Overall it’s a fairly simple concept—how we spend our money has much to do with how we value its utility, and how we value its utility has much to do with how we spend our money.
How I See My Money
When it comes to most everything I do, I’m a near perfect utilitarian. The solution to all my problems is a simple question of “Does it work?”
If yes, I keep things how they are. If not, I do only the minimum necessary to bring it back to its function.
There is no room for error in performance; however, I will never, ever dedicate my time to things that are solely cosmetic. I drove a car for half a year without a side mirror, believe it or not!
This personality trait became most evident to me when I compared my viewpoint to that of my girlfriend. I should be sure to note that she is not in any way a spendthrift—she once tried to return an item to the dollar store! (I have since published another post about couple’s personal finance differences.)
Even with her obsessive-compulsive returning-stuff-to-save-money disorder we still see things differently. The thing is, I budget mercilessly; she doesn’t at all. I can tell you how much I’ve spent on everything (with a few minor exceptions for the sake of practicality.) She admitted recently that she monitors only the total of her savings plus checking.
We do, I think, have some difference in perspective about our money. I focus on money as an end in and of itself, stockpiling, saving and investing so that eventually I’ll…well, have more money.
She focuses on the benefits of having more money. Maybe it’s a nice apartment, a dinner out, or another dog—she’d collect them if she could! She wouldn’t ever overspend, I don’t think; it’s just that in her reality, money is the means to the other things she enjoys.
I’m curious to know how you think. How do you see your money?
Is your money just money, or is it what it can bring for you: freedom, time, must-haves or wants?
Has your perspective on your money, your finances, ever changed?
This is my first ever post. If you’d like, head on over to the About Me page. 🙂