What Do You Want?

Katy Song, CFP®
Mar 21
 min read · 
Financial planning
What Do You Want?

What Do You Want?

I just read Luke Burgis’ “Wanting”, which is excellent (and a little heavy), and I wanted to share with you some ideas to think about before you buy your next anything. He classifies desires (or wants) into two distinct categories: Think and Thin.

Thick desires are those that you can explain why you want them. These are important to you and become organizing principles in your life. They help you determine what to say yes or no to. Thick desires energize you and keep you flowing.

Thin desires are those that you can’t easily explain. When you look deeper, they are likely created by external forces, like your social circle or Instagram. These desires tend to be signals or talismans representing something else. They aren’t representative of who you are and what matters most to you.

I had a client recently email me terms for a new Tesla lease versus financing, asking for my opinion on which was better for them. The monthly payments were about the same or ~$800 per month. The total cost of the car is ~$65,000. This same client survived a RIF at their company but is nervous that it could happen in the future. Big ticket purchases and job insecurity are not good combinations. My response was whether they had looked at less expensive cars. Although I haven’t heard back from them, my hope is that it gave them time to pause and think about whether the Tesla is really what they want and if now is the time.

We need to be intentional about our choices and not get lost in what we see around us. There are a lot of Tesla’s in Marin. We have agency that needs to be exercised to stay in shape. Before you make the next purchase, take a minute to reflect and ask why you want it. Is it Thick or Thin?

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