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Investment vs. Spending

Mabel and her “Baby Tree”

This sounds like a boring topic from the obscure world of banking and financing. Please hear me out.

Call me a pessimist but I think the world is turning inside out and ready to implode like an active volcano. Last time people felt like this was during the 2008 financial crisis. In the midst of it all a woman asked my investment-savvy friend:”Now that the world is ending what should I invest in? Gold or commodities?” I laughed out loud and soon left that circle of friends, remembering the theory that I am as smart as the average of my five closest associates.

There are two ways to part ways with your cash/time/energy: Investing it or spending it. The main difference is how they will work for you. Spending usually prevents something from happening right now while investing allows something to happen in the future. Think “Military Spending” and “Investment in Education”. Let me demonstrate further.

Buying trendy, thin, sleeve-less shirt with the image of Bieber flipping the bird is spending. This prevents you from feeling left behind by today’s fashion and avoids the feeling of being a penny pincher. Buying good, durable, practical winter boots is investing. This makes future outdoor activities comfortable thus encourages you to be more physically active resulting in a healthier body.

Buying big jar of imported artificial syrup from big box stores is spending. You won’t run out of sweeteners for the next 10 months but watchout for diabetic medical bills in 10 years. Buying old fashioned honey from your local farmer is investing. Local food source, health, relationship with your neighbour…

Buying dollar store buckets and duck tape to catch and repair the leak is spending. Repairing your roof tiles with a bunch of good friends on the weekend is investing.

Going to the strip club after work is spending. Making tender love to your partner is investing. Grabbing a burger on the go is spending. Sharing a home-made soup with your mother at the hospital is investing. Chugging down your fifth pint at a work party is spending. Having tea party with your toddler in the afternoon is investing.

Packing your daughter’s lunch bag with extra snacks to share with less fortunate schoolmates is investing. Shovelling your neighbour’s driveway without asking is investing. Giving a stranger a dollar for shopping cart is investing. Finishing a long-winded conversation with a lonely senior citizen is investing. Waiting extra five seconds for a pregnant woman to cross the street without honking is investing… You get the drift.

Nature preserved by investment in conservation (7 mins. from our home)

On paper all these investment have bad ROI – Returns on Investment. Meaning the payback period is very long and the process is very slow. Some may not give you back noticeable benefits at all. The World Bank advisors would certainly tell you to stay away from these kinds of investments. Better to reserve 0.5% of your net profit for charitable donations if you feel raw about it. And keep the receipt for tax purposes.

While I do have a Master’s Degree in Business I am not a financial advisor. Nevertheless, I am telling you these are GREAT investments! For you, for our world, for all the creatures, for future generations, for the universe. Positive energy actions all add up like water trickling down from the stream. Every little drop counts and they all flow to the same source. When we do something positive we make our creators proud and we drop a penny into our collective piggybank.

Lastly, we are not divine holy men/women. We are doubtly going to spend from time to time. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, it is very helpful to identify whether you are investing or spending with your money/time/energy/attention everyday. This is what separates the wealthy from the poor because it takes you from scarcity to abundance.

Mabel and her new friend Farmer Tom


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