” For every dollar that you spend that is not thought through is a choke to your retirement, your savings and your dreams.”
Everyone is trying to squeeze a penny out of you. They tell you in their subtle ways that if you buy their product you’ll be more valuable. Your status will move up and people will like you more.
That couldn’t be further from the truth dear reader. Our possessions should serve as filling needs or a hobby. The occasional splurge for a treat to yourself is acceptable. But not in excess. You need clothes to stay warm and to look presentable, but don’t let it get out of hand. Your motive for purchases should have meaning and be methodical. For every dollar that you spend that is not thought through is a choke to your retirement, your savings and your dreams.
Some questions to ask yourself before you make a purchase:
- Do I really need this?
- Why do I want this?
- Will I like this a year from now?
- Is the quality worth the price?
- What is my track record for similar purchases?
Now I’m not talking about grocery shopping or purchasing an RX (Although groceries stores have a way of telling you that you need more). These are questions to ask yourself when you’re online surfing Pinterest, Ruelala and many other popular penny pinchers. People are so good at making products look needy. So desirable you just have to buy. But resist. Is that necklace going to be a staple in your wardrobe? Will you wear it in a year? How trendy is it? Classic? Ah so many questions! But important ones. The way you manage your money now is a glimpse for how your future and retirement will look. Look at your bank statements and you will see either a successful future or one of always trying to catch up.
How to deal?
Don’t shop and save as much as you can. Wait what?! Did I just say don’t shop? Yes, that’s exactly what I said. By not looking you’re saving. That extra $10 can go into your retirement, savings, or your dream savings account. Since when was the last time you bought a shirt that helped you buy new furniture, or grew your retirement fund? I say almost never in my life. The only time an outfit made me money is when I wore a suit to a job interview that put me in the position I am in today (Dressing for the future postion you want to have is always a good thing!).
What next, no shopping? My life is going to end!
Oh my gosh the drama! I thought my life was ending too! What happened to shopping with my girlfriends, buying a bag or bracelet online on a whim. Absolutely nothing. The only difference is I just don’t swipe my card. I hold self control as my closet friend and always keep her by my side. You’ll leave stores feeling more confident about yourself knowing you just saved $100 towards your dream in life, retirement or that mini vacation with your significant other. The greatest thing about being a shopper that saves, is that you invest your money into memories and not material things. I’d much rather have a million memories with the people I love, then a thousand pairs of shoes stacked to the nines (Although lets not get too carried away here, I do love shoes). ;)
What are ways that help you when you’re shopping or just about to hit “Submit” on an online purchase?
Great post Hillary, and certainly something more people need to hear. I’m only 22 but I’ve recently made a big effort to get my finances in order and I feel such a sense of accomplishment now that I’m saving more than I ever have been. I want to be able to have a future where I don’t have such silly worries like whether I can afford to pay my living expenses for the next month. I talk about my experience briefly here: http://jackperry.me/seeking-out-help-is-okay/
Good for you Jack! The younger you start, the better. Having that security will make life a lot easier for you and you’ll be able to enjoy the “Now” without worrying so much for your future. : )