January 2, 2015

One Pitfall About Saving Money

I consider myself strict at spending money. I would choose a station in 20 minutes walk distance over a 3 minutes one just to save less than 200 JPY yen. I would bypass a vending machine even though I’m thirsty but not buying a bottle of water. I would go into bathroom without turning on the light, and choose wearing more clothes rather than turning on underfloor heat to save electricity expense, the list goes on and on… (most of these habits are inherited from my parents, saving money is like a gene inside their body)

Some time ago I randomly picked up a book in bookstore, one chapter was about saving money. Can’t remember the exact word, but the general idea is this:

People who have the habits of saving money, tend to buy more and/or expensive stuff than they need, have low resist to the temptation, because they don’t know the joy of spending money, they think they have been suffered enough that they so deserve to have that one item.

That rings a bell. I do remember I say something like that to myself in the past when struggling with buy or not buy situation.

“Come on you’ve been working so hard, you definitely deserve this!”

“Look at others, see how they’ve spent money on drinks, clothes, parties, no harm to indulge yourself a bit this time!”

“It’s 50% off sale, you’ve got to buy something for yourself right?!”

And things I’ve bought under that mindset usually turns out to be a total waste: either I don’t like it, not using it anymore(like clothes), or over spec that’s higher than my need(pc parts).

Since I realized this pitfall, I’ve been really conscious about the conversations with myself. I stopped using the word “deserve”. Now it looks like this: “I choose to spend the money because of …, so that I could …, I’m 100% it’ll contribute to my …, I know it’s a clear YES, it’s a worthwhile investment, not because I deserve it, not because it’s on 30%, 50% or even 80% sale, not because I feel shy to say NO.”

I could be spending more money overall on food, books, self investment now than before, but that’s my rational choice & investment under conscious mind, with a purpose on health, learning, and self growth. Most importantly, I don’t feel the urge to indulge myself, the guilty when spending money anymore.

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Qihuan Piao

Qihuan Piao

(aka kinopyo) is Chinese based in Tokyo. Software writer. He shares stories inspired him in this blog. His infamous line - "I feel calm when I kill those monsters, or people (in game)" shocks his friends deeply.

He also writes in Japanese and Chinese.