There’s this post going around Facebook that asks a very simple question.
What does it take to blow $10,000 a year? Just $27.40 of unnecessary spending in a day.
You probably are saying you don’t blow $27.40 a day and that may be true. However, most people don’t realize how much small purchases add up. Whether it’s buying more food than you can use before it spoils, picking up clearance clothes just because they’re cheap, or eating out when you could eat food from home, most people are wasting at least some money every week.
Those small purchases do add up.
If you shop for entertainment or comfort, your weekly waste would probably shock you.
I did a No Spend Challenge in January and have continued the challenge off and on beyond the original 31 day commitment. This is partly because I’m trying to save for adventure season (which will be here soon!) and partly because it’s become so natural to question spending temptations.
This challenge was designed to reset my spending and consumption habits after the gluttony of the holidays. It’s also great for quieting my mind, fostering a sense of gratitude and for coping with some bad habits.
One thing I have learned is that the more time I spend in a store, the more money I spend.
Case in point – I have saved a ton of money by reducing my Walmart trips to just twice a month. I despise Walmart but have to live in the world I wake up in and that world is a place saturated by Walmart.
It’s the cheapest place around to get Scout’s cat food and supplies so I go twice a month for these things and for a few other items that I can only buy there. But each trip always results in impulse buys and it doesn’t matter if the trips are two weeks apart or two days apart.
In this store I develop a kind of amnesia where I can never remember if I have enough shampoo and where I’m certain the dish soap is nearly gone. And then I notice socks on clearance and that cute Pioneer Woman scoop that’s perfect for my laundry detergent and things fall apart rather quickly. The next thing you know, I have gathered $30 worth of cheap socks, shampoo and pecans that I don’t need.
And I’ve always been ok with this because I believe in having a stocked pantry and in keeping myself in a place that I never have to buy anything. However, you can only use so much stuff.
Guys, $30 will fill the tank of my Nerdmobile and a tank of gas will take this fuel efficient car far from home.
So I’m training myself to ask more questions. Is that lunch out or clearance junk worth skipping an adventure?
Not only that, I want to retire without worry someday. Is it worth working longer just to have that stuff in my cart?
Nope. No. No way. It’s not.
Friends, money is a tool to be used to reach your goals. It’s not just for spending. It’s for making life better, for happiness and it’s for security.
Is there something you habitually spend money on that you are willing to cut for an important savings goal? I would love to hear about it.