When I hear people say that they want to do something but they can’t afford it, my antennae go up. Why? Because, often in the next sentence, I hear them mention something else that they’ve spent money on. And that something usually costs as much or more as the thing they say they can’t afford, and it usually won’t give them one tenth the satisfaction.
I’m not without empathy for my fellow human beings, but so often people waste money and don’t even realize it. They make poor choices.
This isn’t something Old Money does. Old Money looks at everything it spends money on and prioritizes. If it’s food, clothing, and shelter, of course it’s near the top of the list. But how and when even those items are purchased is scrutinized.
But it’s not about being cheap. It’s about spending money on the things that have value for you, and not spending–or spending too much–on things that don’t.
In The Old Money Book, there are two sections: Core Values, in which I discuss the things that are most important to Old Money (education, financial independence, etc); and How Old Money Does It, which details the ways that Old Money makes the best use of its resources (how it buys cars and clothes, etc.)
Many times, you’ll find Old Money actually lives on less than New Money or even the middle class, and they often live better. It’s all in the choices we make.
Let’s say you want to take a trip to Paris, but you think you can’t afford it. Let’s look at some choices you may be able to make.
Do you subscribe to cable television for $100 a month or more? A year of that expense ($1200…?) is about equal to one round trip ticket from most any city in the US to Paris.
Do you buy designer coffee every day at 3 or 4 bucks a cup? At 300 days a year, that’s an easy $900, enough to almost cover a week’s worth of lodgings in the City of Lights.
Do you buy soft drinks? Not only are they a waste of money, they’re detrimental to your health. So cut it out of your budget and your life.
Look at how you spend your money. Make different choices if you can. Plan.
See the Louvre. Walk the Seine. Attend a worship service at Notre Dame.
Just don’t say you can’t afford it.