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Before you go to the cashier, do you ever stop to wonder if your purchase is worth it? Many people assume that whatever they buy is an absolute must, at least in the moment. However, they might start regretting or lamenting their choice just hours afterward. For example, a man who buys a Corvette might be smiling as they leave the car dealership. However, as he notices how much it costs to maintain, fuel, and repair, he might second-guess himself.
In other words, these people make poor spending choices or decisions. It might look like a good idea at the time, but they eventually find out otherwise. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t enjoy a nice latte or get a fancy shirt. Those are ultimately your choices. What I am saying is that they shouldn’t be as much of a priority as you might imagine.
Contrary to popular belief, finance isn’t hard because you lack the funds. You might think that your paycheck is too shallow or your earnings are too small for your liking. Well, I’ve seen my mother work three jobs at the same time just to make ends meet. Was it easy? Not at all, but she did manage to earn enough cash to buy a house. You could say that the finances weren’t good, but she eventually made all that hard work pay off. So perhaps it’s not that you’re earning poorly in life. Instead, the problem could be that people don’t know how to spend wisely.
When you talk about spending money wisely, it’s not just about buying the cheapest product. Instead, it’s about learning how to invest your money to make a worthwhile purchase, one that can last you for years to come. Sometimes, people get so caught up on what they want that they forget to afford what they need.
If you want to learn how to spend money wisely, you need to know what your priorities are. Does a box of video games or a nice steak dinner sound better than paying off your rent? Obviously not! Yet many people claim that buying the former won’t hurt at all. It might not in the next day, but it can drastically affect your savings. So, if you want to spend wisely, you need to keep in mind what matters most. Yes, you might have to sacrifice a good meal or a fun game. However, if it means you can cover your bills or your mortgages, you’ll be able to enjoy a happier life than you would as a heavy spender.
How you behave with your cash demonstrates your spending mindset. Some people just go with the flow and spend on what they see. Others, especially those who know how to spend money wisely, think ahead. They try to see the best outcome of each purchase and how they can get there. To see how they work, here are the signs that someone is spending wisely.
If you or your friends make sure to foresee what expenses are ahead, then you can plan accordingly. A wise spender is someone who can understand the potential costs of their plans and how they can be handled. For example, a vacation to Miami Beach sounds fun but there’s a lot of expenses that can happen. You’d have to consider transport, lodging, and daily meals. If someone thinks ahead by coming up with a good budget, that means they know how much they want to spend. More importantly, it helps them avoid making any unnecessary purchases, like a fancy watch or a new set of shoes.
Some people will look at your spending habits and call you a Scrooge. They might think you’re wasting too much fun for the sake of money. Words like that might make you feel ashamed if you’re not spending to be with them. However, building your financial future doesn’t mean you have to join the crowd. The truth is simply that everyone has different priorities in life. Your friend could enjoy the night life, whereas you’re more concerned about making rent and covering your debts.
If you focus on your needs, you start to learn how to spend money wisely. Remember, not everyone’s advice applies to everyone else. You can’t assume that your needs are less important because of what others think. If you care about saving money or cutting down expenses, focus on what you have to do. Those who understand you will gladly see your point of view and respect your choices, even if it’s not “fun”. Those who don’t are people you can cut off from your life. If they can’t respect your financial moves, then you shouldn’t feel bad for letting them leave.
The best sign of a wise spender is a self-aware spender. Knowing how you like to spend your money is the first step to understanding the holes in your financial plan. There might be hobbies or tendencies that cost you a lot more cash than you expected. By realizing that, you can start to make smarter spending choices in your life.
For example, you might be someone who enjoys eating out. While the occasional meal at a restaurant is good, it’s not ideal to go out every week. That’d be like buying Christmas gifts for every month of the year. If you notice that you’re going out more often than you should, you can start to work on new habits or different methods to meet your needs. Perhaps you can learn how to cook your own meals at home or make meal preps. This way, you can eat with a smaller budget and control your health and money in one go!
Now that you can see the signs of a wise spender, it’s time to put the idea into practice. To help you understand how to spend money wisely, here are ten practical purchases I like to get. I find that each of these items can make a big difference in my spending and my finances. Here’s how they work and how you can use them to your advantage.
People often believe that millionaires or rich people have gigantic wardrobes, filled to the brim with fashionable sets. Personally, I am not big on buying fancy clothes of any kind. You might think that means I don’t like branded clothes, but that’s not exactly true. I think that the quality of clothes is more about its function, not its logo. So, while branded clothes can be useful, you gotta know which ones are worthwhile. Spending money on the right types of outfits can help you sustain a wardrobe for years and save your wallet from heavy costs.
For example, you can buy shirts and polos in basic colors or with a nice pattern. They don’t need to carry quotes or be made of expensive materials like silk. Instead, a reusable shirt in good quality can be worn on any occasion and go with any outfit you have. If I have a nice black shirt, I know I can use it when I’m in business meetings, at public forums, or during a family vacation. That much use can be more worthwhile than any fashion show dress good for one night.
You might be surprised by just how much people spend on their water. Imagine how many times someone might go to the supermarket to get a large gallon of drinking water. Not only does that add up to an expensive venture, but it also brings lots of plastic in the environment.
