On money mindset & experimentation

On money mindset & experimentation

When I was growing up my parents were very careful with their spending. Classic money scripts like ‘ every penny saved is a penny earned ‘ were taught in our household to prevent us from spending excessively ( not that I had enough to do that anyway )  One of my deepest ingrained memories was when I was trying to get my father to buy me 3 pieces of plain roti prata ( Indian flatbread dish ) for supper. He decided to buy 1 piece , get the free curry that comes along with it , and cook the other 2 pieces using frozen roti prata from the supermarket. Plain roti pratas don’t cost a lot back then , but it really shows how determined my parents were at saving money. These spending habits helped us get through school , even afford ourselves some luxuries once in awhile and a few oversea trips which was not common back then! I’m very grateful to my parents for doing their best to give us a good upbringing.

That being said, some of these money scripts that we bring into our adult life may actually hold us back from achieving the freedom and life that we want. Things like :
‘ Every Starbucks u don’t drink , you get X at end of the year ‘
‘ Don’t ever take a taxi , its way too expensive ‘

all the way to

‘ I would never fly business class because even Warren buffet don’t do that ‘
‘ I’m not wasting money on X and Y ”
‘ I’m very happy where I am now ”

Some of these invisible money scripts may be difficult to overcome.  A few felt intuitive to me like taking a taxi to save time over public transport. I hated public transport because it made me dizzy and it usually took twice as long or more to get to somewhere as opposed to a taxi. Some things felt unexpectedly good to overcome, such as gifting family and friends. Yes –  during my early years it was important to hoard all my savings like a grumpy dragon. Over time I realized – the old adages and money scripts that worked well in the past , didn’t work well now. Some of the things that I found out myself were :

– Convenience is very up high in my list – I would do anything to save my time including express tickets in theme parks, taxi rides ,food delivery and so on.
– Luxury brand name items were not of interest to me. I still would opt for premium made items , but they were for comfort and aesthetics rather than prestige.
– Self improvement and learning is important to me – I can spend extra money on personal trainers to accelerate my learning on different things that I’m interested in.

And the list goes on. Experimenting with how we spend our money and seeing which invisible money scripts can help us achieve our happiness. Now you would ask, what if I don’t have much discretionary income to begin with? I’d suggest start with something as small as $50/month. Depending on where u are at, you could even go up to $1,000/mth. Put that aside and use it to experiment on things that you would normally never spend on. It could be

– Taking that singing class you always wanted to because you simply love to sing!
– Take two weeks of extra unpaid leave off work just because you can
– Feeling generous? Start giving tips larger than recommended!

I’m on my personal journey of rediscovering what I enjoy and what I don’t enjoy spending on. Some of these things that I was pressured into by friends or modern pop culture yet don’t enjoy doing, I might just dial back down on the spending. Those that I exceptionally enjoy, I can increase it by 80%! Let me know through email or in the comment section below – what invisible money script have been stuck with you and how did overcoming them help you enjoy your next level of fulfillment.

-Aloysius

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