Make Investments, Not Purchases

 

Before you buy something, think ‘what value will this provide?’

Also think ‘will this be an asset? Will this make me money?’

Most purchases are actually liabilities, not assets. They steal your time and energy, rather than adding to it.

Consider with each purchase, ‘will this help me become a better person?’ That TV may be big and sexy, but will it push you toward that trip you’ve been wanting to take?

Nope. In fact, it pushes you in the opposite direction. That money could have gone toward the trip, and then bam, double-whammy, you also spend time in front of that TV, vegetating. Time that you could have spent building a second income or learning a new skill or reading a book. Not to say there’s anything innately wrong with TV, but it is a very one-way media…you’re much better off investing in forms of entertainment that are interactive and not as numbing.

Think, with each dollar that you spend, whether or not that dollar could go toward something you want more.

Sure, you want a candy bar right at this moment, and you’d probably enjoy it. But wouldn’t you rather have a new computer or camera? I know I would.

28 comments

  1. This is a great point. I recently read through a book called “The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class” (really great book for cultivating the proper mindset) and two of those distinctions relate to this post quite well.

    First, successful people think in the long term. Not from day to day, week to week, but month to month, year to year or decade to decade. Thinking in the long term really helps to put that tv or candy bar in perspective.

    Second, successful people are patient. When they don’t get what they want right now, they regroup, come up with a new plan they can start implementing today and revert back to long term thinking. They don’t give in and buy the tv or the candy bar.

    Great post!

  2. This is a great point. I recently read through a book called “The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class” (really great book for cultivating the proper mindset) and two of those distinctions relate to this post quite well.

    First, successful people think in the long term. Not from day to day, week to week, but month to month, year to year or decade to decade. Thinking in the long term really helps to put that tv or candy bar in perspective.

    Second, successful people are patient. When they don’t get what they want right now, they regroup, come up with a new plan they can start implementing today and revert back to long term thinking. They don’t give in and buy the tv or the candy bar.

    Great post!

  3. I agree man. Once I realized this I started to sell my video game systems and got rid of all the clutter. It felt much better to get rid of all of it and have extra cash to spend on projects that will bring back ROI.

  4. I agree man. Once I realized this I started to sell my video game systems and got rid of all the clutter. It felt much better to get rid of all of it and have extra cash to spend on projects that will bring back ROI.

  5. I just read the book ‘Start with Why’ and it has a lot to do with what you are writing on here… figuring out a why behind your business is just as important as figuring out the why behind the reasons you buy, breath, live etc. Rad!

  6. I just read the book ‘Start with Why’ and it has a lot to do with what you are writing on here… figuring out a why behind your business is just as important as figuring out the why behind the reasons you buy, breath, live etc. Rad!

  7. Too reasonable. Who wouldn’t want a single family palace with a helipad, a marina and a plastic replica of the Great Pyramids situated on the summit of Everest? It’s very VERY prestigious!

  8. Too reasonable. Who wouldn’t want a single family palace with a helipad, a marina and a plastic replica of the Great Pyramids situated on the summit of Everest? It’s very VERY prestigious!

  9. It’s easy to be seduced by “stuff”. The thrill of purchasing something quickly fades when you get the item home and then have to cram it amongst a bunch of other useless purchases that mock you each time you don’t use them/wear them/enjoy them.

    Selling my house and most of the stuff inside it was a liberating experience, yet I still have boxes of things that I really could live without. Instead of making myself feel worse about adding to the pile of “junk”, I now let my desire marinate for a few days (do I REALLY need this item?) and if I still want it I will undertake research to make sure I get the best quality/version of the product and at the most competitive price. In this way, I feel GOOD every time I use/wear/consume something.

    Also relating the cost of everything back to my daily income helps to put things in to perspective. Is a new piece of clothing really worth half a days “work?”

  10. It’s easy to be seduced by “stuff”. The thrill of purchasing something quickly fades when you get the item home and then have to cram it amongst a bunch of other useless purchases that mock you each time you don’t use them/wear them/enjoy them.

    Selling my house and most of the stuff inside it was a liberating experience, yet I still have boxes of things that I really could live without. Instead of making myself feel worse about adding to the pile of “junk”, I now let my desire marinate for a few days (do I REALLY need this item?) and if I still want it I will undertake research to make sure I get the best quality/version of the product and at the most competitive price. In this way, I feel GOOD every time I use/wear/consume something.

    Also relating the cost of everything back to my daily income helps to put things in to perspective. Is a new piece of clothing really worth half a days “work?”

  11. Lovely! How are you?? How is Chch? I need an update! Auckland is good. Waiting for your visit tho! :P
    I’ll def be coming down in April as my step-mum’s 60th bday is the day after yours. Soooo see you in April!
    Regarding the purchase/asset theory. Buying a motorbike?? Where would that sit? It won’t provide me with income…. but it might make me a more interesting person with time! I’ll see much more of my country! Hmmmm thoughts??
    Hope you’re well!!!

  12. Lovely! How are you?? How is Chch? I need an update! Auckland is good. Waiting for your visit tho! :P
    I’ll def be coming down in April as my step-mum’s 60th bday is the day after yours. Soooo see you in April!
    Regarding the purchase/asset theory. Buying a motorbike?? Where would that sit? It won’t provide me with income…. but it might make me a more interesting person with time! I’ll see much more of my country! Hmmmm thoughts??
    Hope you’re well!!!

