Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Smart Doodles from Trent - Part One

Trent at The Simple Dollar had a great post up on September 21st titled Business Card Doodles. The post contains some sketches he’s made over time on the back of business cards, many of which just resonated with me because I write things like this down all the time. My notes normally end up on scrap pieces of paper and I find them all over my desk months after they were written.

Stop by and read his original post HERE because he’s got some sound advice going on. Some of his card drawings got me thinking about my own personal finance beliefs and I wanted to share a few of my thoughts about them here. (with Trent’s permission of course)

First up...

Every $ you spend - You spend a little of your soul along with it - Spend your money wisely, dearie!

I’ve said similar things many times except rather than soul I think retirement or whatever your end goal may be. It’s sometimes hard to do but every time I go to buy something I ask myself four questions...

1. Will this actually bring me joy?
2. Will I use it enough to make up for the cost?
3. Am I willing to work more to pay for this?
4. Can I make money from it/with it?

And then if the item passes one or more of these questions I ask the most important follow up question.

Is this more important to me than doing something in my early retirement?

And no matter what your end goal is we are all saving for something – every dollar you spend today is one less dollar towards your goal.

Put the latte down and ask yourself do I want this more than I want to retire early, sit on the beach for my next vacation, that car 100% paid for, whatever it is for you.

Yet; I won't lie to you, there are definitely times when the $3 latte or a $10 Yankee Candle wins out for me. In fact a ten cent book will almost always find a place in our home. And that’s ok – we all spend our money a little frivolously here and there, but if you’re putting every tiny purchase above your goal it may be time to reevaluate what you’re saving/working for and how important it is to you.

You can have anything you want if you’re willing to work for it – you just have to figure out what you’re willing to work for… and sometimes that’s the hardest question.