Wilful Penny Pinching

You know those two, or three things you really splurge on? Places where you definitely spend more than you can afford. It can be buying that Sabyasachi lehenga or limited edition sneakers, or in my case specialty coffee. Spends which are very hard for you to explain to your parents. Your Splurge List. Now, let me introduce you to the concept of an anti-splurge list. Things you actively cheap out on, places where you choose to spend less than you can afford. 

Think about it, if you end up spending more than needed on your splurge list, you will save money when shopping for anti-splurge items. The amount of money we spend on anything is usually driven by the status quo. And if there are things in life that bring disproportionate joy to you, things you splurge on, there will also be things which don’t really bring you much joy. Lets recognise these low joy items and actively spend less on them

I recently concluded that a personal vehicle is one such thing for me. I thought I wanted to buy a fancy bike because everyone else had one but it turns out I am okay with a second-hand scooty that gets the job done. Same with food, I am okay going to the nearest “Udipi Upahar” rather than that new shiny restaurant that just opened.

Buddy inspired bankruptcy 

How much should you really spend on anything? Say, a wristwatch. The answer becomes less clear-cut the more you think about it. Even a 100 rupees chinese watch will tell you the time. But, the decent models from the best brands will only start from 25 thousand bucks. So, how do you decide how much should you spend on the watch? 

The easy answer usually is: My buddy bought a watch worth 5 thousand, so I can probably spend in the same ballpark. But the thing is, you dont have to be in the ballpark if you aren’t particularly fond of watches! You can really cheap out. (Yay!)

Give the cheap version a try

Maybe try the slightly shady-looking street-side Chole Kulche place sometime rather than going to your usual restaurant. Buy from a non-branded clothes store. Travel by an overnight bus rather than taking that Hyderabad to Bengaluru flight. Buy the Timex watch that looks awfully similar to the Seiko 5 you were eyeing. Take the city bus to work one day instead of ordering Uber. Buy that off-brand “wooden tumbling blocks” rather than Jenga.

You won’t always have the most pleasant experience but you will definitely find a thing or two worth pinching the penny.

One reply on “Wilful Penny Pinching”

I love this concept. Especially it’s so relevant to me, as someone who splurges on things I don’t need purely because they bring me joy, the guilt of spending more than necessary usually kills the joy after a while. This concept of spending lesser on things I don’t care about is an eye opener of sorts 🙂

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