Have you ever repeatedly worn a jacket that’s too tight, all in the name of not letting the money you spent on it go in vain? How often do we cling to a decision just because we invested money in it, even when every instinct screamed it wasn’t right?
Recently, I took my youngest daughter, Peanut, and one of her close friends to a new movie. I won’t tell you the title, in case it happens to be your new favorite film. Yet, thirty minutes in, I was trapped in a plot that felt more like a root canal than a relaxing time.
That’s when I began this internal dialogue:
Jill, maybe you should check if the girls want to stay.
But what about the money you just shelled out on the tickets?
Remember the small fortune you spent on popcorn and slushies?
Leaving now feels like admitting defeat.
Without saying a word, I exchanged glances with the girls.
It was as if we silently communicated, Let’s go find a better way to spend our time.
And just like that, we left.
The actual cost was not the price of our tickets.
It was the two hours of our lives we wouldn’t have gotten back if we stayed.
And this movie experience isn’t an isolated event. Often, our attachment to the money we’ve spent makes us make questionable choices in other areas of life too.
Have you ever tried to squeeze into jeans that make breathing optional, all because they were a “bargain?” Or forced yourself to go to a gym class where the only thing stretching was your regret, all in the name of that yearly membership deal?
How about skincare that made you glow in the dark rather than in the sun, but you spent good money on it, so you decided to suffer through it? Even if it continued to turn your face neon orange.
I’ve purchased books where the first chapter was a struggle, yet I felt compelled to dedicate not just hours but days to them because of the money spent. But remember, even if you can’t always reclaim the money, it doesn’t mean you should sacrifice valuable hours of your life. Instead of dwelling on the amount spent, ask yourself, “Is this worth my time? Does it add value to my life?
Now, I certainly acknowledge there are moments when we have to stick things out, when quitting isn’t an option, and perseverance is the only path forward. Whether it’s because of commitments, responsibilities, or other reasons, there are times we must endure. But it’s vital to distinguish between necessary perseverance and clinging to something purely because of the money spent.
It’s a trap to think that spending money always binds us to suffer through choices that no longer resonate. It’s time for a perspective shift. Rather than ask, “How much did this cost me?” ponder, “How much is it costing my spirit, joy, and time?” Money can be earned, spent, saved, and even lost, but our moments, once spent, are forever gone.
Every moment in your current chapter of life is irreplaceable.
So, when faced with a decision to stick with something unsatisfying merely due to its cost, ask: “Is this worthy of a page in my story?”