17 Things You Are Missing Out on for Spending Too Much

By David Ning on 12 July 2010 (Updated 11 July 2011) 23 comments

Many of us will never reduce our spending even though we know it's beneficial. We put it on our to-do list, only to leave it there indefinitely. But don't fret, you probably aren't missing much more than these 17 things. (See also: Reduce Your Credit Limits to Manage Your Spending)

1. A job you like instead of one that makes you money. The vast majority of us work because we need the income. If you have great spending habits, you can work on jobs that you are passionate about instead of one that just pay your bills. Over time, you might end up making more money.

2. A safety net for unexpected events. Accidents will happen sooner or later. You don't have to reduce your spending if you have a job that makes you oodles of money, but for the majority of us, get busy!

3. The beauty of less clutter. Do you remember rediscovering all your spending memories when you move? Unfortunately for us, most of what we buy is usually useless. If we spend less, we just have less to throw away!

4. Less clutter in the house. Forget waiting until we move. When we buy less, we have less clutter so there is more room for us to enjoy.

5. Less stress from the little costs. Gas prices are creeping up again, but I'm not too worried because it's a very small portion of how much I'm able to save every month. If I lived paycheck to paycheck, then I need to worry big time even though I can't really do much about it.

6. Ability to make investments when they are undervalued, not when money finally comes your way. Wealthy people can invest more when the market is down because they have the cash. Can you?

7. Quitting when you want. Many people want to quit but they can't. Reason? No savings and too much spending. Funny how this is as much a problem for high income earners as well as low. For some people, their paycheck is never enough.

8. Being a good example for your kids. We all want the best for our kids and want to teach them sound financial fundamentals. If we can't control our spending, how can we expect anyone to?

9. Feeling financially secure. Need I say more?

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10. Sharpening your mind. Spending less is not as easy as spending whenever you feel like. When you need to think more, you train your mind. It's like going to the gym but instead of toning your muscles, you are sharpening your brain cells.

11. Money to ride the emotional waves. When you are living paycheck to paycheck and cash flow is always tight, it is very hard to stay calm when the stock market tanks. More savings means that you are less dependent on short term results, which often translates to better long term success.

12. Less debt. No matter how you spin it, there is no good debt. Three words for you: eliminate, eliminate, and eliminate.

13. Affordability increases. Less spending equals more savings. With more at the bank, you have comfort knowing that you can afford something even if you don't end up buying it. Sounds insignificant, but this is very powerful.

14. Better interest rates. Bank managers have the power to increase your CD interest rates. The higher your savings with a bank, the higher the chances that you will be offered a better rate. (This works for online savings accounts too, so it's not just brick and mortar banks.)

15. More privileges with more assets. Wealthy clients don't just get better interest rates, they get much more attention too. This means your questions are answered more thoroughly, and your needs better met.

16. Cheaper loans. Part of our credit score is dependent upon the ratio of our available credit and the debt we carry. If we lower our spending and increase this ratio, it will translate to better credit scores, and thus cheaper loans.

17. Freedom. Spending less is not just about money but rather flexibility. Imagine saying no to your boss because you can, imagine not knowing what the stock market did because it doesn't matter, and imagine what you can do if you just reduce your spending today.

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Guest's picture

I really stick with number one. The job that you really like will give you more money than the job that gives you money. Well, having the job that you really like is like not working at all since you love what you are doing. That makes a difference when it comes to passion and practicality. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post by the way.

Guest's picture
Josh

Yeapp.. spending too much is not something very wise especially if you don't have much money hehe.. feeling financially secure is also very wise. love this article. Thanks for sharing.

Guest's picture
GeorgeP

These are all valid points - thank you! I'm wondering if the frustrations that come with not being able to buy what you want can (sometimes) overcome the benefits that come with having a job that you like a lot.

Guest's picture

The truth is that when you are content about your life (job, family, friends, and what not), you aren't as concerned about "stuff". It's not whether you can withstand the frustration at that point, because you will likely not be too stressed out about wanting to buy this and that.

Guest's picture

these are great points , I like number 8 about our kids , kids spend far too much they need to be educated and schooled on how to keep and save money . Good read I enjoyed it , a lot of valid p[oints

Guest's picture
Guest

You are also missing out on the creative solution. Necessity is the mother of invention, right? Most people solve problems by throwing money at it. Where's the fun in that? Take money out of the equation, and force yourself to find a free or low-cost solution.
With a little creativity, very often you can come up with something far better that the initial costly solution.

