I’m not cheap nor would I say necessarily frugal though others seems to categorize me as such. It’s comic because some even apologize to me when they are spending their money on something that they think I would disapprove of. Come on now, why would I care what you spending your money on?
I have simply assigned a value to the things I enjoy doing. Any experience or item I subsequently purchase I must be willing to trade something for. That something could be $ or it could be something else, time, emotional commitment etc.
Buying a car would mean time spent taking care of it, never mind purchasing it, working in order to afford to insure it as well as taking on the risk of causing harm with it.
I know I must commute and for the time being I am in need of transportation whether for work or for entertainment reasons.
But I’m not willing to trade my free time, my peace of mind, my health, my views on global oil nor my hard-earned savings for the luxury of owning a vehicle.
I also don’t have any problem with anyone else owning it. If you ask my opinion on it I’ll share it with you, without judging you, just want you to understand my viewpoint.
I am bartering one thing for another, not just money for an object, I’m bartering time for an experience, bartering health for inactivity or something unhealthy, mental peace for working more hours at work.
The finite things which I possess are time, emotional capacity and money.
I didn’t think time is finite as a kid, now in my late 30’s I see the effects of time on my body.
Most of it is good, it has taught me great lessons of vulnerability and cause/effect, as well as my simple and liberating lack of control over most things that occur around me.
Emotional and mental capacity is something our western society has stretched to its utmost limits. When I could have more than 2 programs running on Windows 3.1 I thought I was multitasking. Needless to say that my iPhone 6 now has 56 applications currently open and I am perpetually using 42 of them.
My mind is no different than the memory cache of my computer, once it runs out everything slows down and I become less efficient.
Worrying about debt, health, witnessing sad events, experiencing stress while in traffic and trying to make sense of more and more complicated systems (fuck you taxes) are all ways in which my mental and emotional capacity is taxed.
Money is finite though one could very easily argue that it really isn’t because it has been printed whenever governments are in need of it and destroyed in order to reset its value.
As with all the above, it’s not whether or how finite these things are, rather that one must always trade one thing for another. There is a constant barter going on that is blatantly and ignorantly overlooked by the masses.
No, I can’t have a car, work less and try to reach financial independence sooner.
To do so I would have to invest way too aggressively causing my nerves to unravel at the wrong time thereby costing me something more precious than money, my relationships.
Even something as simple as accepting the free iPhone 6+ from my job has consequences for which I had to barter. By accepting the responsibility, I have inevitably bought into the tech culture and the environmental impacts of yet another electronic gadget ending up in landfills.
I don’t tell myself at the store, “No, don’t buy this even though you really want it because it costs too much and you are trying to save money.” Instead, it’s more like, “I’m not willing to trade my freedom in order to have this object.”