Spend Money on What Brings You Joy

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‘If there is one thing I’ve learned in the last few years, it’s that everyone spends his or her money differently, and it’s is not up to us to judge someone else for how they spend their money. We likely don’t know their financial situation and shouldn’t assume we do, plus, what does it really matter? It’s their money, not ours. As I’ve said countless times before, I love fashion and I love to shop. Someone else might care less about clothes but instead spend their money on antiques. Yet another person might collect art, and another might like to watch their money accumulate, not spending a dime. However you choose to spend your money, make sure it brings YOU joy and adds value to your life. It’s your life and your money, so spend it on what you place value on, not what others place value on.  

Some of my thoughts and tips on the topic of money:

IMPULSE CONTROL

I LOVE TO SHOP, especially online! I am a notorious impulse shopper. When I want something online, I purchase it and most of the time I don’t think it through. Now if I want to purchase something I put it in my cart for at least 24 hours. If I come back for it then I allow myself to purchase it. Having your credit card auto saved on your computer is dangerous! It may be convenient but if you struggle with spending, then don’t auto save it. Maybe by the time you type that third set of numbers in you will have changed your mind.

Think a purchase through. Just because you really want that top in the moment doesn’t mean it’s worth the money spent. My rule is in order for me to purchase something I have to be able to wear it with at least 2 different items I own. I never purchase something that has to lead to another purchase. If I don’t have the shoes to go with the top and can’t afford shoes to go with the top, then sadly I shouldn’t get the top.  If the top is going to go with everything I own and I can wear it with multiple pairs of shoes than it’s worth it! This might explain why I own so much black!

Nobody wants to deal with buyer’s remorse, so think it through before purchasing. Then, once you made the purchase, let the decision be made and move on. Most of the time, you can return a purchase if you change your mind.  Just make sure you know a company’s return policy if you’re on the fence!

PRIORITIZE YOUR SPENDING TO HELP YOU SAVE

One of my biggest goals in my early twenties was to backpack Europe. I was living in Minneapolis, which isn’t the most expensive city to live it, but it wasn’t cheap either! I was in my first ‘career’ but I was only making enough to pay rent, pay for parking, and dip into the occasional hot yoga class. At least that’s what I thought until I took a deeper look at my financials. I honestly don’t like to think about money. It’s either there or it isn’t, and I just kind of went with it. However knowing that I was going to be saving for something that I really wanted forced me to face the music and took a look at my financial situation. I had been quite careless with my money and it actually wasn’t that hard to find ways to cut corners to save the money I needed to to spend a month across the pond. I stopped drinking Starbucks, eating out, cancelled my yoga membership and got a second job. These of course, were not large sacrifices in the grand scheme of things, but it was those little luxuries that made each day a bit better. I love starting off my morning with a hazelnut soy latte, but if it meant being able to enjoy a latte in a local coffee shop in Europe, it was a sacrifice I was willing to make.  (And oh boy was it worth it!)

The key to saving money is to take a close look at your financials and figure out what your priorities are. If you are looking to save, then you have to figure out what you spend your money on and then decide what to give up. Those small savings all add up!

DON’T TRY TO KEEP UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS

I love fashion, and in my life that is my main form of self-expression. Some people don’t get it, to them clothes are just clothes. There are other people that spend their money on tattoos, artwork, travelling, or whatever their priorities are; and I may not understand why someone would purchase a piece of antique furniture when they could get an amazing pair of boots instead! My biggest piece of advice to you is: don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. I guess in this day and age it would be don’t try to keep up with the Kardashians. 

Just because someone spends their money on something that brings them joy doesn’t mean if you did the same you would be filled with that same kind of joy. Just because an acquaintance is thrilled about the Rolex they got, doesn’t mean that you would be that happy if you had one too. Don’t compare what you have to what others have. “Comparison is the thief of Joy” applies here. Figure out what makes you tick, and don’t rely on others to show you the way. I think we probably all know someone whose financial situation makes us a bit envious, but money doesn’t bring people happiness.  I know we have all heard this before, but I am telling you, It really doesn’t. I may like new clothes, and a new sweater may fill me with joy, but it’s because that top makes me feel good and allows me to express myself through fashion. If I am not a happy person to begin with, no amount of clothes is going to make me happy.  No amount of money will fill that void.

MONEY & RELATIONSHIPS

To be honest, I feel sad for those people whose goal in life is to ‘make money’. Do we all want to make money? Of course! It allows for some amazing things in life, and making more of it can make our lives much easier (for the most part). But, like Biggie said Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems. M always reminds me of that when I comment on wishing I had more, and it always helps to check myself. To be honest, I think talking about money--how much you have or don’t have--is distasteful and just makes others uncomfortable. Unless you know you are in the same financial situation as someone or you are talking to close friends, money talk should be in the same category as politics or religion (aka off limits).  All judgement should be put aside.

Gretchen Rubin, who specializes in happiness, has said that “Relationships with others is what really makes people happy.” I agree, I think our relationships with people are far more important to our happiness than our relationship with money. So, do the best you can with the situation you are in,regarding money, but don’t dwell on what you do or don’t have. Appreciate where you are in life and make the most of who you are with!

If you have any money saving/spending tips I would love to hear them!

ADVICEKasey Taube