What is Ownership?
So let’s talk about ownership. According to the wondrous, wizardly Google, ownership is defined as: the act, state or right of possessing something.
Where Is Your Money Going?
So there are many material items you can own in life. You can own real estate, a business, money, vehicles, a shiny airstream trailer. You name it, and you can own it when it comes to material items if the price is right.
And there are definitely material items to own as assets which have proven to historically be pretty amazing investments for people. For example, investing in property or gold has historically brought people wealth because these are typically appreciating assets which means the value is expected to rise over time.
So when it comes to what you own, what are you putting your time and money into to help build your wealth over time?
Depreciating Vs. Appreciating Assets
We talked in the prior blog and podcast Keep Your Eye On The Goal about the difference between depreciating and appreciating assets. So where as appreciating assets are expected to rise in value over time, depreciating assets will normally do the opposite which is reduce in value over time.
So stop and think about this for a moment. Everything you purchase in the depreciating asset category is steadily decreasing in value with everyday that you possess it. This is kind of doing the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish if your end game is building wealth, don’t you think?
So why in the heck then are we as the people of The United States of America then putting so much money and time towards depreciating assets? Why are we spending so much of our hard earned cash on a million pairs of shoes, closets full of overflow, random knick knacks and mountains of toys that we have to navigate around and over in the middle of the night like it’s a mine field? And if you’ve ever stepped on a LEGO to the barefoot, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Ouch!
The Marketing Geniuses Appeal to Human Conditioning
And the worst part of it is that all of this excessive stuff the marketers are telling us we must have or else is making people broke and buried in debt under their depreciating assets. So the marketing geniuses out there say if you don’t cough up your money and buy this item that they are selling THEN…?!
Then what? You won’t be cool enough or fit in with the crowds or so called trendsetters? That’s what they want you to believe, but it’s absolutely not true.
They are merely just appealing to that unnerving question that humans are born to battle. Am I enough?
So the marketing gurus and business executives out there say “nope, you’re only enough if you are wearing a certain brand of jean, driving a brand new vehicle off the lot and your child has the trendiest, dumb new toy on the market.” The same toy which will be laying in a rubble along with the other discarded toys in a few weeks when the marketers hook them on to the next greatest thing. All depreciating assets, and all money out the window.
You Are Enough Regardless of What You Do or Do Not Own
I am here to tell you that you don’t have to buy into all those marketing ploys. Because first off, they are bad investments plain and simple. You will not get much if any return on those purchases. And second, because you were born enough. You will always be enough regardless of anything you do or do not own.
So please stop wasting your hard earned money and stressing yourself out trying to keep up with the constant next best thing that the business intellects throw out on the market and convince you that you must have or else.
I’m Still A Capitalist
Now don’t get me wrong. I like nice, quality things. So I’m not saying if you have the money available and you want to treat yourself to material items that you should not do so.
I believe in Capitalism. I believe in the freedom of choice and having the total right to choose whatever it is that brings you joy, comfort, use, value, quality, etc. without judgment from me or anyone else.
Ask Yourself Meaningful Questions- Build Awareness
What I’m saying is to start asking yourself those questions before just swiping your debit or credit card. To start thinking about what you are actually purchasing on a daily basis, how it is impacting you financially and why it is that you are purchasing the item or items.
For example, if the answer is because I love it, it makes me happy and I can afford it. Then go for it without further question or judgment. But if the answer is that you are purchasing an item because of how you will look or fit in with others, then hold up. Why are you purchasing again?
If the answer is because my kids keep begging and will be the only kids (according to them) without the item in the school or even on the planet, then double hold up. Remember the LEGO blast to the bare foot!
People Ultimately Want & Need Other People
We can not buy our kids’ love through material things so please stop trying. There are no other little creatures who will put you in the poor house quicker than our children because our hearts are literally attached to them by strings. But still, don’t buy into this way of thinking.
Material items may be what your children think they want or need. But ultimately what they really want and need is your love, attention and quality time. They want and need YOU as their parent(s).
So instead of buying them their 100th toy this year, try setting that money aside to save up for an experience such as going out of town for a weekend, playing laser tag with them, practicing sports outside or going roller skating. By the way, I just went roller skating with my kids and it was an absolute blast! And yes, I’ve still got mad roller skating skills too. Yeah yeah.
It Can Be Totally Free
And the great thing is when it comes to your kids, you don’t even have to spend a dime to give them what they really need and want from you. Experiences can be totally free such as going to a park, a zoo or a library.
Love, attention and quality time are always free to give not only to your children, but to each other as well. Remember that too.
Us grown-ups are really just big kids at heart anyway, so don’t forget to give love, attention and quality time to all the people you care about in your life. Big and small.
So when it comes to ownership and owning things, just be more aware of how you are spending your money and why you are doing so. Remember knowledge is power.
We Don’t Always Need More – YOLO
As a society, let’s get out of the we need more and more mentality and the debt trap that often comes along with this. Let’s start remembering what is really valuable in life.
Think about this. When you are on your death bed taking your last breath, are you going to be thinking about all the material things you own or are you going to be thinking about the loved ones you’ll be leaving behind?
If the answer is you will be thinking about all the people you love in your life, then start living that way. YOLO – You Only Live Once. Own that instead of all the unnecessary and unwanted things the marketers are selling you. Start living that way today.
“At the end of life, what really matters is not what we bought, but what we built; not what we got, but what we shared; not our competence, but our character; and not our success, but our significance. Live a life that matters. Live a life of love.”
The author of this quote is unknown, but I sure would love to know him or her who wrote this beautiful message to us.
Listen to the Mind Your Money Podcast on iTunes Podcast, Spotify and Stitcher apps today.
Contact me for a free 30 minute consultation to see if Personalized Financial & Mindset Coaching is right for you.