thoughtful spending

It has been shown that people spend more money when they use debit or credit cards than when they actually use cash. When we use paper money, we feel pain when we see it leaving our hands and going away. But it’s not the same case with plastic; our pain receptors don’t get activated in such transactions. That’s why, credit card companies, banks and retailers push their credit card offers and memberships so aggressively and remain persistent with customers getting plastic. They know that the more credit cards people have, the more money they’ll spend.

Such is the case with our lives as well. We treat our days like we treat our plastic money. Because we don’t know our balance i.e. how  many days we have left in our life’s bank account, we distance ourselves from the truth that we are all going to die eventually, sooner or later. Our negligence of this truth and our lack of awareness about our actual balance drive us to spending our days recklessly, just like we spend our dollars. We become extra liberal with our time and spend it freely without any discipline or meaningful intention. We end up giving other people’s agendas more priority than our own. And as we do this and as we engage in these transactions half-heartedly, we never ask ourselves this one important question: Am I doing something that is giving me a good return on my time’s worth?

Unlike money that can come back in our lives, time never does. Once it is spent, it’s gone forever. Like our dollars, we need to spend our days diligently as well. As cutting up credit cards and switching to cash helps us spend money more thoughtfully ensuring our financial wellness, in a similar manner, it’s crucial that we think well before engaging in transactions of our time and the days that we have been given as well. As Seneca said, “I say, let no one rob me of a single day who isn’t going to make a full return on the loss.”

As we spend our days we can ask ourselves again and again:

  • Am I getting a bang for my buck here?
  • Are the transactions that I am about to participate in worth my time?
  • Is this trade and exchange of service fair and fulfilling?

If the answer is consistently no, we know we need to make some important changes in our life.