Last weekend Husband and I bought a bottle of wine, some brie cheese and sat down to try and figure out what our values are with regards to money. Obviously food is right up there 😉
What struck me the most about the whole conversation though was that in 8 and a half years of being together this was the first time we have ever had a big picture chat about money and our values with regards to money. We chat about individual purchases and how much money each of us has but never about our overall philosophy towards money. How strange is that, dear Reader?!?! As a couple we talk a LOT, so why not about this? Is there something somehow taboo about talking about money? Or is the concept of pairing our values with our spending simply not part of our culture?
Despite our lack of previous conversations, we actually found it quite easy for us to do 🙂 This is what we came up with :
Clearly, time is one of our top priorities. And so it makes perfect sense why we are do drawn to the Early Retirement concept – it lets us be in complete control of how we use our time. Learning skills/up-skilling ourselves also fits in beautifully with the Early Retirement philosophy.
The good food and alcohol is definitely our biggest weakness in terms of spending more cash than we would ideally like to…
The rest of our values we are pretty controlled about though 🙂 I LOVE books but am really good about only buying from second-hand bookstores (old books smell the best anyway!) or sale/free books on my Kindle. Photography is an expensive value but thank goodness we have already bought most of the kit. I have been dreaming of a wide angle lens and a small, waterproof point and shoot camera for years though… Husband also already has all the gear for fishing. And good shoes are bought sparingly and worn until they have holes (i.e. for years) and only then replaced.
We also thought that it might be useful to list things that are definitely not important to us and this is what we came up with:
Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy all of these things, but we don’t think that they’re particularly valuable. For the most part our spending already reflects this… with the only exception being gadgets…. particularly in Korea: the land of awesome, cheap electronics. The challenge to resist is real, dear Reader.
Our biggest challenge though is that we’re not sure how we feel about generosity and gifts. We definitely love giving gifts and offering to pay for dinner or drinks etc… and I don’t think that’s something we would like to give up. However, it can very easily get out of control and result in us dropping a significant amount of money without us even realising it…
The most valuable thing about this conversation though was that it weirdly set us free. Suddenly our decisions about whether to spend money on things became so much simpler. Either a purchase was in line with our values or it wasn’t. It also gave us permission to spend money on things that we really want, are in line with out values but since The Brat Experiment have felt too guilty to actually buy. In other words, it improved our quality of life. Well played The Brat Experiment, well played… 🙂