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Learn to value the small stuff!

Imagine that you are in a store, buying a mobile phone. You liked the brand and the design. More importantly, it fits your budget at a cost of Tzs. 100,000/-. Finally you decide to pick it up but just when you are about to pay for it, you bump into a dear friend.

He notices the phone instrument you are trying to buy and tells you that he has just seen the same mobile in the store across the road, but priced at Tzs. 90,000/-. Meaning, a whole ten thousand shilling lower!

What would you do in such a situation? Quite naturally most of us, I suspect, would walk across to the other store, and save Tzs. 10,000/-. Why spend Tzs. 100,000/- when you can get the same mobile for Tzs. 90,000/-. Makes perfect sense and this is how one is expected to behave whenever there is an opportunity to save, howsoever small the amount may be.

Now, imagine another scenario. You are at a store buying an expensive mobile [may be a blackberry]. Similar to situation-I [as narrated above], this time also you liked the brand and the design as well. But this time around, the mobile instrument is priced at Tzs. 1 million. And you decide to pick it up, and just when you are about to pay for it, you bump into a dear friend. He/She tells you that the same mobile instrument is available at a store across the road for a price of Tzs. 990,000/-. A whole ten thousand shilling lower!

What would you do in this situation? Like most people, you would probably stay put and buy the mobile instrument at the same store. After all, what’s ten thousand shillings when you are spending a whole lot of one million? Are you rational in your behaviour in this case? Don’t you feel that it is actually quite strange?   

The truth is that the value of ten thousand shillings to an individual is – and should be – the same, independent of whether at that moment you are spending Tzs. 100,000/- or one million. But we tend to get carried away by an unrelated metric. How much we are spending at a given moment affects our perception of the money being saved. If saving ten thousand shillings matters to you, then it should always matter to you irrespective of whether you are spending 100,000 or 500,000 or even a million.

The most important lesson which one can derive from the above narrated story is that – “We all need to learn to value the small stuff”. If you don’t treat your money with respect, it will leave you. And when the slowdown hits [as it currently exists in most part of the world], those who valued that ten thousand shilling note, even while they were spending big, will surely find themselves better placed to tide over the difficult times.

One of the most important things you can learn in life is how to save money, irrespective of the amount to be saved or spent. It's the first step to getting where you want to be. Anyone can do it. You just have to put your mind to it. Once you start, it gets easier & easier, and before you know it you're on your way to making your dreams a reality. If it is so important then how do we sometimes forget the intrinsic value of the small denominated money, whenever we are spending a large amount?

Thus, never lose an opportunity to save, irrespective of the amount saved. Remember, every addition in your savings kitty will bring your dream of financial independence nearer. Never lose the sight of that small stuff which, with passage of time, would get transformed into a big amount.  Save a little money each month and at the end of the year you'll be surprised at how much you have accumulated.

Alas! Often, we tend to implement these important lessons on money matters when the going is not so good. In such a situation, howsoever committed we may be it becomes difficult to implement. Conversely, had one implemented these lessons when the going was good, probably the so called difficult time was never to be experienced? Hence it is important to value money [however small it may be], irrespective of the fact whether for someone the going is good or bad!!!    


A  tribute  to  the  late  Former  ...

Author: Jagjit Singh

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