As the end of 2015 is nearing, I can’t help but take stock, and think of all the things I’ve done, accomplished and learnt this year. It has been a mixed bag, 2015, not entirely good, or entirely bad. It has been a year of some of my tougher lessons. And some of my bigger revelations have been related to….. Money! (I know you expected me to say Love 😛 But that one surprised me too) 🙂
Call me tight-lipped, old-fashioned or whatever else, but there are certain things I don’t like to talk about, and at the top of that list is Money. I guess I’ve always felt like its tacky to do so. Its just not polite conversation. But I have noticed that it can be a popular topic of conversation among many, be it in person or on social media. Most people talk about money, how they spend it (read: showing off their “cool new toys”, extravagant gifts, holidays, etc.), how much things cost, and so on.
Look at me trailing off topic (kinda), instead of beating ’round the bush, I’ll just tell you my major revelations of this year, and the list goes something like this:
1. Its important (if not absolutely essential) to invest in yourself
As cliche as this is, it is something that makes the most sense when you think about it. By this I mean, take care of yourself first, be it your physical, emotional or spiritual health and well being.
Make time for yourself, fall in love with yourself first, it is after all the longest romance you will ever have. Buy nice things (more on this in the coming points). Cultivate good habits and great discipline, You will thank yourself for it in the long run.
2. Buying a few great quality items as opposed to a whole bunch of cheap stuff
I am NOT what you’d call a “bargain hunter” and I despise things which aren’t well made, or don’t feel luxurious, but I do have to live within my budget. So my rule is to Always choose quality over quantity. opt for a few classic pieces (clothes, furniture, jewelry, anything really!!) than have a big pile of poor quality items. Poorly made things tend to fall apart sooner, you spend more in the long run. Not to mention the Clutter!
3. Credit cards are the WORST investments EVER
This one doesn’t need any explanation! But I’m going to elaborate on it anyway, from personal experience, I can vouch for this! yes, it can be tempting, but the really trouble starts when you try to wrap your head around the math of it all. And if you’re like me, and hate math, its just not the grief you need! (I still don’t fully understand how the interest rates work). But I do know this, you will end up paying far more than you need to. and in the long run, you will end up draining valuable resources on the interest rates (which is designed to last forever, that’s just how it is designed!).
4. Train yourself to live well below your means
This one takes a bit of practice, as you grow in your career (consequently make better money), you tend to expand your lifestyle as well. Its natural. But train yourself to live well below your means, before you know it, you will start needing less, and saving more. Win-Win! This may sound preachy and pseudo-intellectual, but I did it for the better part of the year, and believe you me, it feels great.
5. Don’t spend money just to “show” people how well you’re doing
This is a bottomless pit. If you start spending on things just to impress the people around you, you will not only end up flushing money down the toilet, but you’ll end up feeling miserable because the validation from an outside source will be short-lived.
6. Spend on things that add to your self-worth
This one has to be my favorite one, and lets not hastily mistake Self-worth with Net-worth. Your Self-worth, doesn’t depend on the figure in your bank balance, or the number of cars you have parked in your garage, or the size of your pay check, your Self-worth depends only on YOU!
So start by identifying what it is that makes you feel great, whether it is learning new skills, or taking care of yourself, or being able to spend time with your friends, or being able to give good advice, it could be anything, and when you dig deep enough, you’ll know what it means for you.
For me, its the thrill of accomplishing something that I once thought was beyond my capability. (this year I learnt to swim, despite the mild hydrophobia, and it makes me feel great!). So find things that add to your Self-worth, its worth the effort.
So those are some of the biggies from this year, and as I prepare to close this year, I feel pretty damn swell (yes, I said swell! when I could just as easily have said something prosaic like awesome) *Shrugs*
Until next time, make smarter choices.