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The Art of Spending Wisely: A Client’s Insight

In response to my colleague Liz Brotz’s May 22, 2024, One Wealth Perspective “Money Can’t Buy Happiness,” one of our clients, whom I’ll refer to as RM, emailed a nice note to her with the following comment:

“I agree with your perspective. I think money should be utilized to reduce stress and increase time. When I’m spending, I like to ask myself, ‘Will this spend reduce my stress?’ and ‘Will this spend give me more time to do what I want?'”

Those two questions really gave me pause. It dawned on me that I’ve never looked at how I spend money in such a wonderfully binary way. Given my profession, it may come as little surprise that I keep a close eye on my expenses and spending patterns. But tracking my expenses is actually one of my obsessions. The funny thing is, it’s not so much that I care where the money is spent, but rather how I’m going to categorize the endless stream of transactions (chaos) flowing into my tracking software (order). With a family of four, two of whom are in high school, the expenses are a torrential downpour.

It goes without saying that we all have our own uniquely complicated relationship with money, and I won’t begin to try and unpack the origins of mine here. Upon reflection, when it comes to my feelings around spending money (except for the infrequent selfish splurge), they tend to be mostly resigned inevitability, commingled with inflation shock, tip fatigue, and a whiff of episodic and irrational fear that maybe it’s all going out too fast. In short: stress.

By slowing down and asking, “Will this spend reduce my stress?” and “Will this spend give me more time to do what I want?” it completely rearranges the emotional equation for me by reframing how I view these inevitabilities. It’s these unexpected little nuggets of wisdom from our clients that make what we do so rewarding. Thanks, RM!

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