Here’s a hypothetical: Finances are tight but your cell phone is broken. You call your service provider and they tell you, “Oh yeah, that phone is known for always breaking. But good news! It’s under warranty so we’ll send you a new one for free.”
Assume for purposes of this exercise that your livelihood does not require a reliable cell phone. Do you respond:
(A) “Great – send it ASAP!” or
(B) “Gosh, I can’t live with an unreliable cell phone for even a minute even if I only use it socially. Let me spend money on a new one instead.”
Not surprisingly, I would choose (A), especially if each new phone came with its own (new) warranty, so that if the new phone broke, I’d simply get yet another replacement for free. Obviously, it would be a hassle, but if money is truly tight, I can live without my phone for a few days. And I might not have to, since I could (probably) get a replacement at my service provider’s store.
Do you know anyone who would choose (B)? I do.
And I just don’t get it. I mean, I understand that a cell phone is important, but if I’m worried about being able to pay my bills, I’m not choosing to spend money on a new cell phone when I don’t have to.
When I was reflecting on my friend’s choice, I realized that it all comes down to priorities. And some people value other things over financial security, stability and independence. It may be status, or it may be safety. It may simply be denial – a sense of “I’m worth it, no matter what my true financial state.”
Since it’s a new year, when people traditionally establish goals for the next twelve months, I ask you:
Is financial security truly a priority? And if so, do you act in accordance with that priority?