Know what kills me?
When people rationalize huge unnecessary purchases for strange reasons (when they can’t afford it) and then pinch on other things that are littler.
I’m not trying to rationalize or justify buying a huge flat screen TV or go on a $1500 shopping/dining out spree (*ahem* *raises hand*), but it’s because if you buy the TV or go on a shopping spree, you’ve done the math (like I have), and CAN AFFORD IT.
If I was still on a $60,000 salary, that $1500 spree would NOT have happened because that would’ve meant it was almost an ENTIRE bi-weekly paycheque down the drain on FUN.
Granted, the money I’m making now may or may not last, but in the scheme of how much I’m making, a little spree of $1500 is justifiable. Maybe not the brightest considering that the money COULD have been saved in an Emergency Fund or spent in a wiser manner, but at least it won’t put me into a credit card debt of $1500.
(Not only that, we can’t all be crazy budgeters working ourselves to the grave trying to save and deprive ourselves of purchases. I just happened to save up a lot of those little purchases and went hog wild at once instead of doing it gradually over the year.)
Who I am talking about in my statement above, are the the people who ARE in debt, who have BIG mortgages, who have LOWER paying jobs and are trying to penny pinch and be frugal because of what’s going on in the economy.
These people then go out and buy a flat screen TV, not from Best Buy, but from Wal-Mart because it feels more like a frugal store, and to top it off, they try to penny pinch on groceries and save $0.50 on a can of beans or cutting out their daily latte.
Those penny pinching measures on groceries or cutting out their beloved lattes are all great measures towards slowly trying to make some room in your budget and to cut the little frivolous expenses, but what good does it do if you go out and end up blowing $2000 on a flat screen TV?!?
That $2000 you could’ve saved by NOT buying that flat screen TV could probably have bought you tons of beans! MOUNTAINS!
It’s like they’re treating themselves for living on beans, and patting themselves on the back for saving $0.50 per can of beans!!!
And these people know they’re living kind of on the line.
Maybe not consciously, but subconsciously. They could have an Emergency Fund saved, but I’d bet good money on that they don’t have anything saved, because if they did, they wouldn’t be spending it on a flat screen TV they really ran the numbers on their budget and their income.
But if you can’t afford anything, and then you do some crazy shopaholic logic and justified it with math calculations over the can of beans savings but then blow $2000 on a flat screen TV before you have the cash saved up to buy it… then you’re just plain stupid.
As a side note, the worst part for me is that people pinch on groceries – the one thing that fuels our bodies to keep us going.
Instead, they buy convenience foods, thinking that spending only $9/day in 3 little frozen dinners will be enough, but forgetting that you could make much better food a lot cheaper, in a larger quantity and be able to freeze it all if you just did a little elbow grease and started cooking.
I guess I just love food too much to really understand why people would want to skimp on something that we have the pleasure of enjoying on a daily basis.