Author Topic: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?  (Read 9993 times)

purple monkey

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What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« on: May 04, 2015, 10:23:08 PM »
Any great advice for someone who continues to waste money?

I am getting better, but would like some sage tips...

Melanie A

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2015, 10:51:43 PM »
I guess that depends what you're wasting your money on. If it's more random frivolous stuff, just don't eat out and/or go to malls. Ask yourself if you actually need it or just want it. Maybe write down what you think you need and try and find a way to buy it used/cheaper or do without.

I think once you have everything else in place, cut cable, cheaper phone plan, cut housing cost (if possible), etc, the biggest impact for me was literally just writing my goals down and exactly how I would achieve that. I set out a date that I would achieve these goals and even though sometimes I spent money on a couple treats, it didn't hurt the main goal. Also, ask yourself if an item or event will bring actual happiness. After getting out of debt, there's no item that I regret NOT buying. Nothing feels better than freedom.

And sometimes you just have to think outside the box and get out of your comfort zone.

lunahsol

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2015, 11:06:08 PM »
At some point, I was introduced t the idea that "wasting money" was stealing from my future self.  That made an impact.  I want to set myself up for success . . . so waste derails that goal. 

Argyle

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2015, 11:31:00 PM »
Know what you're saving for.  What are you aiming at ultimately -- a house, early retirement, FU money?  What's the next increment toward that: $1000, $10,000, $50,000, etc.?  Savor the satisfaction you'll have when you have enough savings for your goal.  Savor the good feelings that come from being on target to meet that goal.

Then keep track. What you measure, improves.  Make a chart.  Compete with yourself -- how little money on (say) lunches out can you spend this month?  If you spent $80 on lunches out last month, can you spend less this month?  Can you spend half?  Can you get it down to zero?  Revel in every success.

jengod

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2015, 11:51:16 PM »
Deep in The Millionaire Next Door book there is a bit about how many auctioneers are millionaires because their job is to help sell off the detritus of people's lives and they know how little value there is in almost all consumer goods.

That really stuck with me, along with the saw, "Don't buy depreciating assets."

Spend money if you want, but try to spend it on stuff that will not decline in value immediately after you open the Amazon box.

New car = rapidly depreciating asset
Used car = more slowly depreciating asset
New washing machine = rapidly depreciating asset
Used washing machine = more slowly depreciating asset
Engagement ring diamond = Depreciating asset
Engagement Roth IRA = Appreciating asset
Nut tree = Appreciating asset
Fruit tree = Appreciating asset
Land = Appreciating asset, dependent on location

If you are going to spend money on something, spot check first: Will you have something to show for that expenditure in a year?

worms

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2015, 12:41:31 AM »
For me it is having all the next month's finances worked out in advance, so that when the pay cheque comes in, the savings are transferred out and the allocation to future bills is made up-front.  I then start the month thinking "shit, I've only x to last me to the end of the month!".

BlackIronStubble

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2015, 05:40:33 AM »
Automate spending so you never see it.  I'm much better at not spending money that either never hits my checking account (like 401k contributions) or is automagically removed to a savings account/extra principal payment shortly after landing in the checking account.  In fact, I don't even miss that money.

Mr. Frugalwoods

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2015, 05:48:22 AM »
Get a long term goal.

Saving without a goal seems like it would be really hard.  For us, it's our homestead retirement plan.  For others it's buying a sailboat and sailing the caribbean.

Whatever your long term goal for your savings is... just having it will make the savings easier.

BlackIronStubble

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2015, 05:50:29 AM »
Quote
For me it is having all the next month's finances worked out in advance, so that when the pay cheque comes in, the savings are transferred out and the allocation to future bills is made up-front.  I then start the month thinking "shit, I've only x to last me to the end of the month!".

This is the next step for me, Worms.  Right now, I know I've got enough to cover everything every month with some wiggle room, but I need to nail down just how much I really need so I can do this. 

RunHappy

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2015, 05:54:06 AM »
In the long term, after all the monthly expenses are taken care of as yourself how much value will this bring to your life.  What do I deserve this object or achieving my goal?

