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Day 10 Frugal Living Challenge: Stop Spending Money Trying to Impress Others

February 22, 2012

At the beginning of her post on this day of the Challenge, Andrea shares a quote that I had to share as a Facebook status because of it’s truth:

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.”  ~Will Smith

Amen to that! I think the reason we as individuals continue to do this is because there is an innate quality that has persisted in our society to continually raise our social status. While there is nothing inherently wrong with that, it can be so detrimental when we do it for all the wrong reasons. Example: Saving or spending money for a better/ more reliable car = good. Saving or spending  money to buy a more expensive car because your neighbor or family member just bought one = bad. The key here is doing what is right for you, not for anyone else. You have to understand PERCEPTION. There is no REAL pressure for you to buy anything. It’s all in our heads.

It is no understatement that it is the unseen qualities of a person that impress us. Andrea gives us a great list of thoughts to help us realign our minds (and pocketbooks) with what is at the heart of what impresses others the most:

  1. Give freely of your time and energy
  2. Prioritize family
  3. Discover and develop your gifts
  4. Put off consumerism
  5. Speak encouraging words
  6. Find time to listen to others
  7. Be inspiring!

Daily Goal: Write down ways in which you can stop spending money trying to impress others.

Me: A few years ago we were stuck firmly in that trap! When we were getting married we thought we had to do just what everyone else was doing (so it seemed). So we wound up with a huge house in the ‘burbs. Not a smart choice on our part. We would do better closer in to the city, in a much smaller house for our little family of three. But for the next few years, we are here, and there are some things we do WITHOUT trying to keep up with the Jones’.

  1. We don’t need to buy new, big stuff for entertainment. One night recently we had the best time (with the TV off), trying to see who could throw a cat toy over a ceiling fan blade. And it was a homemade cat toy at that. Tons of laughs, no cost, and no competing.
  2. We repurpose clothing. If there is something that can be reworked for longer wear, I make it. There are some things I can’t do, or don’t have the patience to do- like make new bras.  There is a national department store who recently started slashing their prices by at least 40% near us, so if there is something I need new, I start there on the seriously marked down racks. Brand names are not important to us.
  3. I make homemade gifts. This is usually for adults because they more easily understand the effort that went into it. Kids are constantly marketed to for the newest, biggest toy and typically don’t see the value in homemade. I was getting close to being crazy Aunt Clara from A Christmas Story for a couple of years. Remember the pink bunny suit? Yeah, I got a couple of looks like that.
  4. We try to control our impulse spending. Not to beat that topic to death, but when we started to seriously control our impulse purchases, do some research first on what works best for US, and wait before we buy, we started saving money.
One Comment leave one →
  1. February 22, 2012 7:32 pm

    You sound like you’re doing pretty well so far!

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