Ep. 69 How to Think About Spending Money


Show notes

This week, we walk through how you can figure out whether any purchase you're considering is worth it, going to feel good in the long-run, and whether you can *actually* afford it. Money is one of those hazy, scary, and often shameful topics for a lot of people. But so much of the confusion is about seeing it the wrong way. This episode will help you get more clarity and confidence in how you spend your cash and think about spending overall.

We talked about

  • Laura answering a series of question from Meadow about purchasing a home (and a variety of other things)

  • diminishing value and knowing your thresholds before you enter a marketplace

  • how your wages or earning power can influence your buying decisions

  • how our economy conditions us to think about paying money on major purchases

  • taking into consideration all of your other expenses during this process

  • how long you have to live in a house to make it worth buying (or renting it out to others)

  • the value of a book not only being about the sales (and the difficulty of defining value sometimes)

  • the $7,000 per month financial mistake Meadow made in 2007

  • a question specifically for Enneagram Type 7s and the question with no right answer that most people want to avoid

  • paying full price upfront for a New York event and how Laura thinks about spending money differently these days

  • how buying a new car represented a clearing away of an old, bad story for her instead of really being about affordability

  • thinking about money (and studying infinity) making you go crazy and your eyes glaze over

  • how Meadow determines whether or not she can afford something and the bookkeeping mistake that caused her an unexpected and very inconveniently timed tax headache 

  • one thing many people wouldn’t do if they were marketed to in an honest way

  • some final words of advice about spending your money.


“Because we live in an economy that works on debt and wants you to go into debt, they want you to think in terms of payments and they want you to think in terms of months or weeks.”

“I would finance my phones which is like the biggest crock of shit ever. The Apple plan where you can pay, you know, $49 a month. It’s like, no. You end up paying for that phone twice.”

Ask yourself

  • How does price influence the perception of the value of the thing you’re considering buying?

  • How does it relate to your wages and earning power? 

  • How much time, effort, and energy would be required to pay for it (per year)?

  • What will the purchase be worth after you pay for it?

  • What is the item’s cost per use?

  • How would you feel if you didn’t buy it? How would you feel if you did buy it? 

  • Is there anything you’d rather spend that amount of money on?

  • How do you determine whether or not you can afford this? To help you, ask if you have the cash for it. (Cash, not credit) And if the cash were gone today, will you be negatively affected?


“Money Love School” course

“Is It Better to Rent or Buy?” New York Times calculator

Follow on the ‘gram

Spiritualish, Meadow, and Laura

Music by Izzy DeVor.