Impulse Buying vs Investing: YOLO vs LOGIC

Semih Aykut
Published in
6 min readJun 1, 2022


Nothing is as it seems. The future may surprise you.

Photo by Artyom Kim on Unsplash

Lately, in a small WhatsApp group consisting of me and my engineer friends(software, industrial, business, petroleum, genetics and bioengineering, mechanical) our topic was deciding between buying the best things you can(YOLO: You Only Live Once) and saving & investing(Logic). And when we looked retrospectively, we realized something odd.

Forget everything you know. There are only 2 financial approaches in life:

1 ) YOLO: You Only Live Once (Spend your money on the best items you can buy, the most wanted ones by you)

2 ) LOGIC: Live Only if a Greater Income Comes (OK, I made this one up. 😂 But you get the idea. You act broke, spend less and invest more. Try to live carefully and wisely with less expenses while building a better, comfortable future.)

Now, during these interesting volatile financial times, you may calculate, deliberate, make choices but still end up in a totally different surprising point.

Be careful what you wish for.

Assets may Increase in Value Dramatically

Photo by Brandon Paul on Unsplash

It all started when my Petroleum Engineer friend bought a Ford Mustang. Previously he was renting Toyotas and saying “I don’t know if I should pay that much for a car.” You know normally this was a really smart talk. These talks are done by us a lot, those who are good with math.

When you write it down, when you calculate the expenses, rent is really a great asset like Robert Kiyosaki says. The things that you can do with cash, the opportunities are endless. But sometimes paradigm shifts happen in finance like in early 2020: The Covid-19 Pandemic.

Before buying a car, my friend was sick of checking around the cars(for flaws that can be billed to him in the future) and accepting and handing over the rented cars and was worried about surprise bills. (They may charge you later claiming you damaged the car etc.) Finally, he thought it was the time to buy a car.

He is in UAE. So because of the tax advantage and fuel prices, you have limitless options. The place itself is a car heaven already. He looked at the options, examined the specifications. Decided and ended up buying a Ford Mustang. We were so excited to see a car like that, because we don’t encounter these types of sports cars around frequently.

He said he thought “I can only drive this in this country, You Only Live Once” and decided on the Mustang.

He thought it was just a shopping, like an impulse buy to make you happy. A result of your hard work to motivate you better. But in fact, a year after, he realized it was a better investment than most other options. It was obviously better than not spending(also known as “Saving”):


If it was in Turkey, I wouldn’t consider this as newsworthy. These days, you can buy some nuts and even that is better than saving. But we have examples in our small WhatsApp group who lives in Turkey, UAE, USA and Germany and we realized the things we own, increased in value in the past few years. Tyler Durden from Fight Club(1999) is wrong anymore. The things you own don’t end up owning you. They make you richer. Yes. More than the inflation rate.

There is No Guarantee in Investing

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By the time I’m typing these lines, Amazon stock is worth 2238 USD.

One year ago from today it was 3265 USD.

(I’ve chosen it as as the example because it’s one of the most powerful companies in the world. It’s so easy to say that it has really high probability to be better in the future. This is not a financial advice.)

OK, you may say “Look back 3–5 years, this is a long-term game.” But think about a person, one year ago or two years ago from today works in a job that he/she doesn’t want. And commits to work, saves money so he can buy stocks so he can build himself a better future.

Now that person didn’t only lose the opportunities(opportunity cost) but also actually lost money if (s)he sells or if (s)he needs that money suddenly. Even if (s)he believes in the long-term game, it would be still better for him/her to buy today instead of last year, because he would get more stocks today.

Investing in Yourself

Photo by Saltanat Zhursinbek on Unsplash

The more fun you have the more productive you’ll be.

Any car can get you from Point A to Point B but the experience would be totally different. Your feelings would be totally different. You may feel that your hard work is not in vain. You may want more, which will make you work more.

Having a better screen with better resolution may motivate you for working for longer hours. A keyboard would be so nice to type so you may work extra and get more things done while another makes you want to quit.

When you buy a new nice computer while being worried about it’s price, you may make more money using that computer, you can multiply the computer’s price by 100 in income.

The phrase “Leaving your comfort zone” never made sense to me. Because those who use these words a lot, usually are the ones who live and work in the most comfortable conditions. In a comfy non-problematic work space you’ll create and deliver more.

So not wasting but spending wisely may boost up your productivity.

You’ll Be More Productive When You’re Having Fun

I know the fun you have is not directly measured with how much you’ve spent. Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Now, I know the fun you have in life is not measured with how much money you spend, but there is a reality:

Even if you choose to watch Netflix at home, you need to spend money. You need to spend money on:


-Subscription(video quality of the stream),

-The device you connect (a slow computer may make the experience irritating),

-Internet subscription(internet speed and quality of the connection),

-The sofa or chair you sit on


-Heating, air conditioning…

Try to buy these things from scratch, you gotta pay a lot. So these should be considered as types of investment too. 20 years ago, the money spent on computers were a waste after 3 years. Because of the Moore’s Law, your older computer was obsolete in mostly 5 years.

But during the pandemic times, there is the decrease in units produced. People go into their shells and spend more time indoors, thus demand for electronics rise. And combine this with global chip shortage. Computers and other digital belongings or the ones that use computer chips went up in the price as a result. So if you look after them well, you can sell anytime you want.

Conclusion: YOLO or LOGIC ?

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

When you know what you’re doing and you won’t need that money, investing is a great thing to do!

But if you’re unsure about the investment and there are some things that you can buy for yourself that can make you more productive, it’s also a great bet to stick with them. Because an investment is not just in the form of buying stocks. And the values of stocks are not tied to your efforts.

If you would change your mind about the things you bought, you can sell them for even more money in these times of inflation. Choosing things that are easy to resell and in high demand is the key here. An antique niche item may wait for its buyer for decades while a white car may be sold in a week. I see this as a Ctrl-Z moment or like a “put option”. But in stocks you only have “stop loss” when things go wrong.

Between YOLO vs LOGIC, whichever one you think you choose, you might have actually chosen the other one without realizing it.



Semih Aykut

Computer Science BSc. I like electric guitars, swimming and cats.