When I was little I wanted so bad to be an expensive kid. What I mean by that is I just thought I needed the top brand names, brand new clothes and the hottest toys. All those great things weren’t exactly in my parents budget. At the time it was the end of the world. Now don’t get the idea my childhood was terrible because it wasn’t. I did get spoiled on Christmas, birthday and Easter by my parents when they could and my grandparents.
(Ohh Christmas pictures at JC Penny’s. I was so not a cute kid haha)
Growing up less fortunate financially had its challenges and I think it also played a large role in my spending habits when I first got my taste of adulthood and being fully in control of my finances. I don’t want to say I was deprived as a kid but as an adult if I saw something I wanted I bought it. If I had the chance for a spontaneous vacation I took it. I never wanted money to be the reason I missed out on something even a good deal. While I try not to regret any decisions I’ve made I look at them as learning experiences but, if given the chance I would go back in time and change a few of my spending habits.
Its easy to get wrapped up in material things. Having the nicest house or apartment, making sure it’s decorated to your liking, having nice new clothes, getting a nice car etc. When I first moved out I rented a gorgeous apartment probably a little above my means.
Don’t get me wrong I LOVED that apartment. But I quickly learned sharing walls and ceilings wasn’t something I enjoyed. What I didn’t realize was adding the cost of living to my budget SHOULD have put a dent in my spending habits… oops.
I started to get a little smarter and when my lease was up I moved back closer to work to save on gas and rented a house that was cheaper than my apartment. I’d still shop a lot for reasons now I’m not quite sure. Maybe I was trying to fill a void? Maybe I thought it was the adult thing to do. What’d I spend my money on? Good question. I think it was home decor, kitchen accessories, clothes, clothes and more clothes, toys for my fur children and the rest went to food and bills. A few bills that could have been avoided if I didn’t just swipe a card for everything.
(Ok so some of my monies went to Halloween and Christmas decor)
While all these things are fun and nice to have a fill voids in our lives I can 100% tell you I wish so bad I could send it all back and have more money saved for traveling and donating and giving back to communities in need. The older I get the more I cling to memories and experiences than to materialistic things. Before when I would travel I’d always need to buy a shot glass or T-shirt or something of no use to just have. I justified it as a memory. Ummm hello! That’s what that expensive smart phone in your hand is for. Take LOTS of pictures. Heck take a few videos. The memories you are making are worth far more than any novelty item you’re spending money on to bring something back.
(Those cute furbabies I just had to purchase toys for)
Same with every day life. Yes I know there are some things you actually need to purchase haha but instead of buying knickknacks save your money for experiences. Go try a new restaurant with your friends or family. Save up for a weekend trip exploring a new place! When you look back on your life you’ll begin to see the value of experiences and adventures. Materialistic things come and go but the time and adventures you took to actually live your life will not only stay with you. They’ll help you grow as a person. Traveling can be a very humbling experience. It can really make you appreciate the life you have and also help you dream up a life you never knew existed!
Are there any areas in your life where maybe you’re throwing money out the window? Are there things you have in your home that are cluttering your life? Maybe not. Maybe you’ve been financially fit and smart if so awesome! If you’re not though and feel like you’re struggling or in a slump go back through your spending habits. Where can you start saving? Are there excess clothes you can donate? Maybe you have extra house furnishings you could sell. Start a challenge with yourself or your significant other. See how much you can save up in a set amount of time and plan a thrifty adventure with the money. Where will you go? If you try this out please let know and drop a picture below of a place you traveled or something you were able to contribute with the extra funds!