Think ahead by using an effective water filter instead. A water filter lets you use the tap for all your drinking needs. It’s a one-time purchase deal, compared to the multiple times you’ll buy bottled water in your local area. Of course, if you live somewhere where drinking water is scarce, then it’s easy to see why bottled water works. However, if you can make use of the tap, why not make use of a water filter and save yourself repeat trips to the store?
The last thing you want is to face an emergency with little to no funds. Imagine that you get into an accident or fall down the stairs. Not only is that painful, but it’s also costly. The hospital bills will hit you hard, while car repairs can cost hundreds of dollars. You don’t want to be the one who has to carry all that expense, especially if you need to provide for your loved ones.
If you want to know how to spend money wisely, look at the power of insurance. Whatever financial situation you have, being able to afford insurance is a big help. The right plan can help you pay monthly installments that cover any serious emergencies or problems. For example, health insurance can take care of your treatment for a broken leg or a viral infection. In other words, as long as you pay on time, you’ll be saved from both a health threat and a giant bill.
I know that many people today, especially since the start of the pandemic, have operated on a “work-from-home” basis. In other words, much of their work is now happening through their laptops or through their home offices. Many of the people I work with happen to stay at home and handle all their businesses, from writing to recruiting, from their bedrooms.
That’s why I think it’s also a smart move to invest in really good WiFi. Internet service can make or break your work life and your earnings. Imagine if you need to send an important file, only for the internet to shut down or slow down. It’s infuriating and it can cost you your job. By paying for good, trustworthy WiFi, you can save yourself the mental strain of looking for another job or signal.
With the pandemic, people needed something beyond the usual Netflix or YouTube series to occupy their time. I know of many friends who signed up for Audible or SkillShare for the first time because of it. The problem is that they were not using these apps effectively. Some gave up on their subscription after a month, while others don’t use them for more than an hour a month.
If you want to know how to spend money wisely, you should also understand how to pay yourself forward. These apps can give you access to new skills or hobbies that can help you expand your portfolio. You can find a lot of educational classes and lesson plans that teach you something you can use in the future.
For instance, SkillShare offers classes in digital marketing. You can complete the course or focus on a specific subject, like graphic design or social media. What you learn can help you venture into new business ideas or job opportunities. You could also use these apps to learn more about different subjects, like psychology or economics. The more you learn, the more you equip yourself with ideas for improving your life.
People think that having a car is the best possible insurance you can have. They like to imagine that a good car gets you anywhere and makes your life much easier. However, that depends greatly on the lifestyle a person has. If they often travel for work or use a car for work-related purposes, then that’s a fair investment.
Now, what if you live in a city with public transport or you live near your workplace? Does a 15-minute walk sound so hard that you need your own convertible for it? You can learn how to spend money wisely on transport if you think of the other answers. Riding the train or the bus can help you save money and avoid the headache of monthly vehicle insurance. You could also try biking or walking to work to keep yourself in decent shape. This way, you can cut costs and be more active in your daily lifestyle.
Aside from a water filter, you can also cut down on the way you eat and drink in your life. Some people think that living on takeout is the way to live. However, you might be spending a lot more money on the food you get. Plus, eating fast food all the time will get you serious health problems.
Instead, consider buying your food in bulk. Don’t just buy a delicious meal or steak in the boxloads. It’s best to buy ingredients in bulk, like milk or eggs, if you use them regularly. You could also try cooking your own meals and prepping them ahead of the week. By taking initiative and handling your own food, you cut out a lot of bad options from your diet and learn a new skill!
One look at me and you might be laughing at this advice. I get it, I don’t look like I have a lot of hair. You might not think this advice applies to everyone, and that’s a fair point. However, I actually cut my own hair and I like to maintain it this way. I learned from both my youth and my time in the military to use clippers and cut my own hair this way.
If you’re asking how to spend money wisely with clippers, here’s the simple answer: you don’t need to wait in a barbershop for hours to get a good haircut. There are plenty of haircutting lessons online that use only clippers and scissors to get the style you want. Some people might enjoy a fresh buzzcut, while others prefer pompadours or other hairstyles. Still, you’d be surprised how much you can save by doing it yourself, instead of waiting for a seat with the barber.
I have met people who go to the nail salon or spa every two weeks. I’m not saying that you should neglect your nails or stop caring for your hair. However, I do stress that not everything has to happen at the shop. I have three daughters who learned how to care for their appearances and style themselves. They manage to do it comfortably and without spending too much. If you want to go to the shop, that’s your choice. All I’m saying is that you should be mindful of how much you spend.
Surprisingly, there are ways to cut down on the utilities in your house. You might think that paying for electricity or water is inevitable and you’d be right. However, you don’t need to bind yourself to every utility that exists. For example, a dishwasher sounds like a fabulous idea. However, is it really as effective as washing the dishes yourself? You could easily save a ton of money by getting a good soap and dishwashing liquid to last you three or more months. Not only do you cut down your electricity bill, but you also avoid paying for repairs or delivery fees.
Ultimately, utilities can be handled in other ways. If you want to get a washer and dryer machine, I understand. That said, are you sure there aren’t ways you can clean them up or handle them yourself? For example, clotheslines are much cheaper than your dryer and under the sun, they can easily dry your clothes as fast as the machine. So, rather than looking for devices to solve your problems, consider the ways you can afford your needs. Sometimes, a bit of labor can save you a lot of money.
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