The Old Money Mindset: A tool to break bad habits

Well, break my bad habits at least.

I’ve already talked a bit about my overspending problem and the work I’ve done to try to overcome it. It is a process, for sure, but one thing that is working as my “North Star”, in a sense, is “The Old Money Book” by Byron Tully. In fact, his series of books and the blog are great reads. I do not necessarily agree with each and every point in the book, but the foundation is rock solid. I’m still processing these principles and including them in my life, but I think this is what I have been looking for. The “old money” philosophy is slow and sophisticated – and values time and experiences rather than fast cars and fast fashion. To me, that fits neatly into my aesthetic (which is very Scandinavian and minimal) and also gives me direction.

Okay, so it might sound slightly cult-is, but I do think that Tully’s book has reinforced some common sense principles and given me some ideas about what I want my life and surroundings to look like. That’s also why I am applying it to curb my overspending.

Old Money values quality over quantity

Not necessarily a big surprise, but worth adopting as a mantra. It is, for sure, something I’ve had to repeat a lot as I went through my closet, faced my unnecessary purchases and general style confusion. In the end, I am a person that appreciates less but better. I get overwhelmed with a stuffed closet, drawers and shelves. While I am now radically decreasing and reselling items in my closet, I know I need to go through the rest of my belongings, probably over several rounds, to pare it down as well. I hope that once I have gone through most of it, the experience will be a kind of “let me NEVER do that again” type of situation, haha.

However, I’d have to go through my belongings until the end of time, if I also didn’t stay mindful of what is allowed into my space. Right now, as a minimum, I am adhering to the “one in, one out” rule, so I do not make my problem any worse. But I am also more critical about the stuff I spend money on, and not just clothes. I’d rather spend slightly more on artisan cheese, a good cocktail when I am out, rather than fast food that I regret immediately after eating or some flimsy blouse that does not fit me right. I need to be the curator of my life, so I’ll also have an easier time moving (because I know I’ll have to do that again at some point).

Photo by Tim Alex on Unsplash

Old Money takes care of the foundation first

What’s the point of having expensive shoes, bling and new electronics, if you aren’t putting money aside for the future? I am at a stage in my life where I am accumulating (but also slightly repaying) student debt, but I’d also like to pad my savings and investment accounts for when life happens – and to start growing my nest egg as early as possible. I like luxury items, don’t get me wrong, but I have realised that there is a time and place for that. My solution so far is to set a small amount of money aside specifically for “luxury” – whether that is a holiday, new clothes or similar – and then focus on the basics first. I know I’ll sleep better once I have saved up more money to withstand whatever life will throw at me. That’s worth more than anything money can buy.

Old Money makes an effort

Obviously, this takes time – which I am usually short on. However, I am aspiring to take the time to make an effort. That both concerns my appearance and the appearance of my surroundings, but also how I approach my education and further improvement. I’d say that I am already doing a pretty decent job when it comes to my work and credentials, but I also need the other areas of my life to add up.

Most importantly: Old Money has a plan

There’s a plan for the money, for the time and for the priorities. I am really good at planning my day-to-day, but the financials may have been more wishful thinking than I’d like. I also want to try being a bit more intentional about my wardrobe and think long-term when it comes to investments, so I am not blowing off money on disappointments. I guess the key here is, well, even more planning, which again requires time and effort. So I am taking it in baby steps. For now, I am just working on cutting out the excess and make an effort with myself. I need to start out with a kind and positive attitude – I am currently recovering from health issues, so it is no wonder I haven’t been at the top of my game lately.

So these were my Old Money principles that I am slowly trying to follow and implement. I am trying to do it in a kind manner (and I hope you are being kind to yourselves as well!), so I won’t be too harsh on myself when mistakes happen. That’s part of the human experience after all.

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