Pointless Judging

Some people may think of me as frugal, but that’s actually not entirely true. For example, I spend a lot of money (over $2,000 every month) on interest payments. 😉 It’s fun to find out how much other people spend on their hobbies. But in the end it’s pointless to judge their behavior because money contains different meaning to different people. This is because our real wealth is time. Money is merely a means to maximize the enjoyment we get out of our time in this world.

This is why some people who make $30,000 a year can live a happier, more fulfilling life than others who make $300,000 a year. The income gap between the rich and poor gets a lot of attention, but from a broader perspective most people have roughly the same amount of real wealth in this world, which is measured in years, not dollars. The truly unfortunate are those who are so poor that all they have is money, lol. If all my financial assets disappeared overnight I’d be fairly upset. But if I knew I only had a few more months to live I’d be devastated. I don’t blame Walter White for what he did. Dire times call for extreme measures.

So if our goal is to enjoy life to its fullest using our limited financial resources then we simply have to allocate the right amount of money for each block of time we spend living. This means if we watch more than 10 hours of live sports a week then spending $3,000 on a new 60 inch 4K Ultra HD LED TV is totally justified. 😀 After seeing a football or soccer match in 3840 x 2160 resolution there is no going back. 😉 But on the other hand if we use those 10 hours a week to play PC games then we should spend $3,000 on a new kick-ass gaming computer instead. 🙂 The point is to choose what our interests, passions, and values are in life, and spend our money with the purpose to maximize our happiness in mind. This way, we’re less likely to second guess ourselves and regret our purchases.


If someone pays $600 for a pair of Air Jordan it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a gullible sucker who overpaid for an overrated brand of footwear. If he plays a lot of sports, like more than 10 hours a week, then those shoes would actually be a great investment. In fact, it’s a bargain when compared to the $3,000 price tag of the TV or gaming PC, yet all 3 choices will bring excitement and joy to the right individuals who are really into those respective fields of entertainment.

The sports fan can scoff at the idea of purchasing a top-of-the-line desktop PC since a faster model is always just around the corner. The PC gamer cannot fathom why anyone would buy a 60 inch UHD TV now when the price is expected to drop 50% on those models next year. And the athlete can ridicule the sedentary lifestyle of a couch potato. But in the end who the heck cares?

All that matters is we spend our money in accordance with our values and interests. This goes back to my previous posts about spending with purpose and understanding what money means to us on a personal level. It’s largely irrelevant what others do with their money because we have no way of knowing if their spending habits match their personalities or not. We are responsible for the limited 8 or 9 decades we have here. We should make every moment of it count by spending our money where it matters the most, and offer others the same opportunity to decide how they want to spend theirs. Nothing is a waste of money as long as we make purposeful use of it.

Don’t let others patronize you on how to spend your money. And by extension, there’s no point judging others of their spending habits either. Unless they’re someone like Scott Storch, a prominent music producer who is famous for his lavish lifestyle. It’s okay to make fun of him. 😛 In the last 6 months he reportedly spent all his money, which was $30 million, on mostly drugs, filed for bankruptcy and is now more broke than shattered glass. 😕 I think we can all agree that he could have managed his money better. 😐

Random Useless Fact


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06/25/2015 7:17 am

Great post, F35. Completely agree and these statements really resonated well with me: “This is because our real wealth is time. Money is merely a means to maximize the enjoyment we get out of our time in this world.”

Thanks for sharing

Mr. Chen
Mr. Chen
06/25/2015 8:01 am

Thanks for sharing this post, F35.

I definitely have committed some of these pointless judgings before and am less likely to do it now as what other people do with their money should be and will be of little concern to me. Additionally, I agree with your statement of “Money is merely a means to maximize the enjoyment we get out of our time in this world”. This is why we have hobbies, whether expensive or frugal, they keep us entertained and busy.

