Still spending too much on non-essentials

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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Caduceus
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Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by Caduceus » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:14 am

I just tallied up my non-essential purchases between Jan 1 and today and the amount horrified me.

I spent $1,010 on Ebay, $180 on Amazon, $51 on Overstock.com, and another $100 on a painting I paid in cash.

That's nearly $100 a month on non-essential spending. This is a bummer because I thought I had things under control.

Any tips for how you have managed to resist the temptation to spend on non-essential things?

Our family does not do Christmas presents, so hopefully there will be no spending on crap in December.
Last edited by Caduceus on Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

PFInterest
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by PFInterest » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:19 am

i spent 100 on amazon this AM.....

what is your savings rate?

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:23 am

I don’t think you can chalk that up as non-essential. I spent maybe $500 between amazon and ebay last year but it was for things like a rebuild kit for my worn out chain saw, motor oil and filters and filters, and hydraulic fluid for my tractor. All I consider essential
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Caduceus
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by Caduceus » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:26 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:23 am
I don’t think you can chalk that up as non-essential. I spent maybe $500 between amazon and ebay last year but it was for things like a rebuild kit for my worn out chain saw, motor oil and filters and filters, and hydraulic fluid for my tractor. All I consider essential
No, these purchases really are non-essential. Things like food, groceries, toiletries, lightbulbs, etc. are essential. Even things like a hard drive for offline backup I consider essential.

So these really are purchases that are non-essential. Like artwork, decorative items, small furniture items. Argh. A bit disappointed with myself.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:36 am

If it makes you or spouse happy and enriches your life, then it is essentially . . . essential. :happy

runner540
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by runner540 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:42 am

Budgeting and some limits on spending are generally good - but you may be taking it to an unhealthy extreme if you are beating yourself up about $100/month. What would that $100/month do for you otherwise? How much of your spending/saving is that? You may need a hobby, but that would cost money...

sjt
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by sjt » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:46 am

Caduceus wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:26 am

No, these purchases really are non-essential. Things like food, groceries, toiletries, lightbulbs, etc. are essential. Even things like a hard drive for offline backup I consider essential.
We have a budget category for groceries, also a separate category for household (non grocery - like lightbulbs etc). Also, we have a category for non essentials which allows for purchase of...... non essentials.

Can be used for anything, no need to justify the purchase, no need to weigh the pros and cons, but once it's used up for the month, no more non essential purchases until next month!
"The one who covets is the poorer man, | For he would have that which he never can; | But he who doesn't have and doesn't crave | Is rich, though you may hold him but a knave." - Wife of Bath tale

poor & ignorant soul
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by poor & ignorant soul » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:47 am

$100 a month? That is one family trip to the movies. ($15 per ticket +10$ food) * 4 people.

As long as you're not going into debt/climbing yourself out of debt you should be fine. Live a little!

corysold
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by corysold » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:51 am

Is your goal to spend no money on anything but what you deem essential items? That's seems a bit draconian. But if you have your reason, go for it, but there is more to life than saving every dollar possible.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:53 am

Caduceus wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:14 am
I just tallied up my non-essential purchases between Jan 1 and today and the amount horrified me.

I spent $1,010 on Ebay, $180 on Amazon, $51 on Overstock.com, and another $100 on a painting I paid in cash.

That's nearly $100 a month on non-essential spending. This is a bummer because I thought I had things under control.

Any tips for how you have managed to resist the temptation to spend on non-essential things?

Our family does not do Christmas presents, so hopefully there will be no spending on crap in December.
Let's see. $1,010 on Ebay. Solution - stop bidding on auctions. Can't do that? Close your Ebay account. https://ocsnext.ebay.com/ocs/ca

Your issue is 75.3% Ebay.

Do the same on Overstock.

Or, get counseling. I'm not kidding, if you can't stop yourself from buying things then you may need a professional's advice.

tibbitts
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by tibbitts » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:55 am

I spend tens of thousands of dollars a year on non-essentials. Finally a category I'm not last in on Bogleheads - very satisfying.

Seriously, the OP is in a sad situation where a tiny amount of non-discretionary spending is upsetting.

