Budgeting isn’t about spending as little as possible. It’s about valuing things in the right way.
What do your underpants say about you?
“At some point we must all stand naked before the Lord and explain our tastes in personal grooming.” – Louis CK
To me, they say a lot. Show me the underpants and I will show you the man.
(I say ‘man’, because I do know a lot less about women’s underwear. Although, when I was seventeen I did teach myself to undo a bra with two fingers in 0.4 seconds… in the dark… hanging upside down… while my friends attacked me with wiffle bats.)
Your underpants say a lot about who you are and what your values are.
I reckon there’s two dominant underpant philosophies.
The first sees it as an area where you can save some money. Almost no one ever sees your underwear, so why invest much in it? Buy a twelve pack of jocks from Coles, and wear them til the arse literally falls out and they dissolve in a whiff of smoke and mushroom pores.
The other school of thought says that underpants are literally the most intimate thing I own. No one ever sees them, but they literally house the most precious inches of me. I need a gilded treasure chest, not the equivalent of a weather eaten cardboard box.
I will invest in my underpants and invest in myself. I will give myself that gift because I am worth it.
That’s how I think about it. What about you?
Now you might say, well, that’s all well and good for you Jon. Easy for you to say as a cashed-up millionaire. What about us poor plebs, looking to save a few dollars where ever we can?
And look, I get that.
But this is the key thing to remember about budgeting. Budgeting is not about spending as little as possible. A lot of people think that’s what it is, but it’s not.
Budgeting is about assigning the appropriate value to everything in your life, and bringing your spending into alignment with that.
To do budgeting well, the first thing to do is to track where you are spending your money. The next question you ask then is, does my spending reflect my values?
So you might notice that you’re spending $180 a week Mars Bars and Tim Tams. You could then look at that and say, “You know what, I don’t I really value Mars Bars that much. Not when I’m only spending $30 a week on insulin.”
And so you spend less on the things you don’t really value.
But the flip side of this, if we’re honest, is looking at the areas where you are under-spending. So you might say, ‘I really value health and fitness, but I’m only spending an average of $2 a week on sport and recreation. I need to increase my spending there.”
If you just did a budget and you didn’t increase your spending on anything, then you did it wrong.
And so this is how I think about underpants. Something so important should receive a decent allocation come budget night.
Now you might say, but hang on Jon, that’s just your values. I just don’t value underpants as much as you do.
And maybe that’s true. But my bet is that most people who say that have bought into this idea that money spent on yourself is wasted money. That money is scarce, and suffering is righteous.
They have never let themselves buy themselves gifts that weren’t about impressing the neighbours – that weren’t about changing the story they were telling.
They have never bought themselves gifts simply because their inner child just enjoyed the feeling of being nurturingly held by a high cotton count breathable bamboo blend.
And they have never known the elevating affect on the psyche that comes with a daily ritual that involves pulling a loving, slightly extravagant gift out of the underwear draw – a special something from you to you.
Something that says, I value you. I want you to have nice things.
Self-love. Acceptance. Pride and self-worth. Abundance. All these things are found in my underwear draw.
And I’m here to tell you that they could be in yours.
Go on. You’re worth it.