Value of a Dollar
Financial Management

Value of a Dollar

financial literacy

Recently while watching the news, I saw a segment that dealt with handling ones financial portfolio and the main issue was addressing how people have trouble managing their bills with their current salary. As usual, a credit card was mentioned in the mix as a key culprit in making people spend more than they should. What was surprising to me was that the financial advisor’s recommendation to fix your habit of overspending with your credit card was to place it into a container with water and then freeze it until it becomes rock solid.

That way, you can’t just use it casually anymore. I’m not sure what the statistics are in terms of whether or not this technique actually helps people to reduce their credit card debt, but it sure is a creative way of doing it. I personally think it is kind of an overkill. It’s almost like someone trying to lose weight and in order to enforce themselves to start using their vehicle less to get more exercise, they take the engine out of the car.

In my opinion, I personally think it comes down to life experiences which helps to teach you the value of a dollar and with that you become more aware of your spending and cash flow. For example, I have personally worked at jobs that didn’t pay much and required a lot of labor. If I wanted something that meant that I had to work very hard to get it and that blowing my money off on some unnecessary item would make me look at it from a time perspective.

For example, if I made only $7 an hour and there was this item that I really wanted which costs $140, do I really need it that much where it is worth 20 hours of my time to get? Looking at it from a time perspective is one of the ways that definitely helped me to appreciate the value of a dollar. Of course most people with hefty bills are adults and there is no way they would trade in their higher paying jobs for a low wage one just to get life experience in this manner, but there are other ways which can be fun too.

One of my favorite hobbies are video games and I often play games such as role playing games which involve you having to go against enemies to collect funds. In many cases, the weapons and items you buy are expensive considering you don’t receive much after your battles. Since you know that it is not easy to make a lot of money at your current state, you have to think it over on whether or not you spending your money on that new weapon or item will enhance your ability to move forward in the game.

I have been playing games like that ever since I was a child and I can honestly say that I often look at my real life spending habits in a similar fashion. Obviously there are people that can’t stand video games, but I’m sure everyone can find something to help teach them the value of a dollar as once you solve the root of the problem, things will begin to blossom for you.

2 Comments

  • eric 3/14/2005

    The best games are the ones that make you plan and involve the concept of delaying gratification for a bigger prize.

    I looked at money that way too at that usually kept me from wasting money. There is a good book out there called “your money or your life” which explains this money/time principle very well. You also have to factor the commute time, cost of gas, clothes, lunches, etc into how much your time is really worth.

    When I think that $10k can grow to $160k in 20 years at just 15% (a rate of return obtainable by investing in equities), it often keeps me from spending.

  • Jose Wilson 12/7/2005

    Some friends told me about this site, and now i’m glad they told me about it.

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