Money has a big role in our lives. Whether we like it or not. And whether we admit it or not!
That’s the world we live in. But how we deal with this reality as individuals can vary a great deal.
Today, I’ll clear up some common misconceptions that I see around frugality and money management. And hopefully give you a new perspective on high spenders versus those with strong money habits.
We’ll look at how two groups of people approach money. In my mind, one of them is delusional. See if you can guess which!
The Power Struggle
For most of us, our relationship with money is a lifelong power struggle. In fact, we spend most of our waking hours, for most of our week, doing some type of activity to earn this ‘money’.
We need money to pay for everything in our lives:
Food, transport, housing, entertainment…the list goes on.
I know most people don’t think of it this way, but we should. It’s a battle, and we’re losing!
We sacrifice all this time with our loved ones. Leave our poor pets at home. And ignore our hobbies or passions, just to earn money to spend on short-term highs, easing the pain for a little while, until we have to do it all again.
We may feel like we’re in complete control. We choose which car to buy and which restaurant to eat at. We even get to decide how many doves to release at little Emily’s princess-themed 2nd birthday party, that she barely knows is happening and is more about us showing off on social media.
Sure, we feel adult and in control. But our bank account tells us we’re going back to work!
So it would be fair to say, money has complete control over how we spend our time. That is, unless we do something about it!
The Spender & The Saver
Here’s where it gets interesting. And while I’m generalising, the claims here are common and I’ve heard them subtly suggested many times.
The Spender would tell you that money has no control over them. In fact, they act, live and spend as they please, without much thought given to money.
This makes them independent of the power struggle. But does it?
They’d say yes. And then point out The Saver is the one who is controlled by money. A miserable chap (or chapette) who agonises over each penny and does little without permission from their spreadsheet.
Are they right?
Well, usually there’s a kernel of truth to these things. But I see it completely differently.
A New Perspective
To outsiders, The Saver probably appears to be controlled by money. And The Spender looks to be free as a bird. But there’s more going on than meets the eye.
In reality, The Saver is in complete control of their money. They’ve got that shit sorted, and here’s why…
The Saver is working in partnership with their money, using it efficiently as the tool it is.
Thinking twice before spending money doesn’t make them a miser… it makes them an adult! An adult is capable of making long term decisions.
Who does things before thinking about it first? A child.
In this scenario, The Spender is the financial equivalent of a toddler with its finger up their nose! They might as well outsource money management to Dora the Explorer.
As The Saver tucks away some of their pay-packet, their level of power increases. And with every investment they make, the shackles loosen and another stone is lifted from their back.
Eventually, The Saver gets to a point where the money has no power over them at all.
Because they’ve accumulated enough that money ceases to be a pressing issue. No longer do they have to get up every day and chase more dollars.
The Saver is free from the shackles of money. And now lives forever independent of meeting this need. Life is now self-directed. They can choose to pursue anything they wish, without money being the major driver.
As for The Spender…
Well, things aren’t as rosy as they look.
Their situation never improves. The need to earn more money never goes away, because their spending means the money always runs out, so it’s back to work they go.
Free as a bird? In control of money? Nothing could be further from the truth!
The Spender is losing this power struggle big time. With every poor financial decision they make, the shackles get a little tighter. Until they join the dark side and start saving, their life is not their own.
But maybe we’ll cut them some slack. I mean, they might not have found this blog yet. So they probably haven’t realised their housing is a choice, healthy food is cheap and the cost of living is the lowest it has ever been.
Maybe I look at this the opposite way to most people. And I know the comparison might be a little simple. But hopefully, you’ll now see the delusion from The Spenders, thinking that it’s The Savers who are controlled by money. In fact, they’re the ones winning this battle!
They know that living a good life and strong levels of saving are not opposing goals.
It may not look like it on the surface. But The Saver is simply counting the days until their power struggle is over.
To repeat: when they shuffle away some of their pay-packet, their level of power increases. And with every investment they make, the shackles loosen and another stone is lifted from their back.
It’s only a matter of time before they’re free. And in many ways, The Savers have already won. So they can happily go about their lives, knowing that financial independence creeps ever closer. It’s not a dream. It’s inevitable.