Recent example:  I am expecting a child this September.  This past week I've started looking at  purchasing a crib (keeping an eye on Craigslist too).  I saw a BEAUTIFUL crib, matching the rustic-natural style of our home.  It cost $700 for just the crib.  My friend tried to talk me into buying it, telling me how much I deserve it, how happy I will be in the beautiful room at 3am when it is just me and my child.  I almost believed her.  Then I realized, a $700 crib isn't going to make my time with my child more magical.  It won't make me happier than buying something 1/3 of the price and my child will be just as safe.  I don't deserve a $700 crib, what I deserve is early retirement and financial independence.

Pigeon

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2015, 06:15:27 AM »
For us, it's absolutely having savings automated. We wouldn't have nearly as much saved if I had to write a check to our various accounts every month.  If I don't see the money, I don't even think about spending it.  It piles up magically all by itself.  I adjust the spending level to what's available.

Unkempt Stash

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2015, 06:20:35 AM »
Pack lunches.

Eating out is fun, tasty, easy, and everyone is doing it.

It's probably my biggest waste area still.

I find that making large meals on the weekend encourages me to eat leftovers for dinner. I try to either have different leftovers for lunch or preplan my packed lunches as well. Not having a plan let's me eat out guilt free/guilt reduced.

fartface

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2015, 06:39:21 AM »
I think frugality and savings go hand in hand with minimalist living. There is a great blog: becoming minimalist.com that has motivating posts.

You don't own stuff; stuff owns you.

Eliminating the "want" for things is what gets you the furthest. If you don't want it, you don't feel like you're missing out. Have you ever owned a Jabberwocky? Well, don't you WANT one? Your neighbor has one. Life is so much better with a Jabberwocky!

Oh wait, you're content with what you've already got and don't see a need to add another fabricated, expensive item into your life? Cool.


humbleMouse

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2015, 07:04:09 AM »
I have to transfer money into investment accounts the day it hits my bank account or else I spend it.  Most investments accounts you have to liquidate things and then wait 3 days before you can xfer your $$ back into your account, so it delays impulse spending. 

zolotiyeruki

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2015, 08:21:51 AM »
1) track your spending.  If you don't know where it's going, you can't stop spending it
2) stay away from places that tempt you to spend (restaurants, malls, etc)
3) get married.  Sounds silly, but having someone to whom I must be accountable is a big help.
4) develop a habit of considering the opportunity cost for EVERYTHING you buy. E.g. "instead of going out to eat, I could accelerate my retirement by a day" or "if I can get by another couple months on these shoes, I can pay off a bit extra on my student loans"

frugaliknowit

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2015, 08:34:36 AM »
What gets measured gets managed.

sisto

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2015, 08:38:10 AM »
The best thing you can do is use a budget tool. Mint, YNAB, or something similar. Then you will really know where your money is going and can better control what you are spending it on.

vhalros

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2015, 08:46:31 AM »
No matter how good the sale, if you don't need it is a waste of money.

Bob W

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2015, 08:50:03 AM »
The Grand Child Theorem   -

Someday you will have children and grandchildren perhaps?   Will you love them? 

So let's assume that you decide to invest for them now ---  For each dollar you invest in 60 years it will be worth  166 adjusted for inflation.

So let's say you invest $50,000 per year each year for 20 years --  In 60 years that will be worth $120 million dollars generating $4 million per year for your grandkids.  You might have 4 of them and they might be 30ish. 

Kinda makes you wish your grandparents were forward thinking. 

Or let's say that 15 years from now your 12 year old daughter develops a rare condition that requires 100K per year in treatment that isn't covered by the ACA.   You would like to save your daughter's life but unfortunately you chose to spend all that money on Starbucks, fancy cars, eating at restaurants and spendy vacations. 

It really becomes a moral thing at some point.  If you consider yourself a person of high morals then you should be saving and investing like crazy.   People used to know this prior to the 60s.   It has been a forgotten part of our cultural moral fiber. 

2ndTimer

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2015, 09:21:11 AM »
Think about what itch you are scratching each time you spend money.  Find a way to scratch that itch more cheaply.
Examples:

You go out for lunch every day.
Itch: Hunger
Solution:  Carry your lunch

You have your packed lunch and you still go out
Itch:  Need a work break
Solution:  Eat your packed lunch outside the building.  A park is ideal if there is one.

You get the idea.

greenmimama

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2015, 09:54:56 AM »
I have found that spending fasts have helped to put things in perspective for me.

