The Value of a Dollar

This morning I reviewed my workout schedule and expenses. Monday, Wednesday, Friday 6 am workouts at the gym ($29/month), Saturday Real Ryder at Heat with Brandon ($12/class), Sunday morning hot yoga at Open Door ($12/class). This brings my monthly budget (not including apparel, shoes, or music) to $125. Is that a lot? When Chuck reads this, it will probably be a dinner discussion one night over the next week.

Why is money the number one cause of conflict in all relationships? I know it isn’t because my fiance doesn’t want me to be healthy and fit. Yet, time and time again, we hear it, see it, and experience it. We have to renegotiate and rationalize why we spend the dollars we do. Money isn’t the number one cause of divorce because of materialism, although that can be a serious side effect. It is a stressor, because it quantifies our conflict in values.

When we disagree about how money is spent, it is because we are disagreeing about what is significant in our lives. Everything we purchase, we place a specific value on. Some people may not be able to fathom $125/ month for fitness but may spend $3/ day on coffee or cigarettes. Women may not understand a man’s infatuation with TV’s: a couple grand for the Tv that the man will want to upgrade in 3 years, $100/month for cable, then a few more dollars here or there for netflix, apple TV, or the NFL Sunday Ticket. Even the thought of all of this is angering me. The man may then be in complete bewilderment at a women’s cost for upkeep: $50/month for mani/pedi, $125 every 2-3 months for hair, then shoe and bag habits… This sounds like a deleted scene from The Breakup.

Reflecting on ourselves and our values is necessary maintenance. It is important that we keep our money tied to our current values and not past habits. There may be things in our lives that may add coolness value or fun value but that kind of value fades quickly (and with age). It is important that when you discuss finances with your significant other that you are able to represent how your expenditures bring your lives value.

Fitness, organic food, and wellness initiatives will all add significant value to your life through increased energy, confidence, and strength. And maybe new shoes and daily Starbucks will as well, but their shelf-life is much shorter. Is $125 a lot for fitness? I will cut corners somewhere else.