The Huge Gift Of Spending Money You Need to Know

This Week’s BIG Idea

Sometimes I don’t plan for things; they just happen. I spent a significant part of this week thinking about money. More specifically, I spent time thinking about spending money. At first, this wasn’t intentional. I listened to a podcast episode and the person being interviewed was a financial expert. That financial export was Ramit Sethi, someone who became synonymous with money and the author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich. A couple of years ago, Sethi started a podcast and more recently, he launched a Netflix show where he talks to couples who have financial problems. I ended up listening to that podcast and I also watched the first couple of episodes of the show.

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy those episodes as much as I did. Although it’s easy to make fun of the people involved, most of us grow up with our own “invisible scripts” around money. These are all the made-up rules we tell ourselves and they dictate how we view the world around us. This explains why some people save money but have trouble spending money or vice versa. So instead of judging others, I used that concept to think about my own invisible scripts. What is money to me? What are my financial goals? How much am I comfortable saving and how much am I comfortable spending? Why is that the case? What does my rich life look like?

Asking yourself these questions can be unsettling, but I’ve been using them as journal prompts to get to the bottom of things. As a general rule, I’ve been following Sethi’s mantra: “Spend extravagantly on the things you love, and cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t.” This made me realize that our ideas about money and our concept of a rich life are different from everyone else’s. So if you have some free time, take a few minutes to answer some of the questions above. The result of this exercise can be life-changing.

What I’m Working on

When I was a kid, I used to spend hours drawing. At some point when I was a teenager I got so frustrated that I stopped and never tried it again. Now that I have a kid, we spend hours drawing and coloring drawings together and it’s a lot of fun. I realize that when I draw, I get so immersed in the activity that I lose track of time. This tells me two things. First, I clearly enjoy drawing, so I should do it more often, both with my kid and by myself. Second, while there’s always the temptation to judge the end result, I don’t intend to become an artist. The goal is to have fun and learn a new skill that makes me happy, even if I’m bad at it. We’ll see where this takes me, but for now, I’m enjoying it a lot.

What I’m Listening to

I Will Teach You to Be Rich: As I mentioned above, I just listened to a podcast where Ryan Holiday interviewed Ramit Sethi. In the episode, Holiday says that I Will Teach You to Be Rich is one of the few podcasts he listens to on a regular basis because it’s so unique. That comment alone made me want to check out at least one episode. Soon after doing it, I subscribed and I want to check it out on a weekly basis.

What I’m Reading

The Diary of a CEO by Steven Bartlett: I really enjoyed my time with Bartlett’s previous book, Happy Sexy Millionaire. I liked that book so much, in fact, that I wrote a summary of it for the site. The Diary of a CEO is a different book. In it, the author compiled 33 laws that can help you both professionally and personally. I literally just started reading this book, so there’s not a lot that I can share yet. That said, I enjoyed the first section of the book enough to start working on a summary.

What I’m Watching

How to Get Rich: After listening to a podcast where Ryan Holiday interviewed Ramit Sethi, I gave How to Get Rich a chance. I haven’t watched a Netflix show of this kind ever since Tidying Up with Marie Kondo came out years ago. Honestly, I don’t know much else besides its premise, but How to Get Rich sounds like a terrific show. Since the goal this week was to think about spending money, this show helped me with that.

This Week’s Quote

“We’re born with infinite possibilities, only to give up on one after another. To choose one thing means to give up on another. That’s inevitable. But what can you do? That’s what it is to live.”

Hayao Miyazaki, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

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