Product vs Process Nature

I have always cared far more about the end product than about how I get there. I like making plans and forecasting how I will get somewhere, but I hate actually doing the shopping and hunting.

This makes me a very efficient shopper and not so prone to deals. When I go to a mall, I know that I am looking for X and X only. X could be a certain number of short-sleeved shirts, a pair of jeans, a pair of shorts, a suitcase, etc. But it is almost always something super specific.

When I was looking for a car, I knew that I wanted a car and I knew that I wanted it to get me from point A to point B, that I didn’t really want to do complicated repairs immediately, and that I was comfortable spending about $20,000. But then I had to choose! It came down to three and I had no idea how to pick. So I went and test drove them each again and bought the one that “felt” the best.

At work, I love doing design work, planning out project roadmaps, and talking with customers and QA and everyone else. But actually sitting down and writing the code to get us to that point? So not as interesting as doing the design or planning. I forget quite easily that you need to verify that you’re actually on track to meeting your goals!

Caring about a budget? So not my thing. But saving as much money as possible? So my thing. I think that I am the type to be super motivated to pay off debt as fast as possible – we’ll see once I have a mortgage to contend with!

I see things like if I pay off a $225,000 mortgage in 4 years, I’ll only pay about $12,000 in interest. Had I repaid the loan over the 30 year amortization, I would have paid closer to $90,000 in interest. Those kinds of numbers are super motivating to me.

This has also made looking for a condo super frustrating. I know exactly what I want and that I want to own, but I have been having a hard time finding what I’m looking for. So then that makes me wonder whether I really want to do this and it’s driving me nuts.

Readers, are you more product or process oriented? How does that affect your finances?


9 thoughts on “Product vs Process Nature

  1. “Caring about a budget? So not my thing. ”

    I find this hard to believe!

    I guess we do a bit of both depending on our needs. I do a lot of re-adjusting on the fly and double checking before large purchases to make sure we’re still on track. But we no longer have the kind of time, energy, or desire to micromanage our finances as I once did (back when we had to). There’s a lot more to micromanage than there used to be!

    • I care about tracking the details and forecasting how much I think I’ll spend, but I don’t actually use the budget remotely to limit myself.

      I think I make time to micromanage my finances because I enjoy it, but I am trying to look for ways where I can spend less time so that I’m not choosing to micromanage my finance over playing sports.

  2. I am more results oriented with some care about perfecting the process. I pretty much do not get along with people who are stuck in the process. I guess have to learn to let that go.

    Searching for a home is no different than finding the car that is right for you. A list of must haves, a list of must not haves, and a list for luxuries you would like to have. I say hold off until you find a condo that you truly want. I still cannot believe the prices of condos you are looking for!

    • Finding a car was easier though because there was much better inventory than there has been in the condo hunt. I can’t believe the prices some days either – my original idea when I started looking was to buy something somewhere around $250,000! But that has proven to be a pretty unrealistic price, unfortunately. At that price, I could have done a 30% down payment and only taken out a $175,000 mortgage :)

  3. Funny product vs process is something that gets talked about a lot in crafty circles. I have process moments but mostly I’m a product person. There are things though where I enjoy the process. Like shopping. I love shopping. I love looking at things, touching things, trying things on. When it comes to food, I’m a product person. I hate cooking. Hmm what else? Cleaning can vary. Sometimes I actually like the process of cleaning. Usually because it’s soothing me in some way. Reading is another one that varies. Sometimes I just want to know the end. Others I am enjoying reading the book so much that I don’t!

    • I actually love looking at homes, until it is taking forever to find one that I want to live in and then I just start to get frustrated.

      I actually hate shopping in the product sense, but it can be really fun in the process sense. I used it as a mechanism to re-instill confidence in myself after a bad break-up a few years ago since I had to look at myself in the mirror to see what an outfit looked like.

      I hate cooking too, but so long as it results in food I can eat, I’m getting used to it as a necessity.

      I’m not with you on reading though – it’s always about the process and enjoying the book for me.

  4. I find the caring about a budget line hard to believe too.

    I’d say I’m quite like you where I like product over process but also really like the planning. In our recent house hunt I stuck to our ‘must haves’ but relaxed a few other things. At some point you just need a place to live. If we had more time I would loved to have waited for the ‘perfect house’ but I’m also really happy that we now have a house!

    • Yes, I like planning, but acting on the planning seems to bore me for some reason. Yay for finally having a house (well almost)! :)

  5. I’m definitely a lot more process oriented when it comes to budgeting, shopping, and making things in general. I’m more product oriented when it comes to household tasks like cleaning and cooking

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