One way to manage spending

Turn back time to when you were a kid. Were you given your daily dose of pocket money or some sort of fixed allowance for yourself to manage?

Regardless of how you received that daily “income”, mine was the latter and I can vouch that both could work really well as long as we spend them wisely and responsibly.

I’m just laying some perspectives here, as a similar topic was dished out earlier this evening, on my way home sharing a cab with a friend.

These perspectives are filled with many of my own assumptions.

The good side of things when it comes to getting daily dose of pocket money, is that, a child can be trained to be prudent in his/her spending and develop a habit of money management. In fact, the child could become so versatile and equipped with money management skills that he/she could become so independent that the child may sought out new avenues and routes of making additional dough, when the child realizes that what he/she was given for the day, was insufficient. Popular culture would also have us believe that a child may stray off a different, and dare I say, a beaten path, of skimping and depriving themselves on other life’s necessities like food, drink, socialising, just so that he/she could get his/her hands on a new game cartridge (in those days) or perhaps, a nice dress. I’m just saying, and I’m not sure how true this is, but it could be… true!

On the opposite end of the spectrum, where I was categorized under, allowed a child a substantial amount of financial resources to manage. Although I have to admit that in my case, I was given an amount that is at the bottom end of the scale, assuming 1 – $500 to $1000 to 10 – $4000 to $5000. I’m sure the scale could extend all the way to Mars (btw, have you read that there are people who wants to colonize Mars). While I appreciate parents who entrust their kids with an unbelievable amount of financial “freedom”, I have seen kids who uses this money to pursue worldly possessions in throngs! These items could range from the latest and greatest mobile phones, for example, or exceedingly expensive bags/dresses (in short, branded). As for me, I didn’t use a great deal of it for my own personal advantage, seriously I didn’t! But I treated my finances as a kind of trust, which my parents had on me. I was merely a steward looking after this temporary possessions of this financial wealth. $1000 for a 14 year old kid is quite a big deal, in my opinion. In short, we have to be responsible. (I could have taken more risk by running a business at the age of 14, but it seems too far fetched at that point in time. Risk-taking was also not my forte then, and perhaps, now).

We are all grown-ups now and we are fully capable of creating and amassing our wealth. But, I observe, myself included, that we are still caught in this whirlpool of seeking out the things in life that provide us with some sort of status symbol. We want to be seen driving an expensive car, sporting an exquisite watch, wearing a rare gemstone, donning a branded shirt or eating at a lush and posh restaurant. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be rich and pursue these things but, if along the way, our pursuit of these material goods had¬†inadvertently¬†caused us to drift further away from God, what would have been our lives?

I had read before, in a blog or somewhere, that we just need to tell and ask ourselves, “if this $1000 is what belongs to God, and it is entrusted to us only temporarily, would I have rushed out and waited in line for 3 days just get my hands on the iPhone 5 (non-contract and when I’m already holding an iPhone 4S)?”

Rather than pushing for the extremes, the middle-ground could be a good place to be at too. In fact, some people is of the opinion, that getting a Nexus 7 for $199 is a more responsible choice than getting an iPad mini for $329. You could seriously do some charity works with the balance of $129. But, we shall leave that to another post.