I don’t think of money the way I used to think of money just 6 months ago.
6 months ago, I’d walk into a mall thinking of what I could potentially buy to make myself happy.
Today, I walk into a mall only to buy what I need (if I need a stick of butter to cook dinner with I buy a stick of butter, full stop).
6 months ago, I’d walk into a bookstore and buy any book I wanted. Usually I’d buy at least two books or more. Sometimes three or four at one go. It was easy for me to spend $100 at the bookstore per visit.
Today, I borrow all my books from the public library. Most of the books I want to read are available in the library anyway. If it’s not, I don’t read it (there are so many other books in the world to read). Or I buy it on Kindle, so I save 30% or 40% or sometimes 50% off the paperback price. But even this happens only rarely nowadays.
6 months ago, I’d not blink an eye about spending $800 on a painting or $1,000 on a foldable bike. I needed these things, I’d tell myself. I needed them so I could try my hand at art collecting or be able to cycle to the swimming pool.
Today, I don’t buy random big ticket items anymore. I just don’t.
Have I become cheap? Not really. It’s just that I have experienced a crucial mindshift with regards to money. I no longer think of money as a currency I can use to buy things with; now I think of it as resources that I’d gained through the exchange of my own very precious life hours.
All the money I have, I have had to work for them. I’d to put in hours under the sun or in the studio, managing clients, shooting, editing. I had spent time – days and weeks and months and years of my life – in order to earn these money. Time that I can never get back.
So every time I buy something, I remind myself that the money I have now is actually time I can never get back.
It makes me think twice about what to buy.
Should I buy the latest iPad Pro or should I use it to, say, buy the freedom to not work for a month? In that month I can connect with my loved ones, travel somewhere to recharge, work on a passion project, etc.
The choice is obvious to me.