An Alien Perspective on Spending

Aliens are Real… And Finances are Alien

In Mindset, Spending by C.J. Cato1 Comment

I am super excited about today’s guest; he has literally traveled light-years to be with us today. Cirro, my alien friend, said he would be in the Galaxy this week and wanted to get some things off his chest. I have no idea what this is all about. Cirro tends to just blurt out whatever he is thinking so I’ll just apologize now for anything offensive.

 

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Hello Cirro, thanks so much for coming down.

Cirro
You’re welcome C.J., thanks for having me.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
So, you called me up yesterday and said you wanted to talk to me about something.

Cirro
Yes.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Before we start, I should probably clarify what I mean when I say you called. You somehow communicated with me telepathically, you just sort of broke into my mind without asking.

Cirro
Yes, sorry about that. It’s actually a very simple device.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Oh, you used some sort of device to do it?

Cirro
I meant your brain,,, your brain is a very simple device. I had never really got in there and looked around before; not really much going on is there?

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Geez…. Well I’m glad to see you haven’t lost your tactfulness. 

Cirro
As you know, one of my hobbies is the study of humans, which I mostly do by watching your planet’s over the air televised transmissions.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Yes, you have told me about hundreds of intelligent beings across the Universe. What makes you so interested in Earthlings?

Cirro
It’s just a lot more interesting to study a species that is still in its primitive state. Most of the other life our planet associates with are much further up the evolutionary ladder?

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Gee thanks…. So you think we’re primitives?

Cirro
Indeed. It would almost be cute, if it wasn’t so sad.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
What are you talking about?

Cirro
Well it’s why I’m here today. I know you have a personal finance blog, so I wanted to share some related observations on humans and their primitive spending habits.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
OK…. I realize we don’t use our time and money with perfect efficiency, but to call us primitive is a little harsh. This isn’t the 16th century; we’re not still trading gold for glass beads here.

Cirro
Are you married C.J.?

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Yes.

Cirro
Isn’t it customary in your country to spends a couple month’s pay on a shiny carbon-based rock mounted to a piece of metal?

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Uhggg,,,, I hate it when you’re right. 

Cirro
Look, someday this whole money thing will be a thing of the past for your people, but for now you really need to learn how to spend it in a way that is in your best interest.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
I realize the ring-thing looks weird to you, but that’s an old tradition. How else are we really wasting our money?

Cirro
First you need to think about what money is. It is what you agree to take in exchange for giving somebody else your time. You should always think about your money as time.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Is time really money? You certainly can’t buy more time.

Cirro
Sure you can.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Really?

Cirro
Of course you can buy time; that’s exactly what employers do. They don’t have enough time in their own lives to accomplish their dreams on their own,,, so they purchase a chunk of your life to accomplish their dreams.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
I hadn’t thought of it that way… that’s mildly depressing… thanks.

Cirro
Time is a finite resource in the universe; if you don’t use it wisely the only thing you will accomplish in life is helping somebody else’s business accomplish its dreams.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Ahhh… So you’re here today to talk about how we spend our time.

Cirro
Seriously? How can your brains be so big, yet do so little? No… I am here to talk about how you spend your money.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
OK… OK… Fine,,, you don’t have to be such a jerk.

Cirro
Look. Here’s my point. There are 24 hours in an Earth day and humans sleep for 8 of them. That means if you spend 10 hours a day at work or getting ready for work, or commuting to work, then you are basically spending half your waking life making somebody else rich.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
OK…  You’re still talking about time,,, and is there anything wrong with making somebody else rich.

Cirro
No, making someone else rich is fantastic… unless YOU end up poor.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Ahhhh.

Cirro
Adding value to society is noble and should be sought after. But… If you are adding value to other people’s business only to remain poor yourself then you have missed the whole point of working. You should be working to accumulate wealth so that someday you don’t have to work. Wealth buys you freedom from financial slavery. If you aren’t accumulating wealth every month, then you aren’t actually making money; you are just surviving while making somebody else rich.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Dang, that’s pretty heavy. Well what do we do about it?

Cirro
Well the answer should be obvious… but you are human so let me clarify.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Man, you are an ass.

Cirro
If we can conclude that working for someone else is essentially trading part of one’s lifetime to someone else in exchange for currency, then I think it is safe to assume that one would want to trade as little of that lifetime as possible.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Right, if given the option of working for the man until 80 or working until 50… Pretty sure most people would choose 50.

Cirro
Yes exactly. Now some people might say that they like work and want to work forever. Well I think that’s great, purpose is joy. But I am talking about not “having” to work until you’re 80. There is a big difference in “having” to work and “choosing” to work.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Agreed,,, an enormous difference.

Cirro
Hey, you’re catching on. If you want to become wealthy, you have to accumulate wealth. Obviously you will need revenue coming in, and for most humans this comes in the form of a job working for someone else. This is fine, the issue is how that revenue is managed though. If you spend everything you make in a year, then you essentially made nothing.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Right.

Cirro
Here is what I see humans doing in your country. They get out of school not making much, and start off life living paycheck to paycheck. They could probably save a little, but not much really, so it just gets spent. At some point they start making more money. Instead of saving this increase in revenue they decide to spend more money.

They think a nicer car, a nicer purse, nicer sneakers, or a nicer phone will make them happier. What they don’t realize is that it really doesn’t. Once humans overcome their basic needs and have a little spending money for entertainment, their happiness doesn’t really rise any more with material possessions.

Knowing this, a wise human should invest most of those pay increases so that someday he/she won’t “have” to work at all. This way you are maximizing happiness. Having peace of mind will bring most humans more joy than a new car; they just don’t appreciate this idea until they get burned a couple times.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Some people feel like they need to live their life now. Why sacrifice my present for the future?

Cirro
That’s what I am saying; it’s not really a sacrifice. For example, do you think you would be significantly less happy if you spent $10 a day less, and invested it instead? Could you imagine what that would add up to over 40 years?

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Let me get out my financial calculator.

Cirro
Seriously? You need a calculator for that? If we assume a 7% annual return it would be about $750,000. Now when you realize that most 25-year-old’s could find a way to save $10 a day, you also realize that as they get older they could easily save more than the $10. It becomes apparent that almost anyone in your country who starts young can accumulate well over $1,000,000 by their 60’s with very little sacrifice.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
So basically you’re saying that you can effectively save for a wealthy retirement with almost no impact on your present happiness. That people have been duped into believing that that their happiness is based on material goods, so they are actually sacrificing their future for no reason.

Cirro
I could have worded it better…. but yes.

CJ Cato INTERVIEW
Well I think that sums it up. Thank you, sort of, for all the great insights Cirro

Cirro
You are welcome C.J.

 

You may also enjoy Cirro’s previous article:
BEATING THIS ONE HABIT COULD EARN YOU THOUSANDS. – AN ALIEN PERSPECTIVE

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