I despise “Frugality”. But LOVE value. You should too.
I know roughly 90% of the personal finance world preaches frugality, but I think that word has such a negative connotation attached to it that it needs to die off ASAP. The word has been abused so much that it’s frankly indistinguishable from “cheap”, which is not a great way to live your life.
OPTIMIZE – Sounds better right?
This is the word I choose to go with when describing downsizing or “right sizing” your lifestyle in order to meet a specific goal. Making optimal choices is just so much better in every conceivable way, it’s not a deprivation mindset – you can optimize and live in abundance.
The way I personally interpret it we are just trying to mitigate waste, and I’ve never personally met a person that is in love with waste. Waste is a word almost commonly thought of in a negative capacity, and rightfully so. You don’t associate any value with waste, it’s a byproduct.
Sooo… Where does “Value” come in…
The fabled investor Warren Buffett believes in what is called “value investing”, a concept brought to the forefront by Benjamin Graham, Graham wrote a book called “The Intelligent Investor” where he goes through the ideology and concept of value investing in great detail, it’s a valuable book for anybody who wants to take an active role in their investing future.
I personally use an RIA for my retirement investing that also believes in and practices value investing, which just makes sense if you read up on it, and the returns have been great to date – I couldn’t be happier.
This article isn’t about investing though, I would like to replace frugality/cheap/etc… with the word “value” and challenge you to think of it as a lifestyle concept. Hence the tagline, “Warren Buffett Thinking”.
When you buy something, take on a monthly subscription/new home/automobile lease/etc… why not try addressing it in the upfront from an unbiased (as much as possible) value perspective. Ask yourself the below questions before making a decision.
- Does this new item add value to the area of my life it’s for in a metric that’s commensurate with the price?
- Will my long-term financial goals be negatively impacted by this decision? If so is it worth the tradeoff?
- Do I value the time and or work associated with creating the funds for this decision more or less mathematically?
- 5 years from now and 10 years from now, is this a realistic part of my future or just a short-term distraction?
Now take those 4 questions and apply them to not only financial decisions, but use some of that logic with your health and family life as well. It is virtually undisputed that value investing works for stocks when done the right way, a little company called “Berkshire Hathaway” is solid proof of that.
Equally proving of the methodology is Warren Buffet himself, whose net worth is staggering considering it was built brick by brick – and not through some world changing invention like most of his counterparts in the top 10 list (I’m not mad at you Bill, enjoying windows on this PC right now as I type).
In conculusion, I’m inviting you to try a value investing approach to life.
Open your mind to a new experience and let’s leave frugality behind in favor of true value.
It’s the best way forward. Let’s go.
Let’s do the math
Calculate your mortgage or work with the compound interest to see what it can do to expedite your wealth building.