Thank you,
Mr. Chen

06/25/2015 12:10 pm

I have to say this post made a lot of sense. All we read about among our online community members is how much we save or how frugal one can live but your point of spending $X that gives you some great utility makes perfect sense for that specific individual. I can totally relate to this post as I have an old CRT TV, drive an 2009 Honda Civic, never buy clothes, live a pretty frugal lifestyle but I do spend on travel. For me seeing the world and visiting new places justifies spending $1K, $2K or even $3K on a travel adventure. As such, before I turned 40 I have visited more places than most people see in a lifetime and I’m not done. Thanks for this thought provoking post and reminding me to shut my mouth once in a while if I see someone spending money on something I think is a waste but is obviously more utilitarian for them.

06/25/2015 6:06 pm

I personally like spending my money on experiences. I love travelling and seeing new places and learning about the history of other cultures. Or sometimes the experience is just to fly across the country to see my family for a few quite days. How ever you spend your money is your own business, but i’ll admit sometimes when i hear of what some co-workers buy i can’t help but wonder if they’ll ever retire or be able to handle a job loss.

No Nonsense Landlord
No Nonsense Landlord
06/26/2015 4:59 am

I would rather be a millionaire and look like a pauper, that a pauper and look like a millionaire. Plus, you are less likely to get robbed.

06/26/2015 7:25 pm

so di du really get the tesla or that april fools?

Dividend Beginner
Dividend Beginner
06/27/2015 6:16 am

Tesla is also my dream car… Ugh they’re so sexy.

06/27/2015 8:55 am

You want a sexy dream car? Try the 1939 Delahaye 165 Coupe:

Tesla has a very long way to go to jump that bar (but that’s just my judgement 😉 )

On that topic, this article is focused on the negative side of judgement, but if one utilizes judgement of others’ spending habits in a positive manner, it can very likely be financially beneficial — e.g. noticing that people will very willingly spend money to fulfill addictions but more so to gain perceived acceptance and social exposure, one could have bought SBUX and/or APPL stock ten years ago and made a killing, simply by judging how others shop.

Their money can end up giving you more opportunity to utilize your time as you want (i.e. wealth). In this way, judgement is a positive thing; and you might just wind up encouraging people to continue to spend and shop in a certain manner, simply to sustain your lifestyle!

The Asian Pear
The Asian Pear
06/27/2015 11:30 am

Great post. See, the thing about personal finance is I truly do think about it as personal. One thing I do not like about PF community sometimes is that we’re quick to judge without knowing the full context or the motivations behind one’s choices. Taking on debt is obviously not cool but sometimes it’s needed. Buying a new car might make you happier than having squirreling your money away. I think the key is that individuals need to do research. Options should be weighed and considered carefully – thinking about past, present and future consequences.

PS – Re fact of the day: eww dude… eww.

06/28/2015 2:22 pm
Reply to  The Asian Pear

You will never look at lips the same way again lol.

Dividend Diplomats
06/28/2015 6:51 am

Great post here, I low the topic. Since most of us our frugal, we can easily judge others for how they spend their money and scoff at the fact that they don’t save as much as us, they don’t perform the same research as us to get the best discount, and so on. But what is the point? What satisfaction does it give you judging their spend habits (unless of course they ask you for advice and completely blow it off)? If someone wants to spend their money in X manner, then go for it! It is their money and if it fits their interest and makes them happier, then who are we to stop them!

I love the topic because it brings to light a topic that most people think but keep under the covers because it is controversial. Great job here and I’m looking forward to reading future posts!

Bert, One of the Dividend Diplomats

06/30/2015 5:55 am

I am no saint, and I judge others regularly for all sorts of reasons, but lately I’ve been trying to be more mindful of when I am judging and trying to challenge my mind.

Jess @ Best Credit Cards Canada
Jess @ Best Credit Cards Canada
06/30/2015 5:59 pm

I agree. Spending it totally personal and should not be judged. I am super frugal but also love to have a good splurge on something I refer to as “an affordable luxury” (fancy purse, lovely shoes). Someone might judge me for this seemingly indulgent spend, but I can and do buy it because I have been frugal in other areas (e.g., not eating out for a few months to afford said luxuries!).