What are some of the things we should stop wasting money on?
“If you buy what you don’t need, you steal from yourself.” This is an old Swedish proverb that we don’t hear enough. The reality of this old adage quickly reveals itself when you are left wanting days later after spending money of things you don’t need for momentary satisfaction. In these tough economic times, no one can actually, truly afford to waste money on.
Things you can do yourself
It sounds like common sense, but as my high school science teacher used to say, sometimes common sense is not common, I will add… or easily practised. I am less crass than old Mr Mure and choose to believe the whole thing boils down to self-control, or atleast conscious decision-making, than lack of wisdom or intellect. For the most part, when we make poor financial decisions, we are aware that the path we are going on is probably not the brightest of routes to take, but we go there anyway. So, things like getting your car washed, gym membership, haircut, and choosing to pay more on items like freshly squeezed orange juice, or shredded cheese, when you could have done those things yourself are some of the most common examples of things you should avoid spending money on by virtue of being able to do it yourself.
By far one of the most tempting things to spend money on are those momentary happiness buys that we all later regret, such as a night out in the town, expensive habits you know you can’t afford, or festival tickets that made you go way over budget, but you still got them, all in the name of FOMO. Alcohol is also another popular fleeting moment purchase. There is nothing wrong with having a drink or a few, every now and then, but when it starts making you spend money you had not budgeted for its not only going to hurt your pocket, but most likely your health and social life as well.
Let’s get one thing out the way, the only way money can buy you happiness is if it is stacked up in your bank account, in investments, or insurance products. This way you can have peace of mind in knowing that you are financially secure to survive any economic crisis or personal hardship. You might think that collecting branded clothes, bags, and shoes will help ease your stress levels, but there is nothing therapeutic about struggling with overwhelming debt for months after your trip down to the mall for some “retail therapy”.
This final category is related the former one in the sense that both retail therapy and impulse buying have a strong emotional connection attached to it. Impulse shoppers are those kind of shoppers that buy things they had not planned on buying and which are not in their budget or their needs. The purchase is based purely on an emotional urge and satisfies only that passing feeling and nothing else. The damage caused by these impulse purchases however could be long-lasting and hard to reverse. The biggest enabler of impulse buying are store sales and discount day like the upcoming Black Friday. So, be cautious as you go out shopping this Black Friday. Buy only what you need and compare prices at different outlets.