Have you ever seen Fight Club?
It’s one of the most thought-provoking and mind-blowing flicks you’ll ever see. Watch it this weekend if you haven’t seen it. I promise – no spoilers.
As awesome as it was when I first saw it, I never thought too much about some of it’s financial mantras until I was in my late 20s.
- “The things you own end up owning you.”
- “You’re not your job.”
- “You’re not how much money you have in the bank.”
- “You’re not the car you drive.”
- “You’re not the contents of your wallet.”
- “You’re not your fucking khakis.”
- “You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”
When I first heard this rant from the beginning of the movie, I was a dumb kid that knew nothing about money, much less owning things.
It just made me laugh and was nothing more than a passing thought.
But as I got older, and into today, these lines make me think quite a bit more.
“I don’t even wear khakis, but do the rest of my things own me?” “Do I define myself by what I own?”
My first instinct is to be defensive and say I don’t think so, but I do have some nice things, and I do value them, so maybe I do?
I don’t think possessions are a bad thing, and I’m not going to be one of those asshats that tells you to never buy anything, but I am starting to believe that there must be a balance.
Much like Tyler Durden, although maybe not so extreme, I have learned the lesson that the happiness of new things only lasts so long before new just becomes normal, and achieving that same happiness requires more new things.
It’s an endless cycle of stuff, so to speak.
That said, that doesn’t mean I’m going to sell all of my shit, never buy anything again, and live in a shitty RV – although more power to you if you choose to live that free. Sometimes I wish I could.
There’s a balance. I’ve come to the point to where if I’m going to spend money, it’s usually on nice things that I save for – not little trinkets that end up getting tossed in a drawer.
I’m also getting to the point where I value experiences more than things.
Being a bit frugal by nature, it’s sometimes tough for me to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a vacation, etc, but I also find that whenever I’m with friends, it’s always those experiences that get talked about, and never the stuff that I own.
There’s something to be said there as well.
Again, you have to make your own choices, and I don’t claim to know everything.
I just want you to take a step back from time to time and make sure you’re spending your money on things and experiences that will really enhance your life for the long-term.