When is it NOT okay to spend money?

The blog A Young Pro had this year-old article in his Twitter feed recently.  The title: “When is it Okay to Spend Money?” (link broken 10/2014)

He recounts the story of a really bad week with his car.  He gets in an accident, and then locks his only set of car keys in the car, while the car was running.

If it were I, the only thing more depressing would be finding out that my daughter has started listening to Hanson.

But then there’s “the list”

So, naturally — and reasonably! — he wrote a list of things that, to him, were worth spending money on.

And, naturally — and reasonably! — “spare keys” was at the top of the list.  (That was his only set that he locked in his car!)

Completely for fun, though, I’m going to take his list, and turn it upside-down.  I’ll argue that these are awful things to spend money on.

  • Spare keys.  Your car is on its last legs.  Why buy an extra set of keys?  It’s going to the junkyard anyway.
  • Real Estate.  I can rattle off three people that I know personally who have been foreclosed on.  And how many people got burned in 2008 with the real estate crash?
  • Work Clothes.  Unless there’s a uniform, who are you trying to impress?  Your materialistic peers?
  • Transportation for Work.  Why are you traveling so far?  Time is money, man!  Have you never heard of telecommuting?
  • “Experiences” with my Wife and Daughter
    • Movies.  Overpriced concessions, sticky chairs and floors, and excessive advertising are “experiences” I can do without.
    • Travel.  We’re sitting in a car, or being groped by the TSA, or being handed our airline ticket prices from a roulette wheel.  All to stand in line for 3 1/2 hours to see the freakin’ Frozen princesses.
    • Trips to the Zoo/Aquarium.  Remember, pandas are bears.  And tigers are not just big versions of Morris.  You’ve been warned.
    • Family Ice Cream.  Two words:  lactose intolerance.
  • School.  Isn’t this one self-explanatory?  Let’s get tens of thousands of dollars into debt just for a glorified (job) hunting license.
  • Professional Training.  Congratulations!  We certify that you paid money for the training we delivered to you.
  • Stocks/Bonds/Mutual Funds.  Risky/risky/risky.
  • Insurance.  We, as your insurance company, will ensure that we will do everything in our power not to pay you.
  • Food.  (OK, this one I can’t turn upside down without being mean.

It’s all about context!

John Wedding

Husband. Father. Web publisher. Musician. John has blogged at Mighty Bargain Hunter since 2005, helping people to recognize life's good deals.

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