Spend Less, Invest More
September 3, 2020
What is the difference between Spending and Investing in the context of money?
When we spend money without expecting a return of any sort, we call it an expense. We buy a phone, we buy clothes, Go to a Movie or get a Massage-These are all expenditures. We spend money to buy ourselves something that gives us pleasure at the moment.
When we invest money, it means we are expecting some return in the future beyond any immediate pleasure or benefit. There is always an underlying return on investment. So when you invest money in the stock market, you are expecting an upside in terms of market value appreciation. Similarly, when you invest in getting a higher education, you are expecting the upside a higher pay and better jobs in your career.
Implicit in an investment is the potential of an upside.
All of us have four types of resources: Our time, energy, focus, and money. We have a choice to either spend or Invest any of these resources.
- When you invest time in planning your goals, you expect a return in terms of more effective execution.
- You are getting the return of a healthy future when you invest in a Master Health Checkup.
- When you invest time with your mentor, you expect a return in terms of clarity of thinking or ideas you can bring to your workplace or personal situation.
- You expect a return in the form of personal and professional growth when you focus on personal development.
- When you scour social media channels, you are just spending your time and focus and not getting anything back.
- When you repeatedly check and respond to irrelevant emails, you are spending time wastefully with no return of value.
- Similarly, when you get sucked into unscheduled meetings without preparation, there is no upside for the time you spend.
- When you focus on peripheral and comfort zone activities instead of the difficult but essential tasks, you waste your focus and energies with no payback.
Normally, we are careful about how we spend or invest money because it is very tangible. On the other hand, time, focus, and energy are more abstract, and we can be wasteful about spending them.
When you look at your Time, Energy, and Focus as resources that can be invested in the right actions and activities, to get you a return in the future, you will automatically be more mindful about where you invest them.
You will have the freedom to spend your resources on activities that give you pleasure only when you are mindful of investing them in areas that give you upside in the first place.
So choose your actions wisely. Invest your resources in activities that generate value for you.