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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by TheOscarGuy » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:07 am

Caduceus wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:14 am
I just tallied up my non-essential purchases between Jan 1 and today and the amount horrified me.

I spent $1,010 on Ebay, $180 on Amazon, $51 on Overstock.com, and another $100 on a painting I paid in cash.

That's nearly $100 a month on non-essential spending. This is a bummer because I thought I had things under control.

Any tips for how you have managed to resist the temptation to spend on non-essential things?

Our family does not do Christmas presents, so hopefully there will be no spending on crap in December.
Do you budget? You shouldn't have waited till today for the revelation that you are spending too much on non-essentials. Keep a monthly budget. If you overspend in one category, you reduce another category to keep within budget. Example, we sometimes stop eating out, if say we spent too much on [entertainment, or alcohol or fill your own category] for the month. Once I hit my monthly budget amount, we can't spend. That's the rule.

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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by TheHouse7 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:12 am

Caduceus wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:26 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:23 am
I don’t think you can chalk that up as non-essential. I spent maybe $500 between amazon and ebay last year but it was for things like a rebuild kit for my worn out chain saw, motor oil and filters and filters, and hydraulic fluid for my tractor. All I consider essential
No, these purchases really are non-essential. Things like food, groceries, toiletries, lightbulbs, etc. are essential. Even things like a hard drive for offline backup I consider essential.

So these really are purchases that are non-essential. Like artwork, decorative items, small furniture items. Argh. A bit disappointed with myself.
Don't get disappointed with yourself. You always have the choice to sell, give, or destroy the things you don't need!

Think of it as an opportunity to clear more clutter out of your living space. :mrgreen:
"PSX will always go up 20%, why invest in anything else?!" -Father-in-law early retired.

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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by bearcub » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:14 am

Before I purchase anything I ask myself if it brings value to my life. I try to put off big or reflex type purchases for awhile. Then revisit to see if I really need it. This is my inner minimalists.LOL.

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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by smitcat » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:19 am

corysold wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:51 am
Is your goal to spend no money on anything but what you deem essential items? That's seems a bit draconian. But if you have your reason, go for it, but there is more to life than saving every dollar possible.
absolutely --- great insight.

Yooper16
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by Yooper16 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:22 am

bearcub wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:14 am
Before I purchase anything I ask myself if it brings value to my life. I try to put off big or reflex type purchases for awhile. Then revisit to see if I really need it. This is my inner minimalists.LOL.
corysold wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:51 am
Is your goal to spend no money on anything but what you deem essential items? That's seems a bit draconian. But if you have your reason, go for it, but there is more to life than saving every dollar possible.
Theses two statements sum things up pretty well. If these "unnecessary" expenses are affecting your ability to provide food, clothing and shelter for now and in the future then by all means you need to reconsider what you buy. But otherwise, $100 a month doesn't seem really crazy to me.

We've had 2 purchases that were "unnecessary" this year this totaling over $5000.--- new kayaks for our fleet and a sauna.

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Watty
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by Watty » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:29 am

Caduceus wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:14 am
Any tips for how you have managed to resist the temptation to spend on non-essential things?
With most web sites if you enter an incorrect password a few times it will disable your password and you will have to go through a password reset process. One thing you can do is to intentionally do that to disable your eBay password so that you can't make an impulse buy there as easily since if you want to buy something you would also have to take a few minutes to reset your password.

Assuming that you can afford it then one thing to do would be to budget a smaller amount for it and then stick to your budget.

If you are younger then this might sound pretty archaic but managing a budget with cash works really well for some people. For example each month you could take a smaller amount like $25(or whatever makes sense) in cash and put it in an envelope and that is your "fun money". When you want some non-essential you would have to pay for it out of that cash, if you don't have enough cash for it then you don't buy it. With online purchases you would of course have to pay for it with a credit card but when you make the purchase you would just take that cash out of your fun money envelope.

I have not seen one in years but they used to make budgeting folders the right size to hold cash and there would be a dozen compartments that you could label with budget categories like rent, food, clothing, etc. When you got paid you would just put cash into each of the sections and then as you spent money you would take the money out of the appropriate section. That is much easier than trying to write down everything you spend and enter it into a computer. If you need help with the rest of your spending you might try setting something like that for a few months to get your other spending under control too.

