Conscious spending is one of the cornerstones to wealth, and I’ve been trying to practice it ever since I got the gospel that is financial independence. I’ve been reasonably good at cutting things out that I don’t care for, but lately I’ve been running into a problem.
I had a facial contract with a boutique spa for a couple of years due to some long running skin problems. Having monthly facials had improved a little but never really solved my skin problems. However, since getting onto a certain hormonal medication for other problems, my skin issues have more or less disappeared. Hence I have been ruthlessly cutting down on the frequency of my spa visits, and decided to completely stop once I used up my contracted visits.
I finished up all my visits a couple of months ago, and have not renewed. Yay for me?
The thing is, my last visit coincided with the laying off of my facial therapist, as the spa is being taken over by a new owner. This therapist has serviced me for as long as I have had the contract with the spa, and have been doing a fantastic job all this time, frequently going above and beyond what she needed to do, just so I could have a pleasant and useful visit.
Since being laid off, she has decided to open her own facial lounge with an ex-colleague of hers, and has called on me to support her in her endeavour. She has been calling quite frequently, as I understand that she has trouble getting enough customers at the start of her business. I have a soft spot for entrepreneurs like her, because I’m a child of entrepreneurs who used to be in similar straits. I am where I am today partly due to various kind people who supported my parents with their custom when the family business needed them, and I feel that I should pay it forward.
But also, I’m kind of conflicted.
Supporting mom-and-pop shops when you have to get something you need anyway is one thing. But what happens when you have decided that an item or service no longer adds value to your life, but another person, especially one you care about, needs to offer it to earn a living? Furthermore, the cost is something I can afford to spend, just that the service no longer fits with my needs and values.
Some people in real life have advised that I consider the cost of supporting my therapist’s new business as charitable contributions, but for my part, I find that extremely insulting to the person offering the service. I just can’t see it that way, and I don’t believe any entrepreneur wants to be seen that way.
I have finally decided to see the therapist just before Chinese New Year and get a facial done. New year, new face. I haven’t decided if I will sign up for a bigger long term facial package with her yet.
What will you do in such a situation? How far will you go in supporting a business that is superfluous to your preferred lifestyle?