Stuff or Seconds? Making Better Financial Decisions

Occasionally, it can be useful to think of things in black and white terms.

It simplifies decisions and bumps them out of the rational mind into the subconscious. It works best for those dichotomies without a correct answer:

Sweet, or Savoury? (Savoury)

Sand, or Snow? (Sand)

Silly, or Serious (Silly)

 And the most relevant in our late-capitalist era:

Stuff, or Seconds?

Or, in it’s expanded form – would you rather spend your money on Stuff, or Time?

Stuff is fast, obvious, nice and external.

But it also accumulates, suffocates, get’s dusty and the kick of buying it wears off quickly.

Seconds are temporary, freedom, fleeting, meaningful and internal.

But they’re also limited, expensive, wasteable, and impossible.

There’s no right or wrong answer – while the research shows that money spent on experiences and time provides a greater long-term reward, the immediate hit of satisfaction that comes from buying stuff is real and effective.

But this choice does provide a great structure for your financial decisions.

Do some easy background work and it’ll always help:

1) Work out what you prefer to spend your money on.

2) Think about why that is – are the reasons primarily external or internal?

Then, when confronted with a financial decision, ask yourself – will this help me get more of what I want?

Will it get me more stuff?

Or seconds?


If not, then why bother?

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