  13. Great post Collin. I always use a pretty similar approach but a bit different though. Before buying anything, I would divide the price of that by the amount of time you’ll be enjoying it. And you’ll see whether that stuff you’re getting will be EXPENSIVE to you or not.

    My laptop is absolutely very cheap for me. Even though it’s $2000+ but I spend a lot of my time per day in front of it and I’ll be living with it for at least 2 years. It’s a pretty good investment for me. I therefore can say that my $2000 laptop is cheaper than that $999 40-inch LCD TV.

    Of-course it may not work for everything that you “value” not in money terms, like spending for your honeymoon somewhere overseas, etc.

  14. Great post Collin. I always use a pretty similar approach but a bit different though. Before buying anything, I would divide the price of that by the amount of time you’ll be enjoying it. And you’ll see whether that stuff you’re getting will be EXPENSIVE to you or not.

    My laptop is absolutely very cheap for me. Even though it’s $2000+ but I spend a lot of my time per day in front of it and I’ll be living with it for at least 2 years. It’s a pretty good investment for me. I therefore can say that my $2000 laptop is cheaper than that $999 40-inch LCD TV.

    Of-course it may not work for everything that you “value” not in money terms, like spending for your honeymoon somewhere overseas, etc.

  15. Good idea indeed. It is important that we are sure about what we want to do and how we want to get there. My parents think of this idea that you bring a sacrifice, as if you were losing something in order to get something better.

    Right now I’m aiming for a new laptop and they think I’m just sacrificing some of the things I like. But that is not true, I’m just doing what matters more, having a good laptop means I can work on the fly, I can just move around and have better presentations. It is another step towards more freedom in my entrepreneur life.

  16. Good idea indeed. It is important that we are sure about what we want to do and how we want to get there. My parents think of this idea that you bring a sacrifice, as if you were losing something in order to get something better.

    Right now I’m aiming for a new laptop and they think I’m just sacrificing some of the things I like. But that is not true, I’m just doing what matters more, having a good laptop means I can work on the fly, I can just move around and have better presentations. It is another step towards more freedom in my entrepreneur life.

  17. In studying Rich Dad, Poor Dad principles and stuff I learned a few things about this “investment” concept. I’ve done a lot of reading on the difference between the wealthy and the middle class actually. Two big differences are the delayed gratification thing and buying used.

    Saving for travel is a top priority. If all goes as planned, I should touch down in three countries this year. I didn’t realize that I have this itching need for international travel until last year when I didn’t go anywhere. It felt like I was being held hostage with one of those 1000 watt bulbs, you know know and…not quite sure where I was going with that.

    Don’t laugh. I actually printed out this thing called a wallet buddy http://www.newdream.org/walletbuddy.pdf last year to ‘curb’ my impulse spending. That was a result of more reading. Apparently it’s a lot easier to part with money when it’s electronic instead of cash.

    Loving the posts; Doritos grease and Adderall? What a combination:)

  18. In studying Rich Dad, Poor Dad principles and stuff I learned a few things about this “investment” concept. I’ve done a lot of reading on the difference between the wealthy and the middle class actually. Two big differences are the delayed gratification thing and buying used.

    Saving for travel is a top priority. If all goes as planned, I should touch down in three countries this year. I didn’t realize that I have this itching need for international travel until last year when I didn’t go anywhere. It felt like I was being held hostage with one of those 1000 watt bulbs, you know know and…not quite sure where I was going with that.

    Don’t laugh. I actually printed out this thing called a wallet buddy http://www.newdream.org/walletbuddy.pdf last year to ‘curb’ my impulse spending. That was a result of more reading. Apparently it’s a lot easier to part with money when it’s electronic instead of cash.

    Loving the posts; Doritos grease and Adderall? What a combination:)

  19. i agree

    nowadays, especially after traveling, i realized that i’ve been spending money with stuff that doesnt really add value to me…

    realizing it is the first step, and implementing it and integrating it in my life is the challenge that I have to overcome…

    thanks for sharing…

  20. i agree

    nowadays, especially after traveling, i realized that i’ve been spending money with stuff that doesnt really add value to me…

    realizing it is the first step, and implementing it and integrating it in my life is the challenge that I have to overcome…

    thanks for sharing…

  21. This is something I am learning to do, and is slowly consuming the way I look at and consider the things I buy, and all the things I am in the process of getting rid of.

    It’s very important to think about the true value of what you want to buy, what you want to do, and what you want to create. Leveraging one against the other will help you figure out what is really worth your time and money.

  22. This is something I am learning to do, and is slowly consuming the way I look at and consider the things I buy, and all the things I am in the process of getting rid of.

    It’s very important to think about the true value of what you want to buy, what you want to do, and what you want to create. Leveraging one against the other will help you figure out what is really worth your time and money.

  23. Awesome post – yes to consciousness. I love the short, sweet, and gettin right down to the nitty gritty. Thanks Colin!

  24. And what about movies? Are they a waste of time and money too? I love to watch a good movie on my big plasma or in the cinema. Sure, I could watch it on my laptop after I downloaded it from the piratebay, but the TV provides a better viewing experience IMHO. I always compare a good movie to a good book: both artistic works that can teach you something. Ohw, and yes, I consider myself to be an (aspiring) minimalist! ;-)

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