In addition to the money that you are spending you also have to watch out for the clutter that will accumulate over the years which can easily get out of hand. Some people have a rule that whenever they buy something they also have to get rid of something.

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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by fposte » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:33 am

What's your goal here? What makes this non-essential spending "too much"? It sounds like you don't have a written budget. Budgets are great because they tell you both when you're risking spending too much but also when you have enough to spend. Your situation could be either of those, though frankly $100 a month for nonessential spending seems on the low side to me for most people on Bogleheads. It would be for me and I'm a much lower earner than many here.

I like stuff. I buy a lot less than I used to and I'm getting rid of a lot of older stuff, which is okay by me--I didn't buy it to keep it forever. As long as I'm buying within my budget, I get to enjoy my stuff. I don't eat out or travel much at the moment, which are other areas where people do a lot of nonessential spending, and it's not like those things are inherently more ennobling than a painting anyway. Your posts suggest that you might also like stuff. I'd say create a budget--across the board, not just for inessentials--and identify what your limits are for this kind of expenditure.

If the problem is that you know you're exceeding your limits either financially or materially, then set yourself some priorities in what you shop for and change your methodologies--forbid impulse buys, or eBay purchasing, or stop storing your credit card on sites. But consider that your spending might also be okay.

Caduceus
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by Caduceus » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:40 am

Watty wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:29 am
Caduceus wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:14 am
Any tips for how you have managed to resist the temptation to spend on non-essential things?
In addition to the money that you are spending you also have to watch out for the clutter that will accumulate over the years which can easily get out of hand. Some people have a rule that whenever they buy something they also have to get rid of something.
Thank you, Watty. I managed to sell $1012 worth of stuff on Ebay/Craigslist/Amazon so far in 2018. In a sense, it has cancelled out my Ebay purchases, but it is taking up way too much time and I have decided to stop doing it. I think I will simply donate/recycle in the future and not bother selling stuff.

The reason it bothers me is that I am still in the investment accumulation stage and I think every dollar I save has a huge amount of investment utility. One of the tricks I use is everytime I see something I like, I ask: Would I rather spend $100 to have X or have one free meal for the rest of my life (assuming $100 gives something like $7 - $8 in returns). Most things fail the test. I'd rather get the meal for life. So it was surprising, given how many times I've said "NO" to things I've wanted to buy that I still managed to spend all that money.

I've also done some of the things you've suggested, like wait at least a week before buying something. Another trick I use is if I see something I like, I save an image of it into a folder where I can admire it if I want to. Most of the time I simply forget about it, and that's a buy avoided.

It really adds up quickly.

Caduceus
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by Caduceus » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:44 am

fposte wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:33 am
What's your goal here? What makes this non-essential spending "too much"? It sounds like you don't have a written budget. Budgets are great because they tell you both when you're risking spending too much but also when you have enough to spend. Your situation could be either of those, though frankly $100 a month for nonessential spending seems on the low side to me for most people on Bogleheads. It would be for me and I'm a much lower earner than many here.
It is too much in comparison to what I'm giving up. I think if I truly felt like the expenditure was worth it, the money would not be a factor. Would I rather have a painting for $100, or a free meal for life, assuming that $100 can give returns of 7 - 8%? I can't really think of anything that would pass that test. I'd take the meal for life in almost every instance.

I haven't hit my financial goals yet retirement-wise, so it feels like every dollar I save would accelerate that process. Time is running out and I would really like to be financially free by the time I'm 42.

To be honest, I've also been having trouble with spending with recent events - hearing about migrants or people in need, etc. I know we are all entitled to enjoy our lives. But if that $100 could actually help someone who needs it more than I do - it's just going down a rabbit-hole thinking like this. I just find I can't morally justify any non-essential purchase any more. I did not know that $2 buys a meal for some child in a third world country. So $100 buys four meals for life for some kid who could really do with food. When I think about it that way, and I'm standing in front of something I think I might like - to be honest, it just sucks the joy completely out of any potential purchase.

