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5 things I learned when I stopped trying to use money to solve every problem.

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Money opens doors that would otherwise be closed. It’s a fact. But it’s a fact that your mind will sometimes leverage against your rational judgment to avoid doing something it sees as painful. Below is a list of 5 things that you might realize once you stop trying to throw money at projects, problems, and obstacles.

1) There is usually another way to get what you want.

I couldn’t believe how many times I had to experience this before I picked up on the trend. I’d need or think I needed something for a project, a want, or whatever but didn’t have the money to buy it. Almost every time without fail, after sitting thinking, or researching 1 of two things would occur a) I’d realize there was another method strategy or substitute that could be used for cheap, or b) I’d realize it wasn’t actually needed at all because I’d found another way to do what I wanted.

2) Spending money is sometimes a fear triggered response.

I’ll admit it, I was feeling overwhelmed when I first started trying to rebuild a 1940’s house I bought on the cheap. I didn’t know where to start so I just started trying to fortify my lack of knowledge with supplies I THOUGHT I needed due to my lack of experience. I did this over and over until I began to see a pattern emerge. Every time, I ended up finding that there was usually a cheaper way or I was being limited my man power, not supplies or tools. Speaking of which….

3) I usually spend money to avoid having to do labor.

It sounds crazy but if you are objective and observe your actions, a lot of the time you’ll catch yourself subconscious trying to spend money to avoid work. I’ve seen friends do it, coworkers do it, and myself do it. Sometimes it’s just easier to convince yourself that the reason you’re not mowing the lawn is because you need a more powerful lawnmower and not because you just don’t want to mow the lawn. So roll up your sleves, get some old clothes, and focus on the things that require labor instead of money. You’ll usually have plenty of work you can do before your project is being held up by cash.

4) Labor dissolves the amount of money you need.

It’s been said that 80% of the cost of any project is labor and my experience is that this is completely true. Whether it be automotive work, home remodels, or just cleaning the bathroom, labor is the magic ingredient, not high end auto shops, magical gimmicks, or overly exotic cleaning supplies.

5) Spending money is sometimes a happiness response.

What the hell does that mean? Well, do you ever wonder why, no matter what store you’re in, they’re always playing emotional, happy, upbeat music? Music that says ‘Everything’s great in your life and you’re totally safe and secure enough to let go of some of your emergency money here. After all, you’re not going to need that rainy day fund’. Well I’ll give you a hint, it’s not an accident. This is the psychology of marketing and it’s extremely effective.

So the next time you’re faced with a task, a project, or an obstacle that seems daunting, take a step back and see if the answer to the problem can be addressed without money? Sometimes it can’t, and other times it can. Start crackin’ away at the non-monetary side of the equation and give your mind some time to work on the problem from a different angle. You’ll often uncover additional details or come up with creative solutions during this period that give you new options you hadn’t previously considered. In any case, I wish you maximum success!

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