Americans have an insatiable appetite for spending money on all things new and shiny.
Just look at the lines when a new iPhone is released, or Thanksgiving Day Christmas shopping, or our habit to buy a new dress for every event when we have dresses in our closets.
You don’t need to spend all this money, especially because stuff does not appreciate in value. You are better off putting money in your retirement fund.
Instead of buying tons of new stuff, like phones, that are basically obsolete the minute you take the out of the store, I invite you to look for ways to save. I know most of us need phones for our work. But you can buy refurbished Apple products or pre-owned clothes or even borrow accessories. That’s what I do, so I can save money for retirement. Read “The Millionaire Next Door” if you have not already!
I recently bought a pre-owned Fitbit because I wanted a watch while I work with clients. I have two watches — one from my grandmother and one that used to belong to my husband. They are too nice to wear while I help people declutter their dirty attics.
I did not want to buy a new Fitbit — just like I never buy new cars. It’s not worth the money to me. So I researched the one I wanted — an Alta — then I went on a Facebook sale sight and searched for it. I found it. Bought it. And I saved $30.00.
I wanted a new phone with a bigger screen. I have had an iPhone 4 for several years. Again, I did not want to spend $650 for a phone because that is not where I want to spend my money. A friend told me Amazon sells refurbished phones. So I found one for half the cost of a new one. Savings: $300.00
I also go to the library. My book club recently selected “Lights Out” by Ted Koppel. Instead of buying it, I checked it out. Savings: About $20.00
This past weekend, I attended the Visual Art Exchange Gala, where they encourage you to dress “artsy.” I wanted to wear a fascinator with my outfit, but I did not want to buy one because I will likely never wear it again. I went on a local mom’s Facebook page and asked if a mom had one I could borrow. Sure enough, someone did — she had bought for a Kentucky Derby party. I picked it up on Thursday and returned it on Sunday. It was fabulous. Savings: About $40.00
I encourage you to get creative on how NOT to spend. Focus on saving your money and investing it. Just in this post, I have saved $410.00. Imagine what that will be in 40 years with compounded interest in my retirement fund.
I promise you will be happier and richer in retirement if you save now instead of buying that fascinator that will sit in your closet, collecting dust.