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HomerJ
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by HomerJ » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:55 am

Caduceus wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:44 am
fposte wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:33 am
What's your goal here? What makes this non-essential spending "too much"? It sounds like you don't have a written budget. Budgets are great because they tell you both when you're risking spending too much but also when you have enough to spend. Your situation could be either of those, though frankly $100 a month for nonessential spending seems on the low side to me for most people on Bogleheads. It would be for me and I'm a much lower earner than many here.
It is too much in comparison to what I'm giving up. I think if I truly felt like the expenditure was worth it, the money would not be a factor. Would I rather have a painting for $100, or a free meal for life, assuming that $100 can give returns of 7 - 8%? I can't really think of anything that would pass that test. I'd take the meal for life in almost every instance.

I haven't hit my financial goals yet retirement-wise, so it feels like every dollar I save would accelerate that process. Time is running out and I would really like to be financially free by the time I'm 42.

Thank you for the tips - good idea to delete stored credit card details on websites.
42 is pretty aggressive. Are you sure you want to live an absolute minimalist lifestyle just to hit your number that early?

Maybe shoot for 43 and then you can enjoy 10-15 years of $1000/year purchases.

A painting you love and see every day could certainly be worth more than one free cheap meal once a year. But maybe a cheaper print would indeed be the way to go.

But if this bothers you, cancel your E-bay account. I don't know how much $1000 is to you, or how far along you are on your path to meet your goals.
The J stands for Jay

JackoC
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by JackoC » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:57 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:53 am
Caduceus wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:14 am
I just tallied up my non-essential purchases between Jan 1 and today and the amount horrified me.

I spent $1,010 on Ebay, $180 on Amazon, $51 on Overstock.com, and another $100 on a painting I paid in cash.

That's nearly $100 a month on non-essential spending. This is a bummer because I thought I had things under control.
Or, get counseling. I'm not kidding, if you can't stop yourself from buying things then you may need a professional's advice.
I'm not sure about the economics of paying for counselling about overspending $100/month. And a normal non-frugalista counselor might end up focusing on why exactly a person of any income that could afford counselling would be so worried about $100/mo. Then work through that issue over time at $100/hr :D .

Income hasn't been specified but I'd say a person has an income problem mainly if a single $100/mo spending problem is a really big deal. If it was a bunch of different $100/mo problems OK. I'm not saying to ignore the issue if it's stuff the person feels they *have* to get but then gets no enjoyment from once purchased, that's a waste. But seems like there should be at least some focus on the possibility of raising income (of course impossible to tell what that potential is in this case) if $100/mo is really that big a deal.

corysold
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by corysold » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:59 am

Caduceus wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:44 am
fposte wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:33 am
What's your goal here? What makes this non-essential spending "too much"? It sounds like you don't have a written budget. Budgets are great because they tell you both when you're risking spending too much but also when you have enough to spend. Your situation could be either of those, though frankly $100 a month for nonessential spending seems on the low side to me for most people on Bogleheads. It would be for me and I'm a much lower earner than many here.
It is too much in comparison to what I'm giving up. I think if I truly felt like the expenditure was worth it, the money would not be a factor. Would I rather have a painting for $100, or a free meal for life, assuming that $100 can give returns of 7 - 8%? I can't really think of anything that would pass that test. I'd take the meal for life in almost every instance.

I haven't hit my financial goals yet retirement-wise, so it feels like every dollar I save would accelerate that process. Time is running out and I would really like to be financially free by the time I'm 42.

To be honest, I've also been having trouble with spending with recent events - hearing about migrants or people in need, etc. I know we are all entitled to enjoy our lives. But if that $100 could actually help someone who needs it more than I do - it's just going down a rabbit-hole thinking like this. I just find I can't morally justify any non-essential purchase any more. I did not know that $2 buys a meal for some child in a third world country. So $100 buys four meals for life for some kid who could really do with food. When I think about it that way, and I'm standing in front of something I think I might like - to be honest, it just sucks the joy completely out of any potential purchase.
Fair point, but how many meals did that $100 buy for the artist who painted the painting? Presumably someone made whatever you bought on e-bay. That purchase went towards their salary/livelihood. That isn't to say charitable giving isn't a great idea, but just because you buy something, that money isn't wasted. It helps whoever is on the other end of your purchase.

Of course if you don't see the value in it and would rather save the $100, that is different.

