Learning how to spend

Image courtesy of Anusorn P nachol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Anusorn P nachol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Personal finance. Frugality. Minimalism. For me it’s about separating what matters from what I’m told by others to care about… by the media (blogs included), advertising, and strangers and friends around me.

The advertising industry is a multi-billion dollar machine designed for you to find new things to want.

There is no business model I know of for getting people to spend less.

I try to focus my energy on how to make my community and world a better and more fair place.

How I use my money is part of the equation: Buying and using less. And saving and spending — in the most efficient and productive places. That includes giving it away.

The Learn by Giving Foundation is offering this free MOOC (massive open online course): Giving With Purpose. I’m on summer vacation so had some time to sign up. I just watched an interview with Warren Buffet and his sister Doris Buffet.

They talked about their childhood. They talked about why and where they give. Warren compared investing to philanthropy. And they discussed how they decide where to put their money.

He discussed privilege and winning the birth lottery:

Anyone who said they did it all themselves is really kidding themselves.

The quote below makes me think of my early days of practicing frugality and minimalism. Steps that were difficult in the beginning are automatic now. Habits like not using shopping as recreation, buying in bulk, and tracking every cent I spend:

The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken. So forming the right habits early is enormously important.”

It was fascinating and I recommend watching it. If you don’t have time to sign up for the whole MOOC, here’s the link to the interview.

Doris Buffett talked about removing emotion from philanthropy.

It can’t be a sentimental thing.

She advised people to check organizations’ financial statements. Read up on who is on their board.

There’s a lot of money there and there are people who are after the money. Watch out.

The advice could be a guide on where how to spend money too. Ignore brandsResearch the product or business. Check out reviews from past customers. Ask yourself if this thing or experience will add value to your life. Is there a better alternative in terms of quality or environmental and community impact?

Be thoughtful with where you put your time, energy, and money. Practicing frugality and minimalism lets us stay flexible. So we can stay close to what’s truly important.



  1. Great advice and post. I won’t reiterate what I said on your previous post on smaller homes as that is the exact same comment I would make here.

    Thanks for the links and resources; I hadn’t heard of The Learn by Giving Foundation and I look forward to checking it out!

  2. […] Donating to charity can increase your happiness as much as doubling your income. […]

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