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I love to get constructive advice from other people, especially if it’s about topics I am not familiar with.
However, over the years, I have seen suggestions on investment that I don’t fully understand or am not convinced by.
I am writing this article not to attack anyone’s lifestyle or thought process.
I just want to put my thoughts out there and hopefully get some clarification and feedback from you all.
Investment is defined as “the act of putting money or effort into something to make a profit or achieve a result,” according to Cambridge Dictionary.
1. Investing in our health means buying all organic food.
I’ll be the first one to say that I don’t buy organic food because it’s much more expensive than the regular groceries.
If I were loaded with money, would I switch to organic food? Maybe.
But I don’t think anyone needs to feel obligated or pressured to spend much more on organic groceries than they can afford to stay healthy.
Related: Our Monthly Food Expenses
2. Investing in our health means buying expensive gym memberships.
There are fancy gyms out there that cost $39 to join a month, not to mention the $100 initiation fee.
I’ve heard people say “It’s worth the money because your health is priceless.” I totally agree that good health is the most important thing anyone can have.
But to me, it doesn’t justify such a high cost. We can exercise on the cheap or even for free such as choosing a cheaper gym in the area ($10/month with a $5 initiation fee for Planet Fitness), going for a walk, and running around the neighborhood.
I recently faced this myth when a neighbor invited me to a pre-natal yoga class. At first, I was convinced that I needed to invest in my pregnancy by dropping $79/month on five yoga sessions (almost $15.8/session).
However, after trying a $30/mo intro pass, I realized that I could easily do yoga for free with the help of YouTube videos.
$79/mo might not sound like a lot, but when you add it up, it’s $948/year. We can definitely put this money towards our mortgage or bump up our emergency fund.
3. Investing in our blog means enrolling in expensive courses and purchasing unnecessary plugins.
Ever since I started blogging, I have never spent a dime on any How To Blog courses.
I know there are blogging courses out there that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and I’m sure they are great for a lot of people. But for me, I’ll try to explore those abundant free resources on the internet first.
Some people might say it’s because I’m cheap, and I’m not going to deny that. If I can get something for free, I wouldn’t go out of my way to pay for it.
For example, when I was trying to explore Pinterest, I was tempted to buy one of those $100 courses to save me some time. But I decided not to and found a ton of great information online for free. I got my Pinterest started, and it’s been going well so far.
Based on my experience, I think that I tend to take out my wallet when I feel clueless and desperate. I hope that by swiping my credit card and enrolling in a compact class, all of my problems will be solved.
However, since I took the time to learn and explore, I understood the value of self-help and trouble-shooting, which has also served me well in many other aspects of my life.
4. Investing in our baby means buying all new clothes, decorating a nursery, and enrolling them in a lot of classes.
I believe that it’s every parent’s personal choice to decide what to do for their children. And if they have the means to do so, it is none of my business to intervene and tell them what to do.
But for us, we think that our kids can grow up fine with hand-me-down clothes, no nicely decorated nursery or expensive classical music classes when they are only a few months old or even a few years old.
I got asked if Mr. FAF and I were going to decorate a nursery room for Baby F1, and my answer was always no. We were not financially well-off at the time, and a used crib was technically Baby F1’s room.
Now that we are more financially stable, we still don’t think it’s necessary to spend money putting up fancy decorations or hire an artist to paint a mural on the wall for our second baby.
Baby F2 will be too young to even know what all of that decor means. And when our kids are older, they will tell us what they like in their own rooms.
5. Investing in our marriage means going on expensive dates and vacations.
We often talk about going to Hawaii, Taiwan, Europe, and all those touristy places you can think of.
However, those activities aren’t cheap.
If we spent a ton of money on exotic trips and fancy restaurants, I’m sure our bank account would suffer, and we wouldn’t be happy about it.
When we are stressed out about money, tension will ensue, which will ultimately affect our marriage (I’m talking about us only). Instead, we try to eat out in moderation at good inexpensive restaurants.
When we travel, we look for deals and limit eating out as much as we can. In fact, I feel most loved when Mr. FAF makes noodles for me on those nights when I get hungry after dinner.
Hearing him jokingly say “I will serve you” and seeing him preparing food for me in the kitchen reaffirms my belief that I have chosen the right man to marry.
And the trips that make me happy on a regular basis are the ones we take to the grocery store or just short walks around our neighborhood. Happiness can be so simple and cheap.
Constantly hoping for a fancy trip to fix a marriage will only make us resent the present and our lack of money. In fact, the problems in our marriage can only be resolved through effective communication rather than being masked by shiny things.
There are so many ways we can invest in ourselves and improve our life quality. Some of them require the use of lots of money, such as an education or a house.
But there are so many other ways we can live happily by making modest investments effectively.
I don’t have any problem with those who pay for yoga or organic food. I respect people’s personal preferences. But for me, I am content with simpler ways to stay happy and healthy without investing a ton of money to make it happen.