Money is all about perspective. Something can feel like a great deal, but is it still a great value for your money when you compare it to what those same dollars could have purchased? I have tried to shift my thinking about shopping in this way recently. I appreciate what buying $350 looks, and feels like. And, know I love the difference. But, will I feel need to spend it as much if I emphasis with myself all other ways I could be spending those dollars? The value of $35 vs $350 in the category of shoes is a tangible difference that is easy to know. But, sometimes other uses for that $350 is not as easily envisioned. If I order one less $8-$15 cocktail while I am out for dinner it could make an impact in a long-term savings goal. If I focus on that $8-$15 as a tangible piece of a long-term goal like an international vacation and view that “trade” of a cocktail for one of my coffee’s in Paris, I might be able to order one less drink when I am out, one less probably mediocre dessert, one less makeup item I probably don’t need to replace something, etc. But, the bigger problem is that I have a wishlist of much pricier things that even those dinning items and I am here to conquer it with opposing tangible things that are a better value for my money in the longer term. Because, damn, it has been hard recently to not see such things as a “necessity” even thought we all know they aren’t truly required in life, so I am hoping this exercise will help me let them go and see them as simply “wants.”
Want: A custom closet – $1000 and up
Need: Achieve my goal of saving $50,000 for a home down payment before I am 30
Want: West Elm Box Frame Coffee Table with Marble Top – $499 plus delivery, taxes, blah blah
Need: Pay off my remaining $4,900 in student loans before the end of the year, like a BOSS
Want: DOMA Razzle Dazzle Leather Jacket – $946
Want: To upgrade to an Iphone 6 – $649 and up
Need: Save for “funner” short-term goals like an international vacation, and camera equipment for the forthcoming YouTube channel.
Now I just need to remember these things when making smaller unnecessary purchases, eh, Sparkle? Tweet me you biggest want vs need! Let’s spend better together this year.