I'm not quite sure as I move through life if I'm becoming more frugal, cynical or contrarian as I watch my fellow man go about their day and live out their lives. December for some is a time to spend with friends and family, to relax, to enjoy the fruit of a years labour and by all means, I think those are fantastic ideals. I feel that it has been corrupted and bastardised into something almost unrecognisable.
As a labourer of any kind what we used to do was sell our skills/goods/services into the market in return for a reward, the most efficient way to reward someone for a job well done became money. The money is then used for trading for your goods and services you need and so on. The leftover cash or surplus was valuable you accumulated but have not allocated for the year of work.
The reward for a job well done
While a wise man would keep it and perhaps allocate a portion of it for a reward themselves at the end of the year, the funny thing is people will reward themselves regardless of if it was a good year or not, they want their reward dammit. So what is the real incentive if I can get my reward either way? If I worked hard if I didn't work hard or work at all.
As consumerism has a hand on our throats and the need to compete with one another through material wealth as well as improve on previous years has pushed consumers into a race to the bottom.
It's as if its a game on who can go broke the fastest, which is why the term "Janu-worry" has become so popular. People spend all their surpluses on consumer goods, presents, holidays and who knows what to make them happy and they should, it's their stake they can do as they please with it. I feel it's reckless, but still, you create your burdens for yourself.
Image source: - coolnsmart.com
Borrowing from the future
As the race continues and competition heats up, some people reach the end of their allocated resources but fail to accept this as the limit. They then move into another stage where they sell off their future income to a third party in exchange for receiving funds/goods or services right now, and that is what debt is all about.
I watch as friends and family glorify debt as it were some magic formula, that they are divine and handpicked to receive this blessing and are so besotted by the idea of borrowing from their future selves they cannot see the curse it is for them.
I see so many posts of how "blessed" people are with getting the new iPhone, financing a new car, mortgaging a new home and the list goes on. They'll give praise to their God of choice; we see this on social media all the time, flex culture is run on the fact.
The funny thing is people cannot see the cost of their purchase; it can only be realised in hindsight.
Who among us can sit here and think of their younger self and go geez I wish I didn't do that, I wish I didn't buy that? I think many of us can. When we take on debt, we make a decision that affects our future in ways we don't realise.
By allocating our resources to a 3rd part for 2,5, 10 or even 20 years, we could miss out on using that capital for investing, for compound interest to improve over that time. To take advantage of changes in the market, to purchase something cheaper in the future that fulfils the same need, and so forth.
Too many people are making a decision today that could be put off for tomorrow, too many people see the deal today as the best it will be. Too many people are willing to sell their labour cheap, and too many people have sold themselves to a new master.
What I'm trying to say is we should reward ourselves, within our means, responsible reward giving and enjoy the life you have now without sabotaging the life you will have in the future.
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