Living a Life that’s Not About Stuff

“No one is going to stand up at your funeral and say,

‘She had a really expensive couch and great shoes.’

Don’t make life about stuff.”

I am convinced that we don’t need as much money as we think to live. The problem is, there is a certain “standard of living” that we, as Americans, can easily start thinking we “deserve”.

Let’s start living a life that’s not about stuff.

“It’s not what we take up in life, but what we give up, that makes us rich.”

Today I want to challenge you to start living a little simpler.

We all have different weaknesses, but we all have them. Whatever yours is, learn to do without. Say NO to yourself.

Watch out for the following pitfalls!

Internet Shopping

This one can be oh so hard in our Amazon age! And the internet is amazingly helpful for conveniently getting things that legitimately need. The only problem is, it can also be conveniently helpful for getting things we don’t need at all!

Personally, I need to not shop for clothing online unless there is a specific item I need and am looking for. Otherwise, I could literally buy a different dress every single month. Any of you girls identifying? For some of you, it’s those sites with those amazing “only for one day” deals, or buying books or movies, and the list could go on. Whatever it is, even your online shopping needs to be strategic and not impulsive!

Use online shopping to your advantage, but be careful with it. I personally love shopping online, I just try to be careful to stay within budget and not buy impulsively, especially “deals.” There is nothing wrong with thinking about a purchase overnight and waiting to click the “purchase” button. You may decide not to get it, or you may be more convinced than ever that you really do want to make the purchase!

Thrift Stores

Just don’t go to them every time you feel like it. It’s ok. Someone else needs the “amazing finds” worse than you do. When you do need something, go with a list, and a friend or sister if you need accountability.

Going out to Eat

Choose your eating out carefully and sparingly. It really adds up! I grew up hardly ever going out to eat, so it’s always been something I viewed as a rare and special treat. I want it to always be that way. Food made at home is so much healthier and more affordable, and when you only go out to eat every once in a great while, it is that much more special!

Buying Clothes and Shoes

I have seen that this one can be a biggie for girls and guys alike. Set a budget amount and stick to it.

Also, SIMPLIFY your wardrobe and you will need to spend a whole lot less. 30 pairs of shoes and 50 outfits will complicate your life and ruin your budget.

Getting coffee

As mentioned earlier, this can be a big money drain! Two lattes per week (@ $4.50 each) adds up to almost $500 PER YEAR! Now, I am not saying it’s sinful to buy coffee drinks. I just want you to count the cost and decided how much you should really be spending on it. Again, if you greatly limit yourself, that latte once per month will seem pretty luxurious!

Hobbies

For some of my brothers, they can easily spend a whole lotta money at Scheels! They are avid hunters, and as any hunter knows, it isn’t a cheap sport. My hunter brothers have an actual “hunting category” in their budget every month, and enjoy it to the fullest!

Others may like buying a ticket to a football game, or going golfing, and the list goes on. Be careful about these expenses and make sure that what you are spending on hobbies is in line with your life priorities and financial goals.

Entertainment

With 50 million US subscribers (at a minimum of $96 per year for a subscription), Netflix has found a niche in a society that is crazy about entertainment. While entertainment is not wrong in and of itself, the message of the entertainment and the price at which it comes can have serious spiritual and financial implications.

Even if you don’t have Netflix, be careful about spending money on entertainment. Amusement parks, dvd’s, iTunes, etc add up incredibly.

Thank you all for joining me for another Money Monday! Which one of the above pitfalls struck a chord with you?

I am excited to be back on here next Monday talking about investing! If you have questions you want me to answer, leave a comment or shoot me an email.

-Allison

 

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15 Comments

  1. Hey Girl!
    Thank you so much with addressing finances!
    I am really enjoying what you have to say on this topic!
    Keep it up!
    Rae Rae

  2. Buying drinks is a big one for me. We have a great Caribou coffee here and I like buying Blizzards from DQ, or coffee/cappuccino from Holiday. I am amazed at how much that adds up! Thanks again for this! Very helpful!

  3. It doesn’t necessarily fall in any of your categories, but food is definitely my weakness. I don’t like shopping at all, but when it comes to dairy products, that’s when I can go crazy. I haven’t decided if working at a cheese shop helps or hinders. 😂 This was just another good reminder that I need to keep working at my self-control! Most of the time when I “must have” something right now, if I wait awhile on it, I find that not only it wasn’t necessary, but I forget about it (most of the time). I’m looking forward to your investing post!

  4. I have really enjoyed these weekly finance posts! As a student and dealing with a lot of costs and no income presently, I am determined to spend carefully! I have found making a budget is so important and really fun and am doing the cash in the envelope method for the different spending categories and find it so rewarding to be able to minimize spending as much as I can! Thank you Allison for sharing these tips! So much truth!

  5. Really good reminder, Allison!! My pitfall would be thrift store shopping, though I’ve been trying to do a lot better (i.e, staying off the skirt aisle if I don’t need any skirts! ;)). I’m trying to better differentiate between what I really need, or what I just want.

  6. A big spender for me used to be eating out and Amazon shopping. But I learned that it’s much healthier to eat at home and I realized that money stays in the wallet alot longer that way.

  7. Oof, your statement about impulsive purchases, even when they’re “deals” really resonates. My personal weakness is books. I need to work at being more consistent at implementing this rule, but a friend suggested leaving whatever thing you wanted to buy in your cart for three weeks. After the three weeks have passed, re-assess. Do you still want the thing? (Personally, this is a little tricky because almost always, yes, I still want the book. So I need to really just set a book budget and stick to it. But it did help me majorly curb my spending on clothes and trinkets.)

  8. I’m curious about how you view spending on productive hobbies, like knitting or sewing, if they result in creating necessary items. For example, I love to knit socks, but the yarns I prefer are quite expensive. I have been known to buy too much yarn at once, but it gets used to make birthday, holiday, and other gifts for people pretty often. I also make a lot of hats for people. Do you think this counts as an extravagance, or as a justifiable expense?
    I used to make jewelry as a hobby, but I have since turned it into my business, which is how I support myself now. Before it was my livelihood, I definitely spent a lot on it, but I kind of think of that expense as the equivalent of a trade school tuition, since it led to my ultimate career, though I didn’t know I’d be going in this direction at the time. As badly as I need to learn to stick with a budget and live well below my means, I’m not sure if I’d have ever developed the skills I need for my career if I had not been extravagant with my hobby before I decided to turn it into my career. It was like an investment in my future. I’m interested in your thoughts on this.

    1. That’s a really good question, Amanda! I really like what you said here:
      “I kind of think of that expense as the equivalent of a trade school tuition.”
      I think that can definitely be true. I also spent some significant amounts of money on jewelry making supplies before I turned that hobby into a business. I bought a lot of beads and ended up selling very little beaded jewelry and going another route with the scripted vintage jewelry. But the entire cost was still probably less than a beading class would have been, and the result was the same- learning a skill, having a fun + productive hobby, and ultimately learning that my passion wasn’t in beading.
      I would just suggest that you look at your overall budget and figure out how much extra money there is for the yarn and crafting supplies you want to buy. You can totally look at this money as not only going towards gifts, but also something you really enjoy, that is a whole lot more productive and valuable than other things like entertainment you could spend it on.
      You may also be able to find some of your favorite yarns at garage sales, thrift stores, or online for less. JoAnns and Hobby lobby also have various coupons online, or by signing up to receive their offers. And maybe you already do that.:) Just an idea incase!

  9. Although the “bling” tends to be tempting, I don’t buy jewelry; I just don’t find it worth it. I’ve also started to make lunches for the week at home, so I am not tempted to buy food at school.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!