Is Your Next Purchase An Investment Or An Expense ? Find Out How!

Identifying an asset isn’t as straightforward as you want it. Yesterday, I went on a short one-hour road trip to Santa Rosa to purchase a camera. I listened to some chill tropical music watched the temperature rise from about 75 F to 99 F. The sun reflected off the pacific ocean while I was driving along the coastline to get closer to my new purchase. 

Somewhere along the way, I pressed pause on my iPhone I had plugged in for my music. And I questioned myself for making this buying decision with the limited funds I have available at this time. “Is this just another way to procrastinate?” and “I should just use my iPhone because that’s what I did for the new phone, the pictures.”

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on

While I was deeply thinking of whether this is a good choice, I had to ask myself some questions to give me clear guidance to make the decision that offers the best consequence. Essentially, I ended up asking myself 3 main questions that clarified what this purchase would be.

But before I let you know what questions I asked myself, I’d like to give you context to this matter of this specific purchase.

Photography was introduced to me to take pictures for my passport and maybe some application portraits. As I grew older, I realized photography was everywhere, but the link to business was still missing.

I wasn’t able to push “buying a camera” from leisure use to professional use. And it is important to tell you why.

Photo by Ajay Lobo on

The more precise your definition, the clearer your line becomes between expenses and investments.

Let’s take my photography problem and analyze what I did to ensure it is an investment rather than an expense.

First Step, how does my business do to generate income? My business is a digital marketing agency that offers consultation, content creation, and social media marketing services.

Secondly, do I have enough time to invest in having downtime to learn a new skill? AKA Am I able to strip away anything that doesn’t contribute something to companies’ services. (i.e., watching TV, Scrolling through Social Media, Watching News)

And last but not least, what is the long-term goal if I decide to get the camera? 

The last question will need a more profound thought than the first two questions simply because that defines how valuable your purchase will be.

Photo by Eric Weber on

So my goal with my camera is to get into Automotive to see newer supercars and join the Motorsport for content creation aside from my marketing agency. So that skill will be used personally as well as for the agency.

Overall, drawing the line between investment and expense is quite tricky. Although, making a decision based on logic rather than emotions is healthier for your wallet and your mental health.

So next time when you try to justify your craving for purchase, make sure it helps you with something that allows you to build with it – a skill.

And for those wondering what camera I bought, a Canon T3i in good used condition. So I can get familiar with its limited settings and options to prevent me from getting overwhelmed and drop photography from my goals.

What is your thought on deciding whether it is well invested or poorly spent? How do you differentiate good vs. evil? Leave a comment with your answer, and I look forward to sharing your comment with my community on Twitter.

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