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What's In It For Me?

by Sarah McMurray

What's In It For Me?

I read a lot of articles and books about money, and they all agree: saving money is good. Everyone should save more. Got that? Excellent! Just do that, and everything will be fine.

These books and articles usually only mention spending when they say, it’s bad, do it less. They conveniently ignore that spending money can be both necessary, and something we do to bring ourselves joy.

Whenever I read their well-meaning advice, I wonder if they’ve ever heard of WIIFM.

What’s In It For Me?

If I’m going to save more, I’ll have to spend less. Which seems to mean downgrading my necessities, and living a life with less joy. Why would I want to do that?

Their idea of a WIIFM seems to be a well-resourced retirement. And yes, that sounds nice. But… retirement age seems like a long way off, even as I get closer to it. Plus, no guarantee that I’ll even get there. As a WIIFM, I don’t find it a compelling reason to stop having fun and live a life of frugal penny-pinching.

From my own experience, the real WIIFMs of fixing my finances have been:

  • Less, and eventually no, stress or arguments about money
  • Having more to spend on the things that bring me joy, because I’m spending less on things I don’t care about
  • Feeling nourished and sustained because my deepest needs are being met
  • The absolute joy of spending when I know for sure I can afford what I’m buying, even when it is something that the lemon-lipped brigade would call a “want”, not a “need”
  • Not just looking at spending. Looking at the whole picture – earning, saving, debting, gifting, and investing.
  • Freedom to stay open to new possibilities as I get older

Contact me if these WIIFMs make you curious about how sorting out your money might look for you.

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