“Spending is quick, earning is slow.” — Russian Proverb

BarbraThe best way to save money is to avoid spending money. But sometimes you have to splurge. In a previous post, I mentioned that we bought tickets to Barbra Streisand for $200 a seat. The concert was last night. Was it worth it? Every penny!

Would I do it again? You betcha! Was this out of character for me to spend money on an overpriced concert? Absolutely.

Everything in life is a series of trade-offs: losing one aspect of something to gain something in return. Wikipedia says, “It implies a decision to be made with full comprehension of both the upside and downside of a particular choice.”

Jim Merkel, the author of Radical Simplicity, suggests that every time you buy something, ask yourself these three simple questions:

1. Am I or is the recipient likely to receive fulfillment, satisfaction, and value in proportion to life energy spent?

2. Is this expenditure of life energy in alignment with my values and life purpose? (Think, for instance, of the hours of life-energy you traded to make the money to buy this thing.)

3. How might this expenditure change if I didn’t have to work for a living? (Many of us find ourselves buying things to make our work-lives more tolerable, like that cup of Starbucks for the morning commute, or in order to maintain a certain level of appearance, like buying chic clothing for the office.)

Yes, the tickets might seem outrageously expensive but the experience last night didn’t feel like a trade-off. Instead it bought and brought me pure, unexplainable joy.