It seems that everywhere I look I see people frivolously spending money. It honestly seems like money might be burning a hole in some peoples pockets with the frequency they spend it. Sometimes it is only small items like cups of coffee or bottled water, but sometimes it is larger purchases like cars or swimming pools.
Since my son has been born and our family income has been reduced to only 1 wage my wife and I have been extra cautious on how much and where we spend our money. It makes sense to me to conserve your money where possible, but it is heightened when you have a 40% drop in income over night and an added expense in a new baby. Plus being at home all the time helped to shelter me from the outside world and the excessive spending that occurs in most peoples daily lives.
So when I returned to work after my long service leave I was reintroduced to what can only be described as consumerism gone mad. It wasn’t the company that was wasting money, but my co-workers. One of my colleagues buys a bottle of water every morning at around $2 a pop. That is $10 a week and $520 a year for something that is free out of the tap (we even have chilled water out of the tap).
Another colleague is trying his best to stop his wife from buying a pool. I feel really sorry for the guy, one day his wife wakes up and decides they need a pool that is going to cost $30,000 despite still owing around 80% on their mortgage. To me it seems like a colossal waste of money which may actually devalue their house. Many people immediately overlook houses that have pools when they are looking to purchase a property due to the ongoing maintenance.
I often sit there and wonder how any of my work mates ever get ahead when they always seem to be buying things that they either don’t need, or could be getting for free or at a much reduced price. As far as I can tell none of them really enjoy work to the point of being a workaholic, but with their excessive spending they will all be there for far longer than they have to. I actually wonder if they realise just how powerful the effects of compound interest can be both when you have debt and when you are accumulating wealth?
For me personally, the biggest thing that I waste money on is almost certainly Alcohol. I don’t need it, but I do enjoy having a beer or two on a Friday night when we normally have people over. In total I probably spend around $50 every 2 months on beer so about a dollar a day.
What do you spend money on that you don’t have to?