Decoding 'Value for money'
Can we apply Cal Newport’s technology value to working out what does or doesn’t provide value to you in your budget / spending + savings plan?
For this exercise, “value” represents something that brings you joy, makes you happy, is something useful, holds importance to you or has worthy practicality.
Essential Cost – an item in your budget that significantly impacts a part of your life that you couldn’t do without. An essential expense that is integral and necessary to carry on living your life, providing care for yourself, your family or pursuing your passions. While it may not always directly bring you joy or happiness; you couldn’t possibly carry on as normal without it. Ie, electricity bill, petrol, groceries
Cogent Cost – an item in your budget that provides some benefit in your life. It may not be deliberately essential or a “must” but it provides joy or happiness to some degree and you believe more strongly in its practically and effectiveness in your life when you are using it, ie, Foxtel, bought lunches, gym membership
Invented Cost – an item in your budget that has not been reviewed for some time, it doesn’t necessarily bring you much joy and you don’t value it too much and cannot think of any practical or logical reasons with conviction to continue with it. It might be an item that is adding to the internal or financial clutter in your life or simply causing you anxiety or worry. Often an invented solution to an invented problem.
My role working with Generation Y, X, Young families is not to tell them to stop spending, where to cut expenses down and what lifestyle they can or cannot have. It’s my role to help them understand what brings them value, what in their life brings them joy and what isn’t making them happy. The answer is different for everyone.
It’s at this point the equation gets turned around. Helping clients to understand and express their goals, values and desires allows them to tell me what they want and need MOST. I may be able to provide insight into how the numbers stack up or if we need to make any trade-offs, but I believe helping the client understand what brings them value gives them the power of choice and accountability.
Refreshing or re-aligning your goals, values and desires at the same time as reviewing your budget can be empowering. Reclaiming more time, pursuing more passions, discovering our mission and purpose, creating more, consuming less and living a more meaningful life are all potential benefits of aligning your values with your budget / spending & savings plan.
Content inspired by Cal Newport’s article “On Value and Digital Minimalism”