Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Chasing paper and counting commas

Welcome back friends!

I hope the summer is treating you well – I went for my first Red Sox game against the Yankees last week and boy do I feel that much closer to getting my green card. Next up on the to-do list: visit Yellowstone, annihilate 50 McNuggets in one sitting and raise $100 million from VCs in the Bay area by over-promising on a big data platform that uses machine learning algorithms and VR for personalized in-situ tourism for millennials with wanderlust too poor to travel, based on a SaaS business model; then fostering a toxic work culture based on a sophomoric ‘frat-boy’ mentality before crashing and burning through all the funding because of unpredictable and volatile market conditions.

I am stoked.

Speaking of funding, I wanted to touch on the topic of money because there are so many misconceptions about it. For example, some people think money makes the world go round! I’m as shocked as you are! We both know that the Earth goes round because it is a sphere and spheres are round. Quantum physics aside, there are a few immutable truths of money:

  1. Money is a human creation.
  2. Money is worthless until it is spent.
  3. Money can buy time.

While there are caveats to those generalizations, they hold true 5/7 times. “But Kit I go to Babson College and study business I know all this stuff.” Great. But do you really? Money (or the concept of) will accompany you throughout every stage of your life until you die; friends, jobs, places you call home…they will all change as you go through life but money, for better or worse, will be that one constant. So, have you thought about how you should spend money?

I’m not here to tell you how to spend money but to challenge you to think about, for lack of a better term, a framework for spending. There will be times you’re rolling in dough and times when you’re rolling dough at Panera on your side hustle but regardless of how much money you have, your spending rationale should be aligned with your values rather than your bank account. This is because money is a tool – no more, no less. Your net worth will change but your values shouldn’t.

How do you begin this new form of mental accounting? Where should you start? While I cannot think for you (actually, I can – I’m side hustling as a life coach. Check out my website here), I recommend starting with your values/wants/needs and then working from there. It really doesn’t matter how you go about it but at the end of the day, you want to have a consistent concept of and relationship with money congruent to your values. And that means if living paycheck to paycheck is how things are because you spend the weekends traveling – great! Conversely, if that means living frugally – awesome! It doesn’t matter what you do or how you live as long as you know the why.

Spend some time truly thinking about money, not just as it is today but its history.

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions, thoughts or suggestions. If you liked this blog, send it to a friend. If you hate it, send it to an enemy,