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What Do You Waste Money On?

Being someone who likes to be frugal it can be uncomfortable to waste money. You want to streamline your budget and keep it lean and mean. The problem, though, is that if you do not live life and try to enjoy it then you will get bored with it awfully quickly. We all waste money at some level, and if watched is of no issue. How much money is it ok to waste each month? The answer to that question is relative to your specific situation and one that my wife and I found ourselves in a few months ago.

You Can Be Frugal and Still Waste Money

Many will tell you that cutting the cable cord is a great way to lower expenses, especially if you’re looking at how to save money around the house. I have a confession to make though, we have cable and love it. Not only do we have cable, but we also added HBO a few months ago. I know, it seems counterintuitive to someone who prides themselves on being frugal but I believe that it is possible to still be frugal and waste money on certain things at the same time. When my wife and I decided to add it we looked at our budget and knew that it could withstand it and also that it offered several programs that we enjoy. While I do not agree with all of his beliefs, my wife and I love watching Bill Maher. I also love getting my Boardwalk Empire fix each week. The point is that we’re frugal in many other areas, so we can spend money on something frivolous like this as a result. At the end of the day we work hard and being able to enjoy something simple is worth the money spent in the long run.

Is it ok to Waste Money?

Again, I know this might be flying in the face of what you might normally read on a daily basis, but when done to a certain extent wasting money is perfectly fine. Mind you, I am not saying you should get your credit card and max that sucker out, but finding something you like and enjoying it from time to time. This will make life much more enjoyable and in the long run help you appreciate the things you work hard for.

How to Budget for Money Wasting

When I was wallowing in credit card debt, I was an expert at wasting money. It was a kind individual who taught me the power of having a budget in order to help me get on the right path. She gave me two pieces of advice upfront: Pay yourself first and budget money for yourself. The second thing could be on whatever I wanted; she told me to view it as a “free money” category. She said that if I did not waste money on myself on even the simple things then I would fail at my debt repayment. And you know what, she was right. The thing with this though is that you have to budget for it. After you match your expenses versus your income you should have some money left over. Take a small portion of that money and notate it as money for you. Whether it be buying a coffee once a week or going out to eat once a month, use that money for yourself and nothing else. Not only will this make life, in general, more fun, but you’ll find that you’ll appreciate it much more as you worked hard for it.

Where Do You Waste Money?

What do you waste money on? Is there something you love to spend it on that others might think to be crazy?

Image by ubrayj02 / flickr

16 thoughts on “What Do You Waste Money On?”

  1. People in the pf world seem to cringe when I tell them that we have cable (along with all the premium channels) AND Netflix. oh well I enjoy it!

    1. John S @ Frugal Rules

      I understand the feeling Michelle. I hesitated putting that in there, but I have to be honest. 🙂

    2. Ouch! I got rid of cable about 2 years ago and think my life is better since, not to mention the $1,680 (and counting) I have saved. But I am a Netflixer.

  2. I waste money on food and travel. This sets me apart from most of the financial independence and early retirement community. I really enjoy both. I don’t want to spend my life living on lentils and ramen. I’d rather enjoy a nice meat dish with a glass of wine. And I don’t want to permanently staycation. There’s so much do and see out there. I would feel bad if I passed it up.

    I just budget for my waste spending and try to keep it within that budget. I feel that’s the best compromise.

    1. John S @ Frugal Rules

      My wife and I feel similarly MFIJ. We love to travel and enjoy a nice meal from time to time. Being frugal and watching what you spend is one thing, but not living life is another. I like you’re compromise as it’s something we do as well. We run a very tight ship, but also have money set aside to spend as we wish.

  3. I don’t call spending money on “wants” a “waste” necessarily – just like not all increases in spending are lifestyle inflation. I think that spending is only a waste if you got no value out of it – like if you paid for cable and never watched it, or went out so often that it’s not special and it’s not saving you time. In that framework we basically never waste money, though we spend lots on wants.

    1. John S @ Frugal Rules

      That’s a great point Emily! The value component is a big issue and one that we look out for in our spending. I think it requires being able to discern what your motive is and if it’s just to have more, or be able to enjoy something you like that can be afforded.

    2. I think similarly. I am often happy to spend on some things that others would consider a waste. I am personally more concerned with value from each dollar spent.

  4. I don’t think I waste any money, however I do make choices that others may consider a waste. I always look for value, if I cannot find value I won’t spend it. I always take care of savings first and live on what is left so my choices may be questionable, but it is my choices.

    1. John S @ Frugal Rules

      I agree that it does often come down to value, which differs from individual to individual. Taking care of savings first is vital and frees you to be able to have more leeway with your leftover money.

    1. John S @ Frugal Rules

      Hobbies can be expensive, but they help make life more fun. I say as long as you can afford it then go for it.

  5. We budget money every month that the wife and I can use on whatever we want. We call this “Blow Money” in our budget categories. It has helped me (as the natural spender in the family) to not feel pressure to check in with her on every purchase I make. It’s pretty simple really…if I have the blow money for it, I can get it if I want it. My blow money usually goes to my running hobby or food.

  6. Great Point captured “Waste Money”. I am not waste my money but Holiday shopping movement I can’t stop my money. I think some ways where people waste money like buying
    warranties that cost as much as the product, paying fees that you could have avoided, buying after solicitation.

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