Last year I wanted to go 6mo without buying my growing boys clothing, I had gone over all that they already had, I like to buy ahead when its on clearance, So I knew what they had and what they would actually need, like a new pair of winter boots for my oldest.

That challenge ended Dec. 25th but I go tin the habit of not buying them clothing, only stuff they need, every once in awhile I would get them something, but there was so few compared to what I used to do.

This month we are working hard at not going out to eat, this is a big one for us, we have already done so much better than before, we are trying to be more organized and have food at home, seems really simple but you have to set yourself up for success.

Megma

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2015, 10:03:14 AM »
For me the most resonating post from MMM is the "Millionaire's are made $10 at a time" do I still occasionally waste 10-20? Yes, but it's less often. The idea that even small amounts of money add up to big amounts of money is very helpful for how I think about things.

mm1970

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2015, 10:33:06 AM »
I find it helpful to use cash, and have no spend days, set a budget.  Examples:

1.  This year I am pledging to buy no new clothing.
2.  I have set a grocery budget of $80/week.
3.  I am trying to reduce eating out, so we had a 6-week stretch of zero eating out (sometimes it's easier to have a budget, sometimes it's easier to have the budget be zero).
4.  Aim for a certain number of "no spend days".
5.  Limit what you spend money ON.  For example - I make trips to the drug store for needed things like medication, sunscreen, etc., but have to say NO to everything else.

Beyond that it gets tricky. I could not "waste" money by looking for deals on used clothing, etc., for my kids and such. Or by shopping sales for sunscreen, etc., but it gets super tiring to find the best deal on every little thing.  I find it easier to just NOT buy things I don't need, and not worry about paying $2 for a tube of toothpaste instead of $1.

darkadams00

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2015, 10:36:06 AM »
1) Aim for measurable goals. (Being "better off" is not measurable. Fully funding your 401k is.)
2) Avoid financial distractions. (Consolidated shopping at a set time of the month minimizes impulse shopping. Toss ads in the trash without thumbing through them. Don't watch TV that promotes consumerism through storylines and ads.)
3) Be accountable. (Some spending is discretionary. Initially, foregoing some discretionary spending due to a missed goal builds up your inner financial guru. Eventually, your guru will win most of the time, and you won't need an external prompt.)

To me, budgets, spreadsheets, plans, and software are tools that help me carry out one or more of these three items. They're useful, but many people focus on the details about "how" before they look into the overarching "why" -- similar to the common answer to "What do you do for a living?" "Oh, I'm a _____________." Reasonable answer but for the wrong question.



SenoritaStache

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2015, 11:29:16 AM »
Knowing that the most important "thing" money can buy is your freedom.

Knowing that once that dollar is gone, it's gone and you must work X amount of time to get a new one because that one dollar is gone and not coming back.  You already have possession of it so keep your dollar, and keep your self from working for a new one in the future!

Hoberto

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2015, 05:49:52 PM »
Deep in The Millionaire Next Door book there is a bit about how many auctioneers are millionaires because their job is to help sell off the detritus of people's lives and they know how little value there is in almost all consumer goods.

That really stuck with me, along with the saw, "Don't buy depreciating assets."

Spend money if you want, but try to spend it on stuff that will not decline in value immediately after you open the Amazon box.

New car = rapidly depreciating asset
Used car = more slowly depreciating asset
New washing machine = rapidly depreciating asset
Used washing machine = more slowly depreciating asset
Engagement ring diamond = Depreciating asset
Engagement Roth IRA = Appreciating asset
Nut tree = Appreciating asset
Fruit tree = Appreciating asset
Land = Appreciating asset, dependent on location

If you are going to spend money on something, spot check first: Will you have something to show for that expenditure in a year?

I will say yes if I'm offered an engagement IRA!

Bajadoc

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2015, 06:00:31 PM »
Keep reading this forum and others about increasing your net worth. Saving and investing is freakish (in a good way) and needs to be reinforced. Pay yourself first and live below your means. Simple ideas trained out of you by our society for someone else's profit. Keep what you earn, it belongs to you.

