“No man is rich whose expenditure exceeds his means; and no one is poor whose incomings exceed his outgoings.” – Thomas Chandler Haliburton
Last Sunday I went to the SM Aura, Market Market, and Bonifacio High Street area to buy a ceramic non-stick frying pan for my family. While shopping, I thought of the things I wanted to buy for myself. That was when I learned the lesson here.
So what did I want at first?
- My own steel saucepot and pan. I like to cook, and I boil water a lot to make tea and brewed coffee, but the pots and pans at home are all old and damaged so I wanted my own.
- A gooseneck kettle. I brew coffee using the pour over method (and French press), but using a teapot is too messy so a professional kettle would be great.
- An art book. I enjoy drawing, but my techniques aren’t good so I’d need a good guide before practicing.
After spending 2 hours looking at the things I liked and comparing prices, I thought to myself:
Do I really need these?
That question reminded me of a lot of things. I remembered that we have some newer pots for boiling water and herbs so I don’t really need my own piece. I can buy myself a high-quality frying pan that can last for years, but if I’m going to use it just once a week then it’s not really worth it (remember, I’m already buying one for the family). I could get a gooseneck kettle, but the cheapest one is around $54 USD (P2,700 or so). It’s a great piece, but if I can use a teapot as an alternative then the price isn’t worth it. I could also get the art book, however I’m already skilled with the basics and there are tons of free advanced drawing tutorials online.
In the end, I bought nothing.
I didn’t need anything new, so I saved money by not spending on any of those unnecessary wants. I can certainly get them some other time, but not right now. That was the main lesson here. Before you spend money, ask yourself if you need it and if it’s really worth it. If you want something but you don’t really need it enough, then it’s better to just skip it and save money for something else.
By the way, I don’t want you to think that you should NEVER spend money on anything you don’t need. You should simply avoid spending money on things that won’t really give you much value. You have to ask yourself, “is this purchase REALLY worth it?” Will it bring you lasting joy (like an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience)? Will you use it a lot and will it make your life significantly better? If you can firmly say yes, then go ahead!
Again, if you’ve learned to save and invest, then whatever you want to do with the rest of your money is up to you. Just make sure to use it in a way that provides the best value for your life and happiness.
“Is is wholly a question of what you get out of your expenditure, not its amount, which makes it a wise expenditure or a foolish one.” – Orison Swett Marden