the distinction between expenses/spending and investments, we need to be honest with ourselves. We have gotten really good at convincing ourselves we need things that we don’t or that things are better for us than they are. We need to keep that in mind as we delineate between what is an expense and what is an investment.
The difference between investing and an expense is that you may not see a return initially. Whereas spending provides instant gratification; you get a hit of dopamine when you buy fast food, new sneakers or video games.
An investment on the other hand creates compound interest; there are little to no returns at first, it takes more energy and patience, but over time the returns skyrocket.
Changing your diet has little to no effect initially, buying healthier food may cost more and preparing it takes more time but over a year, two years, five years, your mood is better, you have more energy, you’ve lost weight, have less risk of disease and have a healthier relationship with food.
Spending is satisfying your present self while investing is satisfying your future self.
The delayed gratification mindset is what people struggle with most. It seems much easier to continue spending and give ourselves instant gratification than it is to change our habits, especially when the results aren’t guaranteed. While I preach the mindset of delayed gratification and investing in our future selves there will always be room for spending, it’s about finding the balance.
It’s my belief, however, that once you’ve invested in yourself, and changed your habits along the way, the investing becomes even more enjoyable and satisfying in the moment. What are you investing in?