When we spend on lasting joy and happiness and look back and continue to say yes I’m glad I spent on that, and then it solidifies our decision. But often times that is not the case. So what makes us waste money? There are really many reasons and none of them are good enough to justify why we do it.
The opposite for wasting is building and creating. And I totally get that because instead of wasting money, we should be using it either to create more money via saving and investing. Or we should be building lasting memories of joy and happiness.
Pressure Leads to Waste
Sometimes our friends, neighbors, and co-workers maybe driving a luxury car and we think we should get one too: pressure. Sometimes our kid’s friends have a cool game and we think our kid should get it too, pressure. And sometimes all of our friends are going out to eat somewhere and we’ve already blown our dining budget for the month, but don’t want to miss out on all the fun either; pressure.
All of the above are real things that happen and may lead to waste. Driving a luxury car, playing a video game, or going out to eat out of pressure can be a waste too if you truly do not experience lasting joy.
The Rich Miser wrote a good article on how to fake your lifestyle when dealing with the pressure that had some cool examples without breaking the bank.
And this pressure can amount to thousands in unnecessary spending. For example, I’ll be the first to admit, I had a lavish wedding over 10 years ago. There were several events, ceremonies, functions, dinners, outfits, etc. etc. etc.
Needless to say, we ended up spending tens of thousands. This, by the way, is in line with the average American couple’s wedding expense of over $35,000 as reported by GoBanking Rates and as compared to the average of about $5,500 in Europe (six times less)!
Yes, my parents and I could have saved thousands by simplifying things and if we had a do-over I would. Guess what though; many of the weddings I have attended over the past couple of years have been much simpler; so yes simpler weddings are a trend now and one I fully support J
There’s an argument that a lot of people who make good money also waste that good money too and as a result lack behind in savings. The Motley Fool reported that 30% of adults earning over $100,000 aren’t saving money. And it can be due to lifestyle inflation which is living in a bigger house, driving a fancier car and buying and wearing expensive clothing/accessories often.
TV Leads To Waste
I’m sure my son saw something on TV where a kid was carrying around things in a crate. So we were at a hobby store recently and he saw a crate, for $20 bucks. I was like are you kidding me; I can make this thing myself, probably for free. And guess what; that’s exactly what I did with his help.
I found some free scrap plywood at Home Depot. Then we brought it home, measured it, cut it, sanded it down, glued it, nailed it, and painted it and voila a white-washed rustic crate with blue borders AND father & son project with bonding time for free:
Another example of TV and advertising is coffee. On more than one occasion, I’ve seen the commercial of someone waking up dragging themselves out of bed into their kitchen or a coffee shop and after that first sip are completely up with their hair done and everything J
So I was like wait a second, this never happens to me. I decided this past weekend to not have coffee and instead drink water as soon as a got up (I keep a glass on my nightstand because it really helps to wake me up) and with breakfast as well. Lo and behold I felt fine. So now I’m off of coffee on the weekends and trying to taper off a bit on the weekdays too.
It’s another thing if you truly enjoy the taste and feeling of drinking it, but if you think it is helping you wake up, try this experiment for yourself and see if it’s really the case.
Trends Make Us Waste Money
The Fidget Spinner Craze: It’s dying down now, but do you remember in summer 2017 where pretty much anyone and everyone had one of these. I have to admit I bought one too for my son. The reason: he wanted it because his friends had one. He got a couple more fidget spinners later, but for free from other friends. Nevertheless, billions yes billions of dollars have been spent on consumers to buy this item. For some, it is therapeutic, but everyone that I know who has one got it purely for enjoyment for a couple of days maximum a week and then moved on.
Those colorful watch band straps: Yes I bought one of these too. But later found out I could not install it myself because you need a special tool to take out the pins and replace the strap from your existing watch and put this new strap on. So I had to pay this watch store $10 to do this less than 5-minute task. It looks nice and I enjoy wearing it, but I may have just convinced myself that by repeatedly justifying the need to have this.
On the flip side, we recently went to Great Falls Virginia. It was a memorable experience and I had not visited there for many years and enjoyed the walk and views of the falls from the overlook areas with my family. It’s something that we’ll remember for years and didn’t feel like at all.
Join The Discussion:
- What are some random items/trinkets you bought for yourself or someone else?
- Have you ever purchased something and moments later thought to yourself what a waste?
- Would you trade up an expensive item you own for a memorable experience?
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