Food for thought used to be a series in my old blogs for something that I just dump my random musings, I’m reviving it now because I’m in a new phase of life.
Up until recently, I felt that people are jaded/spoilt when they spend “unnecessarily” on things they want instead of things they need, or getting the more premium option when the normal option would’ve worked fine.
But after reviewing my spending trends across the past year, I feel like I’m starting to become that kind of person. For example, taking a cab used to be: “I’ll take a cab only if I’m really tired or it’s really just way too troublesome to get there”. Nowadays it’s more like: “I’ll take the public transport only if I’m feel energetic and I feel like it”.
I’m attributing this change to having a job, and not having many obligations (yet). “Adult money” as me and my partner would like to call it, is dangerous to us. Given the means, there is an increasing number of things where it does not makes sense to spend the extra/time and effort when money can solve it.
When I think about money as a function of my life energy that I’m exchanging for, I want to spend the remaining life energy (and time), on the things that I truly care about. When I’m meeting friends, the part that matters is meeting the people, not the travelling to the destination. If I can find a tool that gives me a better working experience, it’s worth the extra because it reduces the friction of doing “something”, which has a multiplicative effect on the consumption of life energy.
function of life energy: spending X amount of life to get Y money.
I feel that the relationship between income and the amount someone is willing to spend on conveniences is approximately proportional. The (rough) graph drawn below shows the relationship, and I feel like I’m breaching into the conveniences territory which prompted this FFT post.
This also reminded me of The Last Bit in the Container post I’ve read may years ago. TLDR; squeeze your toothpaste if it only takes a few seconds, else it’s not worth it.
Light bulb moment
Have I been misunderstanding those people who have been spending for convenience and quality of life? Is this because that I have not reached the same phase of life as them?
Moments like this really make me hit the pause button and think really hard about my life.
An interesting conversation I had sometime ago was an advice to “be kind to the older folks in IT” even though sometimes their ideas/suggestion may seem very outdated. It’s because their reality has been shaped by the experience of working with the older systems and they have learnt many lessons the hard way; instead of dismissing it as “irrelevant in current context”, it could just be an old solution to a still plausible problem (that we may have missed).
I feel like I’m experiencing the “You’ll understand when you’re a parent yourself” moment before becoming a parent.
Getting back on track, I don’t think I would change my spending drastically even with this realization because I’m still able to justify for them. What I would do instead, is question myself: “would this money be better spent invested in something?”.
(Ending off this post as I sip coffee on my new $20 thermos mug)