I was recently reviewing my expenditure and realised my spending habits has really changed as I aged. Looking back, damn I lived welllll when I first entered the job market. The most ridiculous thing is that I had a more lavish lifestyle when I was younger even though I had less money to spend! It really goes to show you that how much you spend, does not always correlate with how much you earn. While I never took on any debt and I’ve always repaid my credit card balances, I could have certainly cut back on a lot of things to boost my savings rate.
Mulling over the phrase ‘Live within your means’, I think this doesn’t mean ‘oh as long as I earned it, I can spend it’, I think it actually means ‘Live within your means AFTER SAVING A REASONABLE AMOUNT‘. But it sure doesn’t have a nice ring to it…
In a nutshell, I stopped spending on things that looked good but was just not worth the price tag. I call this the Aesthetics Premium.
But if you are interested to know what exactly I stopped spending on, here’s my #MoneyStory – the 5 things I’ve stopped spending money on.
1. Fancy cocktails
Drinking out has always been expensive but often times we go to the bar for the company, for the vibe, to treat ourselves etc. But the worst purchase I used to make was ordering these overpriced fancy cocktails. To give a bit of context, most cocktail drinks range from RM25-RM50. For the same price, you could easily get 1-3 glasses of beer.
Preferences aside, I realised I never really enjoyed most of them, they tasted average but they looked good so I would take pictures for Instagram and had to eventually sip it slowly while chatting with my friends to ‘stretch my dollar’. I have stopped spending on cocktails since 2018 I think, I’d rather relax with a glass or wine or beer.
2. Uncomfortable shoes
I used to buy these really pretty heels, especially stilettos and would eagerly wear them whenever I get the chance to. But I realised that:
- Most of my friends don’t wear heels except when we go clubbing – so that means I could only wear it whenever I go clubbing
- They hurt – a lot.
I simply could not stand being in them for extended hours, but my ego wouldn’t let me walk bare-footed. So being stuck between a rock and a hard place, most of my heels ended up at the back of my closet, with leathers peeling and all. I then would feel remorse and have to throw it out. But when a special event comes along and I need a pair of heels, the vicious cycle starts again….I did ended up buying a pair of platform heels which I wore till it eventually broke off.
3. Fast fashion
I have always felt that fashion trends come and go so I would not pay a lot of money for something trendy. But because I felt FOMO anyways, I resorted to cheaper fast fashion pieces. You know the drill, poor quality clothing and jewelry never last. Especially fast fashion earrings, I used to buy so many of them but they all eventually rust and I had to chuck them out. Over time, I just realised it’s better to buy timeless pieces; invest in a really good quality pair of earrings or top, that would last you for years. Not only is it better for the environment and your pocket, but it’s just less clutter around the house.
If you asked me, what made me stop spending money on all of these things, I think it’s because life got chaotic, and the clutter just started piling up, and I looked around and thought omg I have spent all this money, space and time, trying to fill my life with things that don’t even matter or don’t last. Our spending habits always run deeper than we think...anyways I digress. I now gravitate towards good value pieces. It doesn’t mean expensive things are automatically better quality, but if it is, then it’s certainly worth the money.
4. Unnecessary Electronic Gadgets
Unless you are a tech fan and it’s your passion to try out the latest technologies and review them, I don’t think we need all of the latest tech and electronic gadgets. What made me stopped buying them is how hard it is to dispose of them! Especially laptops, even though there are tutorials on how to safely remove all of your data, you can’t know for sure. Being a tech noob, I fear that I may have done something wrong, so I just end up hoarding all of my old phones and laptops. To this day, I have my laptop from Uni – it’s been almost 10 years….
I often buy in into ‘the promise’ of these electronic gadgets – like wow these advertised functions can really change up my life. Last year I bought an electronic garment steamer and I thought – I will never have wrinkly clothes ever again! But the device wasn’t as user friendly as I expected and I realised I was just too lazy to do it anyways. So instead, I stopped buying clothes that wrinkle easily simply because it’s just not in my habit to iron and I don’t care much for it. A lot of tech and electronic gadgets have functions that seems impressive on an Ad but the question is, how much would we actually use them? Since I had my rude awakening, I’m determined to not buy any new electronics unless I truly need it or it integrates well into my life.
5. Unnecessary tableware
I know this sounds extremely random but have you ever bought bowls, cups, pots, pans – tableware/kitchenware in general and just not use them? ‘I’ll use it when I host my guests!’ ‘This looks cute’. With the rise of the Camera-eats-first-movement, I really enjoyed using cute bowls to eat, and to take pictures of my food, so I would buy these bowls that I definitely do not need. Not only are they not cohesive to my existing collection, creating visual clutter; I also barely use them – at this point I just collect them.
Since the Pandemic broke out and I rarely have any houseguests, I realised that I really don’t need any new tableware because I already have too many. This is just one of the many examples of the mindless shopping we may indulge in, not knowing it’s actually adding to the clutter in our homes.
So that wraps up the 5 things I stopped spending money on! What did you stopped buying?
Let us know in the comments and share with us your money story 🙂