It’s pretty common to think that having more will make us happy. In reality, though, the more we have, the more complicated our lives get.
We are hardwired to think about the upside when we buy things. We think about how great it will be to take our new boat out on the lake, or spend summers at the cottage with our family. Maybe the cost of your purchase is a part of your decision making. Almost certainly, though, complications are not.
What complications, you ask?
What about maintaining the boat? Getting it into and out of the water each year is a chore, or a cost, or both. You’ll need to find someplace to dock it, and make arrangements. At the cottage, winter break-ins are a concern. Maintenance in your absence is a concern. Opening and closing the property each year is a concern. Virtually every weekend of your summer is spoken for before the season even begins.
I hate to always pick on the cottage, and summer fun. So how about all smaller stuff we buy? All of this stuff ends up owning us: We buy stuff, and it takes up space. When we start feel the clutter, we think we need a larger living space.
A larger house might solve the clutter problem, but more property tax, and higher utility bills are part of the bargain. Our “toys” will also cause us to pay higher insurance premiums, and give our time up to general maintenance. Unless you really enjoy working on engines, is it worth it to purchase the boat, ATV, or snowmobile which needs work? (Think hard about that classic car purchase too!)
How can a Personal Financial Trainer help?
We all have blind spots, or gaps in our reasoning when dreaming about the things we want, or the status symbols we think we’re entitled too. There are usually alternative options that we don’t even consider, as well.
Keep it simple! A cottage is a terrible investment. Consider renting one, enjoy all the upside perks, and do it without the related stress. Rent the boat, then turn in the keys when you’re done, and let the maintenance costs be somebody else’s responsibility.
If you can add the benefit to your life, without the stress or the obligation, do so! Sometimes all it takes is an objective third party to point out this option, before we recognise the viability of such alternatives for ourselves.