When I first started my financial overhaul several years ago, I made a lot of of lifestyle changes. I quit going to Starbucks for overpriced lattes, I temporarily quit traveling (this was painful), cut coupons, (hated this) and started thrifting for my clothes. Though I’d never been reckless with money, I was certainly guilty of being thoughtless, especially when it came to my spending habits at the mall. I ultimately determined that changing my shopping habits was a necessary step and would save thousands of dollars every year.
Looking back, instituting a travel ban to the mall was the best thing I ever did for myself. Though thrifting is certainly more time consuming, the ultimate result is no different. I have a closet full of clothes that I love. But I paid thousands of dollars less.
In financial speak, clothes depreciate. They wear out and go out of style, and if you’re like me, they’ll endure too many spills. They are not a good investment! On the contrary, thinking about the ways I could build wealth with the thousands of dollars I could save every year was transformational. (Compound interest is magic)!
With our spending choices, we essentially throw away money or pave opportunities to create more of it. Sometimes “throwing away money” can be justified. For instance, travel is still one of the few things for which I am willing to “lose money.” To me, the benefits outweigh the “loss.” Personally, I couldn’t say the same for expensive clothes.
Ultimately, we all have to weigh our individual priorities and live accordingly. But the reality is that every time we’re at a cash register, we are charting our financial future. Choose wisely!