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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by stan1 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:11 am

I developed a grocery shopping strategy decades ago to stay out of the cookie and ice cream aisles. I like both but if I am tempted in the store and buy them of course I will eat them rapidly at home. My spouse does shop in those aisles but fortunately he buys Fig Newtons which I won't eat.

It may not be practical or desirable to shut off your online accounts but you can stay out of the sections containing non-essential items if you think the expenditures in question are unaffordable. Rather than complete denial maybe set an annual budget for things you enjoy? That way you'd be incentivized to look for bargains and prioritize what's most important to you.

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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by fposte » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:31 am

Caduceus wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:44 am
fposte wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:33 am
What's your goal here? What makes this non-essential spending "too much"? It sounds like you don't have a written budget. Budgets are great because they tell you both when you're risking spending too much but also when you have enough to spend. Your situation could be either of those, though frankly $100 a month for nonessential spending seems on the low side to me for most people on Bogleheads. It would be for me and I'm a much lower earner than many here.
It is too much in comparison to what I'm giving up. I think if I truly felt like the expenditure was worth it, the money would not be a factor. Would I rather have a painting for $100, or a free meal for life, assuming that $100 can give returns of 7 - 8%? I can't really think of anything that would pass that test. I'd take the meal for life in almost every instance.
If that's true, then that's fine. I definitely don't want to bludgeon people into spending money that makes them feel bad! But for a lot of us that's not completely true, and I'm not sure it's true for you either. For one thing, why the inherent measurement of painting vs. meal? What if you cut back on meal spending now to save for paintings, for instance? And since you'll always have the option of investing to get more value later, at what point do you choose to *spend* the money?
Time is running out and I would really like to be financially free by the time I'm 42.
That's an ambitious goal, but my real concern is that shifting gears away from "save everything for later" is unlikely to be easy; are you going to retire at 42 and be able to spend money to enjoy yourself, even though it could buy you free meals when you're 90?
To be honest, I've also been having trouble with spending with recent events - hearing about migrants or people in need, etc. I know we are all entitled to enjoy our lives. But if that $100 could actually help someone who needs it more than I do - it's just going down a rabbit-hole thinking like this. I just find I can't morally justify any non-essential purchase any more. I did not know that $2 buys a meal for some child in a third world country. So $100 buys four meals for life for some kid who could really do with food. When I think about it that way, and I'm standing in front of something I think I might like - to be honest, it just sucks the joy completely out of any potential purchase.
I get that, and since joy is the main reason for inessential purchases, walking on by is a reasonable response. But it's also worth thinking about the fact that it doesn't seem to suck the joy from saving and investing, and that your not buying a painting doesn't help the kid who needs to eat.

If you'd cast your original post as "Cutting to the bone to save for early retirement" or "Finding ways to up my charitable contributions," I wouldn't have thought much about it. But you cast it as a particular kind of spending in a way that makes me think that you don't have a current budget or longer projections and you might find it useful to be more intentional about what your money is for, both short-term and long-term. You know the IPS? Do an FPS (financial policy statement). Do a budget. Think about what you want your life to look like and how money factors in there, both saving it and spending it.

tim1999
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by tim1999 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:44 am

So you find a way to eliminate this $100 in monthly spending, which you feel is getting in the way of reaching your goal of being "financially free", then you reach what you deem to be "financially free" at 42. Then what are you going to do? Sit around all day trying not to spend money beyond minimalist necessities?

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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:05 am

I just set a percentage for savings. The rest of money was mine to spend. As my salary grew, I sometimes spent my money on more saving. But Idid spend on non essentials.

Enjoy life before retirement as you might not get there. Moderation.

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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by flamesabers » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:01 pm

Caduceus wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:14 am
Any tips for how you have managed to resist the temptation to spend on non-essential things?
For me it's not so much about resisting temptation but rather having the right mindset. I don't see frugalness as a form of self-punishment for a greater good (i.e. early retirement). Instead, being frugal for me is about not cluttering up my home with stuff I don't really need and not having to live paycheck-to-paycheck.

