When you speak with older people and you ask them what they would do differently if they had the chance to start over again, they would say that they regret only the things they didn’t do. Well I guess that it could be good for finance too! While many people suggest asking yourself if you really need something or not before buying it, I would rephrase that into: Will I regret it? There are several occasions in your life that you may or may not need but that you will certainly regret if you don’t do it.
I learned this lesson while travelling in
The secret behind it is sacrifices. If there is something you want to do or you need to buy as you know that you will regret in the future, you will have to make choices. For example, my friend and I agreed to not eat a full meal for lunch and use this money instead to do activities or purchase souvenirs.
You obviously need to know your needs and your dreams in order to spend your money accordingly. Sometimes, it could be pretty easy to pretend that you will regret not buying so and so (I use the “I deserve it factor for this type of occasion 😉 ).
This technique works best with major purchase such as properties, trips, cars, etc. Another great example is my property story. When we had William, we were in an apartment and looking to buy our first house. We did not want to spend too much and we thought we would still be happy in a smaller house. We put that house for sale after only 8 months! The reason? We decided to put our future needs aside and go for the frugal choice. I guess I don’t need to explain that moving twice in a year is incurring several expenses and that the “frugal” choice ended up being the most expensive one!
When we bought our second property, I decided to not make the same mistake. The price was higher than the limit we had previously fixed but I really wanted it for many reasons. After a year living in the house, I can say that the first 6 months was rough financially but that we are now comfortable with our payments. Beyond the financial aspect, I smile every day when I come back from work and I look at my house on my way home. I finally feel good, I finally feel… home. This feeling is absolutely priceless. Sometimes, you are better off spending your money according to your real need and dream so you will live a much happier life.
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