The Life Philosophy of Money

August 24, 2008

I am extremely blessed to be spending my summer vacation in a gorgeous setting in a very expensive house in the south of France. You would think the owner of the house would be happy and carefree, but you would be mistaken. He obsesses with saving money on phone, electricity, repair work, etc. He MUST get the best deal possible. God forbid you call the US without using VOIP or some discount calling mechanism.

Given his desire to skimp on the small (for him) expenditures, his quality of life is compromised. The water pressure is low, the electricity keeps blowing up, his tennis court only has lamps on one side of the court (“it should be enough”) and half the lamps are broken. More importantly, it’s always on his mind, getting in the way of his enjoyment of his beautiful house.

What’s even more discouraging is that the same individual who goes to extreme lengths to maybe save $10,000 a year thinks nothing of buying a boat he rarely uses without doing the rent versus buy analysis. He does not know how much he spends a year (though I can guarantee you it’s a lot!) and sometimes finds himself short on cash!

This individual’s life philosophy of money is to be “penny wise, but dollar foolish” which is essentially the exact opposite of how you should lead your life! Relative to your income you should be penny foolish, but dollar wise. Don’t fret the small things – enjoy everything that makes your day to day life pleasant (after calculating what a “penny” is for you), but be careful about the bigger purchases that can radically alter your financial wellbeing. For most of us, this means being careful with the car and house we lease or buy.

So stop worrying about the small things, it’s time to enjoy life!

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