Let me get a show of hands.
Who has ever bought something from Amazon and said to themselves: “This is such a good decision, that I am going to sell this at a garage sale one day!”
Now, let me ask you another question.
I hate questions.
Just one more.
How often do you ask yourself “Will this particular “thing” increase my happiness or well being?”
Not for a week, or a month, but long term.
I am not suggesting to only go out and buy 4-wheelers and Jetski’s (nobody has ever frowned on a Jetski). I am suggesting to use your dollars to increase your happiness in other ways.
Here’s an example:
You are considering buying a Roomba because you hate to vacuum. You despise the chore from the bottom of your soul. So, you buy the Roomba. Now, you have more time, and you delegate a task you hate to a robot (What are we the Jetsons?). Plus, you can make your Boston Terrier ride on top and produce viral YouTube Videos.
Or, you may be copping (I think that is what the kids say these days) your 79th pair of shoes because they are blue, and you don’t have blue shoes. Probably not going to have the same effect.
If your answer to “Do I really want/need this?” isn’t a resounding “HECK YEAH!” then it’s a no.
**And now we interrupt our regularly scheduled reading for a story**
Recently, I was taking the Dollar Dogs for our daily neighborhood stroll, when I noticed somewhat of a commotion at the end of the street. As we came closer, I realized I was walking into the sad end of a life cycle. The cul-de-sac garage sale.
As I wandered through the sea of never ending rubbish, I realized something. Every single item listed for sale, was a collection of decisions someone made. Each person made a trade off by purchasing something at full price, and reselling at a discount, because their collection of full price decisions were piling up.
They have this stuff, and now they want better stuff. It’s an extremely simple concept. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. It becomes a little more meaningful when you collect these decisions on a grand scale.
Next time you add something to your cart, ask yourself the garage sale question. Will this end up at a garage sale / Ebay/ Goodwill one day? You may save yourself from a lifetime of stupid purchases.
Let’s frame this another way:
You can buy 100 Chipotle burrito’s or you can go on vacation to Italy.
You can get brand new furniture for the apartment you just rented, or save that money for a down payment on a house.
You can buy a new car, or you can start a business.
You can work out, or you can drink a glass of wine.
What you can’t do is have it all.
Many people think they can have it all. We wake up in the morning blasting “I want it all” by Queen, as we eat our Lucky Charms, drink our $5 lattes, and drive our leased BMW’s to work.
They get ahead of themselves by letting their pants get a little too fancy. They buy bedazzled jeans, when they really can only afford khakis.
(What are you wearing Jake from State Farm?)
Now, I am not here to tell you that you can’t have your daily latte. As I have stated many times before, priorities matter. Therefore you can trade off a year’s worth of Starbucks for a ticket to Jamaica. Hey, if that’s aligns with your priorities, good for you.
(Here at DXD, we don’t judge priorities.)
The problem is when one person aligns their priorities and the other person does not. The person who aligns their priorities is somehow “luckier” or “more privileged” than the person who does not. You hear things like “Must be nice to travel the world, I wish I could afford that”. “It must be nice to own a house, I could never save enough for a down payment.”
Meanwhile, captain whiney pants is racking up $50 brunch bills with their besties on a weekly basis.
Can we stop the priority hate crimes people?
Everything is a trade off. EVERYTHING. Your time, your money, your energy, your thoughts, your concentration.
Want to become wealthy? Like everything, it’s simple really. It starts with frugality and accelerates through income increases. Yet, it’s so hard for people to do. That is because it’s hard to see that every dollar you spend is a vote. A vote in favor of whatever it is you are spending that dollar on. That vote shows your true priorities.
If you use this voting power for your future more often than the present, you will become wealthy.
But, it’s so hard to be perfect with my spending?
Notice I did not say wealth is created through perfection. The secret to becoming wealthy is consistency, not perfection.
What most people do is make a mistake, throw their hands in the air (like they just don’t care) and give up. You blew your budget? So what, try again. You got a little too spendy on vacation? Figure out how to recover and move on.
It’s correcting the mistake and finding the discipline to move forward that will create success. A former Navy Seal put it simply:
Discipline = Freedom
Find your discipline and start on it right away. If you want to buy X amount of an index fund a year, divide by 12 and start saving. If you want to read a book a week, divide the number of pages by 7 and start reading. It’s simple to plan, but the ones who excel, are those who execute every single day.
Earn. Save. Invest.