The Purchase Not Taken

by Katy on July 6, 2008 · 2 comments

I had a friend in high school who spent a lot of money on clothes. I remember how she would gloat, “look at this $350 dress I got for only $75!” In her mind she was saving $275, in my mind she’d simply blown $75! (Babysitting was $1.25 an hour in those days, so $75 represented a lot of diaper changes and mind-numbing Candyland games!)

It’s easy to solely focus on the money saved with a purchase. But your bank account doesn’t know how much you saved, it only knows how much you spent.

I have certainly been dead guilty of this outlook.

I go into a thrift store and see a $75 whatever-ma-thingy, that’s now priced at $10.

“Wow, what a deal, can’t pass that up!”

But $10 spent is still $10 gone from my wallet.

Because I never would have actually bought the item at the original price, there’s no actual savings.

So next time you’re passing that tempting clearance aisle, try adjusting yourself to this mindset: 

Money spent is money gone. It doesn’t matter what the original price was. The perceived savings is only valid if the item/service is something you would have bought in the first place.

Your money is precious, and not just because the price of a good babysitter has risen slightly.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Andy Goodell July 6, 2008 at 6:01 am

Definitely. I stopped buying everything because I realized that even buying things that are super deals was still adding up to more money than I wanted to spend. Sales are just scams anyway.

I use this sort of logic with gas also. Just because someone bought a hybrid doesn’t mean they saved any gas. There is no way to *save gas* just ways of using less. I use a gallon a month now, but I didn’t save any for later.


Diane July 7, 2008 at 1:10 pm

I have been on a reduced consumption lifestyle for many years. Unfortunately, I started selling on eBay for awhile, and it brought the stuff back in. I stopped selling on eBay because I felt like I was contributing to the consumption problem. I wasn’t selling things people actually needed.

I am happy to see simple living becoming popularized, and hope it’s not just a fad. It’s really not as hard to find a life outside of “stuff” as people think, it just takes a little practice. I love the feeling of not being a slave to “stuff”!

Also, there’s no such thing as “free”, but we’ll discuss that later!

Take care and thanks for the info!


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