“For me, knowing my true hourly wage is useful because it translates the expense of purchase easily into the hours of my life I had to work for that item.
For example, let’s say my true hourly wage is $12, like Jonas. I’m thinking about buying a $300 blender. That blender equates to twenty-five hours of my life spent working, twenty-five hours of my life where I’m not doing what I want to be doing. Twenty-five hours spent in front of a computer or doing paperwork or doing … well, all of the professional tasks I don’t really enjoy, instead of twenty-five hours spent going on a hike or reading a fun book or playing a tabletop game or any of the dozens of things I love to do with my time and find deeply personally fulfilling.
Is that worth it? Is that lost time a fair trade for that $300 blender?
Let’s go way down this rabbit hole.”
“Today, I wanted to do something that’s a little controversial – review stock picks. I’m a big believer in index funds. It’s the ‘Laziest’ path to wealth. For many people, investing advice can be as simple as just keep buying up shares of Index 500 ETF stock. I’m a little more diversified, but that’s my general investing philosophy as well…
… except that I like to have some fun too!
I can’t shake the idea that there are people out there who bought Amazon at $3 a share and are enjoying it at $1700 a share now. How can that feel anything less than awesome, right?”
“Eventually, I found myself standing squarely in front of a kiosk of inexpensive toys. My eye quickly went to a plastic, battery-powered, light-up unicorn headband.
The only thing lighting up brighter than that unicorn horn would be my three-year-old daughter when I put it on her head. She would love that toy.
The joy it would bring to her life would be immeasurable—for at least 18 seconds until she lost interest or it broke. Even though it would have been an extra special treat to surprise her with when I got home, it was a hard pass for me.
Children cannot be expected to self-regulate the accumulation of stuff. Sure, we can (and should) teach them about the lifespan of a product and where it will go after it leaves our home. We can practice thoughtful decision-making practices when it comes to purchasing goods.
But just like us, they are a work in progress and will struggle to resist the urge to keep it all.
Ultimately, as the adults with the fully-developed brains and credit cards, we have to be the ones steering the ship. We need to set boundaries around the stuff we bring into our homes. Children learn through modeling. We must learn how to say no so that our children can see us and learn better ways themselves.”