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Alexa9
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:11 pm

These may be extreme, but may be helpful
1. Remove your saved credit card info from these online shopping sites so you have to manually enter it. Change your password to something you won't remember. Delete your account, block the sites from your browser. Put your credit card in a block of ice or safe, use cash for groceries/gas/restaurants.
2. Give your significant other or family member your credit card to approve your purchases.

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LiveSimple
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by LiveSimple » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:40 pm

What is your income and saving rate.
Cannot quantify $100 / month as too much or too less without the income / saving rate.

Again, we all have to spend somewhere to keep us happy. Keep harmony in the family.

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monkey_business
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by monkey_business » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:08 pm

OP,

I hope you live a long and healthy life. However, what if you won't? What if FIRE never comes? You're working towards a good goal but don't forget that the journey to it happens during the years of your life when you are the youngest, healthiest, and most able-bodied. Denying yourself everything just for that goal has a price too.

Just something to think about.

PFInterest
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by PFInterest » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:11 pm

Caduceus wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:14 am
I just tallied up my non-essential purchases between Jan 1 and today and the amount horrified me.

I spent $1,010 on Ebay, $180 on Amazon, $51 on Overstock.com, and another $100 on a painting I paid in cash.

That's nearly $100 a month on non-essential spending. This is a bummer because I thought I had things under control.

Any tips for how you have managed to resist the temptation to spend on non-essential things?

Our family does not do Christmas presents, so hopefully there will be no spending on crap in December.
so are you not going to answer my question?

helloeveryone
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by helloeveryone » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:29 pm

Caduceus wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:26 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:23 am
I don’t think you can chalk that up as non-essential. I spent maybe $500 between amazon and ebay last year but it was for things like a rebuild kit for my worn out chain saw, motor oil and filters and filters, and hydraulic fluid for my tractor. All I consider essential
No, these purchases really are non-essential. Things like food, groceries, toiletries, lightbulbs, etc. are essential. Even things like a hard drive for offline backup I consider essential.

So these really are purchases that are non-essential. Like artwork, decorative items, small furniture items. Argh. A bit disappointed with myself.
My non-essential items are things like on-sale hiking shoes x 2 I don’t need but justify because they are 60% on sale, on sale t-shirts & button shirts I don’t need because I have more than enough, floor mats i didn’t need but they were after market fitted ones on sale that coupd replace my 3-year old ones from costco that were just fine, coffee things I don’t need but are kinda cool and not that expensive.

I know exactly what you are talking about and I can’t control it that well. My spouse spends way more on non-essential things and in the end as long as we maximize retirement savings and are not in debt beyond just the mortgage we are okay with it.

mrmass
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by mrmass » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:50 pm

For Ebay things I can only buy what I have in my PayPal account---So I sell a few trinkets first, build up the balance and then I can buy some other trickets. $0 in PayPal, $0 in purchases at Ebay.

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GerryL
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by GerryL » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:01 pm

OP:
You don't need a fancy, complicated budget. Just use the 50-20-30 plan to get a handle on what you have to spend on yourself. (You can Google it.)
No more than 50% of your income goes to essential expenses (e.g., housing, transportation, basic food and clothing)
At least 20% of your income goes to savings
The rest is for you to spend as you like.

The trick is, of course, figuring out what is essential (and fits in the 50%) and what is an as-you-like-it expense. Food is essential. But eating out in a restaurant three times a week ...?

student
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by student » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:18 pm

Don't be too hard on yourself. If such spending bring you or your family joy, $100 a month is fine provided that you already have a good saving rate.

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greg24
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by greg24 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:25 pm

$100 a month is too much? What is your income?

Don't go beyond frugality and approach being a miser. Life is too short.

Katietsu
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by Katietsu » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:38 pm

From someone who has gotten down on themselves occasionally with the same internal dialogue on non essential spending, I might retitle the post as “Not able to enjoy my income.” If the possibility of FI at 42 is realistic, then you are in a position where $1000 worth of non essential spending is perfectly financially responsible. I would do some soul searching to find out if you are lowering the quality of your life in the name of frugality. If you decide that the EBay purchases do not fit in your value system, then take the other suggestions like locking yourself out of your account.

Mr.BB
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Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Post by Mr.BB » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:41 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:36 am
If it makes you or spouse happy and enriches your life, then it is essentially . . . essential. :happy
Well said!
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

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