Sullen v.5




Tuesday, June 23, 2009

..having money in a tough economy.

Okay, so it's not so bad, and some people would seriously slap me if I were telling them this in person (which is why I have a blog for these sort of wonderful thoughts :) ), but I'm noticing that I'm spending more money very easily these days. I have the reasons in my mind ("Just doing my part to stimulate the economy!" haha, "Inflation is devaluing my money every day anyway, and since I'm not willing to invest too much right now, I want to spend it now..", "Maybe our whole economy is going to fall-in, and I'd rather enjoy it now while I have it." That last being the most doomsday and extreme, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I seriously think it could / might happen. We haven't exactly seen the repercussions of the actions our government have recently taken. And I'm not sure if anyone recalls what the discussions were prior to the recent actions taken by our government, but they went along the lines of "This is our last possible hope and effort.. if this doesn't work, we could have a serious problem." And I have a pretty good feeling it's going to come back to haunt us in a big way. I'd like to think I'm wrong in my thoughts here, but that's how I see it right now).

However, the primary "problem" is that I'm seeing these really great sales / incentives all around me, and generally when I drop a lot of money, it's because I'm doing it with a longterm perspective in mind. If there's something I *know* that I like, and it will run out, then I don't see the problem in dropping a large amount of money upfront (since I thankfully have it for the time being) to reap the longterm saving rewards. What comes to mind is a scent that I try to keep as my 'own'. Wandering off topic a bit: I think everyone should have their own 'scent', and use it kind of like their brand, and so I have mine. I'm speaking singular here, but truthfully I have several. I'd rather only have one, good for all seasons, and then maybe one additional special scent depending on the season, but I haven't got their yet.. and clearly I'm talking 'wants' versus 'needs' here. Point being, I know that I'll likely pay the full price in the future if I don't stockup now, and so I stockup.

This may seem like obvious logic to some people, but I am actually surprised how many people I see on a regular basis not wanting to spend a lump sum upfront, even though they have the money and will probably pay full price in the future (my mom being really good example of this). That kind of thing drives me crazy, especially if it somehow ends up being my money. A good example of how this almost happened with my money: all of my friends want to go to Vegas and I agreed to go with them. We start looking for hotels. Myself, having gone to Vegas many times, am convinced that it's worth the money to pay a little extra for a nicer place, with nicer rooms, a great pool to sitby during the day, good location on the strip, etc. versus paying $10 less a night to stay at the crappiest place on the strip, bad location, rooms, etc. I see it this way because in the longrun you save money and on things that are probably worth money: taxis (being in a close location to the places you want to be), entertainment (spending a good amount of time near the pool), tan (pool), comfort (not having to walk far in heels), sleep (not having to walk far and being close to where you want to be after a long night out), comfort again (better room), the 'crazy' grand scheme of things in my mind goes on...

But the others really didn't see it like this.

Instead, they begin to get irked with my hotel suggestions, $10-$15 more / night than where they want to stay ($2 more, each, with five people splitting). They demand that we find the cheapest place. Not wanting to be the one to cause strife in the group, I just give up with logic and was at least able to convince them on the crappiest hotel in the best possible location.

So. There you have it. I really don't think people think 'big picture' a lot... money is one thing, but in general, they don't. Maybe this sweeping statement is unfair, but I really feel, realistically, people don't. They agree to crazy amounts of interest / debt when they don't have a longterm plan to pay it off, and on and on and on.... again this goes back to everything I've been saying in previous posts and the dilemma the overall American people are in now. Fortunately it's kind of paying off for me at the moment, but yeah, I hate to get greedy myself, too, and hope I can keep myself in check with these "deals". When I get a little too spend/deal-happy, like tonight, it definitely makes me stepback and reevaluate my needs versus wants and then also think about what I'm going to spend money in the future regardless of it being a need versus want.. i.e., if I want it bad enough, I'm probably going to buy it so I better buy it now if there's a good deal. :P I think considering the 'big picture' implications is actually kind of fun, because it's kind of like fitting all of the pieces together and finding the highest payoff.... ... and *what could have been* a funny example (if only I were one year younger).... I've been debating the many options to deal with a speeding ticket I recently received. I was arriving to the conclusion (after evaluating a lot of things, and considering what could happen in the future), that it was actually a higher payoff for me to just pay the ticket *without* going to the optional traffic school. Right when I came to this decision, I suddenly realized that it might *actually* be a higher payoff to do traffic school -- not because of saving points on my record (they had already guaranteed me that any ticket I have recently received, and any potential tickets in the near future, would be dismissed by them), but because a $170 traffic school might save me %10-%15 on my premium (just for going to traffic school), thus paying what I had to for the ticket PLUS saving a significant amount of money on my insurance over the next years. I was excited with this thought, but unfortunately I missed this opportunity by a year. Anyway. Big picture stuff and the implications of our decisions. That's what it's all about. I have a higher respect for people who think this way too, probably just because it's something I really value and am always trying to make sure I hold true to. In the end, thinking broadly again ;), it's not just about money... but really about the way we live life. Are we *acting* with *only* the 'here and now' in mind, *only* the future?, or a good balance of the two? Balance, that's the trick.