Guest's picture
Mark

"When you are living paycheck to paycheck and cash flow is always tight, it is very hard to stay calm when the stock market tanks."

Most people I know who live paycheck to paycheck don't have anything invested in the stock market. Otherwise, a pretty good article.

Guest's picture

Curses! I wish I had written that one :)

Guest's picture
Yappy Wow

Oh wow, no way dude now that is just way too cool.

Lou
www.privacy-tools.es.tc

Guest's picture
Guest

We are on a path to reduce our consumer debt to zero except for home and maybe cars. We didn't get into bad debt on the house though a long (2 year/1 month) bout of losing one of our better incomes, mine, led to stressful times.

I am employed and while it is 'seasonal' I haven't been let go yet and it appears my department doesn't really get furloughed unless you want to be furloughed. Woot.

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Kahalani

Great article. I'm wondering about point 15 - I've got pretty strong credit and a number of online savings accounts at a few banks, but do almost all of my banking online, which serves to keep most of the client-manager relationship out of the picture. How do you get better rates on online accounts if they don't know you in person? Thanks.

Guest's picture
MoneyNing

Discover Bank has a premium tier that gives you a better rate. You just need enough deposit. I would call your online banks and see if they offer anything in that nature. Unfortunately, when you want information that's not readily available, you still have to call and ask.

Guest's picture

hello, thanks for so concisely giving all the reasons for saving. its a v comprehensive list and reading it makes me able to verbalise why i believe in savings.

Guest's picture
Kelsey

These are great. I definitely have found that selling some of my excess clutter has really made me a calmer person because there is less stuff in my home.

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Guest

I'm not sure about number 12... "There is no good debt"... Debt that makes you money is good debt... I believe it is called Leverage. Debt that doesn't make you money (like your car loan)... would be bad debt.

Good debt would be something like a mortgage on a revenue property that is making you more money than it costs to service. Positive cashflow properties are a good use of debt.

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Guest

I thought that this was rather disappointing, these are things that everyone makes choices between having and not, very consciously. Nobody's going to go, "You mean... If I make less... I'll have less stuff?! Holy ****!"...

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Guest

During a time of incredible unemployment and stagnant wages, it may be insensitive to other's hardships to suggest they need to tighten already constrictive belts.

Guest's picture
Shaun

There are things that we don't realize until we read this blog, after reading this there will be changes in my spending habit and will prepare the unexpected expenses and make me feel more financially secure. Hope you gonna realize those things too.

Guest's picture

Thank you for an informative post - it really gave me something to think about. I guess we don't always think of the impact of spending too much - I always thought it just meant we would have less to spend but it does impact our lives in all other ways.

Guest's picture

WiseBread

Wow,

I love so many of the 17 Things You Are Missing Out on for Spending Too Much! Its hard to pick which ones I like the best, but:

2. A safety net for unexpected events.
3. The beauty of less clutter.
5. Less stress from the little costs.
6. Ability to make investments when they are undervalued, not when money finally comes your way.
7. Quiting when you want.
12. Less debt.

If a consumer can do even a few of these things on the list, he/she should be in great financial shape.

Guest's picture
FCICemily

I love the point about kids - my parents always taught me to spend sparingly and how to save so that I have the financial freedom you mention. Without parents' guidance, future generations are going to be in way over their heads!

Guest's picture

One of the reasons that people spend too much is that they don't have a clear path laid out between what they're doing now (which isn't working for them financially), and the lifestyle where their goals have been realized. Without that clear path, they write off the life of their dreams as just a wish.

Worse yet, they don't really know what the life of their dreams looks like, and they just accept that owning a home and being retired (two of the most common goals offered by personal finance tools) are the keys to financial freedom, and ultimately, happiness.

In reality, over-spending equates to giving up your ability to realize your goals.

I agree with all the points you laid out. And I completely agree that spending too much keeps your readers from obtaining these 17 benefits of wealth.

What I would encourage your readers to do is to write down what a lifestyle of financial freedom would look like to them. Put down on paper what they would do if they had the money to do it. And start making plans to realize those aspects of their ideal lifestyle.