How often do you find yourself at the end of the month pondering how you didn’t meet your savings goal? Ideally, this would never happen but life is often unpredictable and more expensive than what you had budgeted for. Below are some items that you may want to think twice before reaching for that shiny credit card.
A New Car
Yes, it is fun to drive the nicest car on your block or to know the car that everyone stares at in the parking lot on their way into work is yours. But, are the costs of having the most luxurious car really worth the marginal pride you feel from showing off this material possession? A good alternative to spending too much on a new car is getting a certified pre-used car that can comfortably get the job done. You may have to do a little research on your own to make sure that the car is not likely to break down within a couple of months after you purchase it but you should be able to save a good chunk of money. As long as a car can transport you and your family from point A to point B safely and efficiently, what more do you need from your car? Do the latest entertainment system, tinted windows, and fancy rims provide enough value in your life to validate the higher price tag?
Let me clarify the type of clothes that ARE worth spending money on first. Clothes that will be a staple of your work wardrobe are worth spending a little bit extra than the bare bones brands. This could include a properly fitting suit or two, nice button down dress shirts, and your everyday belt, socks, and shoes. Now let’s talk about the clothes are NOT worth the “designer” price tag. The clothes I’m talking about are the expensive, trendy shirt that you bought on a wimp to stand out in a crowd or the dress that you purchased for your friend’s engagement party that you will only wear once before it gets lost in your crowded closet. These posh purchases that you will are likely to not get a lot of value from in the long term are not wise investments and will hurt your bottom line at the end of each month. The fashion world changes their opinions so rapidly, what is considered trendy this week might go out of style in a month and then you are stuck with an overpriced shirt that will sit in your closet and collect dust until it looks just close enough to blend in with the next fashion fad.
This expense can be seen as almost a hybrid between the two prior expenses, cars and clothes. It captures flaws of both the purchases and combines them into a debt building outflow of hard earned cash. Does wearing the biggest ring in a packed restaurant or the most expensive watch at the office party actually add value to your life other than pleasing your vanity? Sure, sometimes a nice piece of jewelry can have sentimental value that you cannot place a price tag on but, more often than not it is extremely hard to justify the cost of a new diamond for the value it provides. Moreover, the latest fashion trend of jewelry might look great now but what happens when the style of necklace you paid too much for goes out of style? Ultimately, it would benefit you in the long run if you were to really use your bargain hunting skills when searching for the next piece of jewelry you want for yourself or significant other.
By Cameron Yusko