It seems like it should be a given that the best way to save money would be by actually saving your money, right? Unfortunately this isn’t something that is usually mentioned when the topic is brought up. Instead, we are told that the best way to save money is to buy something at a reduced cost. This is a great idea, and I whole heartedly support it… if it’s something you need. The problem arises when we start buying items at a reduced cost just because they are “on sale”.
How many times has this type of thought run through your head? – “Those shoes are fantastic and I can get two for the price of one which means that I am saving a ton of money…WIN!” I know I am guilty of this occasionally and what happens then is that I walk out of the store with two pair of shoes for ONLY $49.99 + tax. The problem is, I didn’t really need the shoes in the first place and what I should have done is walk out of the store with my $49.99 instead.
We are a country full of impulse buyers. Why do you think the check out line at the grocery store is stocked with those last-minute “must-have’s” like the all important tube of Chapstick or that gotta-have Barbie cell phone for the little one. How about those infomercials that run continuously throughout the middle of the night when you have nothing better to do, they actually have a whole channel dedicated to infomercials now – REALLY!
A great tip for all of us impulse buyers would be to stop, take a breath and ask ourselves the question “Do I really NEED this or do I WANT this?” There is a huge difference here and it is a line that is very blurred for most.
Now, before you get upset with me, I’m not suggesting that you never purchase anything fun or that you never splurge on a nice pair of shoes. What I am suggesting is that you make your purchases consciously and, if you chose to splurge, make sure it is within your budget.
Wait a minute…do you have a budget ~or~ do you have more on your credit card than in your savings account? Do you even have a savings account? What about a 401K, IRA or 529A? If you are purchasing the “wants” and you don’t have money put away for emergencies or your future then you should take a minute to re-evaluate what you’re doing.
I’m not here to tell anyone right from wrong. Only you know your financial situation. Some love the high-life and can absolutely afford it. While some love the high-life and live it while holding their breath, hoping that the other shoe doesn’t drop. I’m only here to suggest that you take a look at your finances and live consciously. No pair of shoes is worth the stress of worrying how you are going to pay for them!
I recently watched a movie called The Joneses. It’s a good movie and really forces you to take a look at why you buy the things you do. And while I don’t expect that any of my neighbors are a covert family trying to sell me on the next high-tech gadget, it did make me think a little more about the purchases I make. Check out the trailer and let me know what you think.
Do you find yourself trying to “keep up with the Joneses”?