the meaning of investment
Words such as investing and wealth creation are dirty words in frugal circles. Negative connotations to wealth include greed, selfishness, miserliness, consumption, waste, materialism, exploitation to name a few. Despite the negativity surrounding the idea of investing and the apparent conflict wealth creation has with frugality, the two actually go hand in hand.
If we look at the above definition at the it’s core is a frugal ideal: commitment to a worthwhile result or otherwise stated, delayed gratification now for worthwhile return later.
Investment doesn’t necessarily mean buying shares in Exxon. Below is a short list of alternative investment options, I’m sure there are more.
- Raising children takes a whole lot of commitment of time, energy, effort and money (and patience) with the hope that they will grow into responsible adults.
- Education both formal and informal is a great example of invested commitment now for a worthwhile future gain be it a qualification, a better job, new skills, or a better understanding of the human condition.
- Up-skilling is a little different from formal education. It may involve learning to craft or do maintenance around the home, or it may involve learning new skills at work. Up-skilling increases the quality of life and the satisfaction of doing something yourself.
- Gardening, the act of improving soil, planting a seed and nurturing it into fruition in the hope of a tasty meal or a beautiful garden is an investment.
- Relationships are also a mutual investment. Marriage is about continual mutual commitment with the expectation of developing a deep and happy relationship over time. Friendships are the same. I’m not saying that if you invest some time now, you should expect your friends to pay up later, but to maintain a friendship there needs to be mutual investment of time, energy, communication and kindness. The gain is the friendship itself.
- When we take steps to maintain and look after our natural environment, we are investing in our children’s future by ensuring that they enjoy the same world that we enjoy.
- Baking and cooking is an investment in time, where the future gain is a delicious meal.
- Eating healthily and exercising is an investment in your future health.
Investing in any or all of these things will make you wealthy indeed, regardless of the size of your bank balance. It will lead to an abundance of non-material wealth that cannot be measured but can be appreciated.
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