OneCoolCat

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2015, 06:47:23 PM »
Someone wise told me when I finished graduate school that since I was already used to living on cheaply I might as well just invest everything I make before my lifestyle caught up with my much larger income.

jengod

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2015, 11:00:06 PM »
Deep in The Millionaire Next Door book there is a bit about how many auctioneers are millionaires because their job is to help sell off the detritus of people's lives and they know how little value there is in almost all consumer goods.

That really stuck with me, along with the saw, "Don't buy depreciating assets."

Spend money if you want, but try to spend it on stuff that will not decline in value immediately after you open the Amazon box.

New car = rapidly depreciating asset
Used car = more slowly depreciating asset
New washing machine = rapidly depreciating asset
Used washing machine = more slowly depreciating asset
Engagement ring diamond = Depreciating asset
Engagement Roth IRA = Appreciating asset
Nut tree = Appreciating asset
Fruit tree = Appreciating asset
Land = Appreciating asset, dependent on location

If you are going to spend money on something, spot check first: Will you have something to show for that expenditure in a year?

I will say yes if I'm offered an engagement IRA!

My husband actually kind of did this. I got an engagement ring, but let's call it a "minimalist" ring. :) Now-DH then took several thousand more dollars and put it into two years of Roth IRAs in my name. :) Account is doing quite well, thank you. :)

jengod

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2015, 11:19:24 PM »
In the long term, after all the monthly expenses are taken care of as yourself how much value will this bring to your life.  What do I deserve this object or achieving my goal?

Recent example:  I am expecting a child this September.  This past week I've started looking at  purchasing a crib (keeping an eye on Craigslist too).  I saw a BEAUTIFUL crib, matching the rustic-natural style of our home.  It cost $700 for just the crib.  My friend tried to talk me into buying it, telling me how much I deserve it, how happy I will be in the beautiful room at 3am when it is just me and my child.  I almost believed her.  Then I realized, a $700 crib isn't going to make my time with my child more magical.  It won't make me happier than buying something 1/3 of the price and my child will be just as safe.  I don't deserve a $700 crib, what I deserve is early retirement and financial independence.

You will be out of the crib stage before you know it. Also, cribs are very difficult to sell because they are always so clunky and obnoxious to assemble/disassemble and transport.

I insisted on the Pottery Barn Kids crib for our first. I was sure I would resell it at a profit and that I needed the one that matched the hand-me-down changing table from the cousin.

I wish I'd bought something for $100 on CL (not dropside, obv.) and banked the rest of the money, but I was a cantankerous preggo and I was sure I just wanted to spend the money and be done with it.

PROTIP: Tape the Allen wrench you use to assemble the thing to the bottom of the crib so you always know where it is when you need to adjust the height or disassemble. Cheers.

thatbrowncat

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2015, 11:54:43 PM »
Think of spending money like the way you spend money in a tower defense game ( Clash of Clans for example)

Your tower is your life.

If you spend on asset-building items (improves tower defense ability, troops offense ability), then you are doing well! You are doing a good job in ensuring your tower's survival.

If you spend on upgrades which have no bearing on protecting your tower, then you know what will happen. It gets destroyed.

Learn how to prioritize which upgrades you need to level up, before you level up your other wants.

You are free to spend for the things you like, but you are not free of your expenditures' consequences.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2015, 12:58:05 AM by thatbrowncat »

Schaefer Light

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #31 on: May 06, 2015, 07:48:08 AM »
Before I buy anything, I simply ask myself if I'd rather buy this thing or retire a little bit earlier.

swick

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #32 on: May 06, 2015, 12:09:59 PM »
Think of spending money like the way you spend money in a tower defense game ( Clash of Clans for example)

Your tower is your life.

If you spend on asset-building items (improves tower defense ability, troops offense ability), then you are doing well! You are doing a good job in ensuring your tower's survival.

If you spend on upgrades which have no bearing on protecting your tower, then you know what will happen. It gets destroyed.

Learn how to prioritize which upgrades you need to level up, before you level up your other wants.

You are free to spend for the things you like, but you are not free of your expenditures' consequences.

This is awesome! Definitely going to share with my hubby :)

Kiwi Mustache

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Re: What IS THE best advice you have for not spending money?
« Reply #33 on: May 06, 2015, 07:25:49 PM »
Best advice so to speak is observe people who are 50 years old (I'm 26) and look at their spending habits for the past 30 years, see where they are now and if you want it, follow what they did. If you don't try not to make the same decisions they made.