Monday, January 07, 2008

What's Necessary?

Yesterday I spent some time writing out several financial goals for the future. Some are specifically for this year, but most are long-term goals. Not only did I write out some goals, but I also wrote down ideas for reaching those goals.

One of my long-term goals is to reduce my spending--much easier said than done! For starters, I've decided to commit the next month (beginning yesterday) to making only necessary purchases.

Of course, that begs the question, What exactly is a necessary purchase? There are certainly some purchases--such as gas for my car, power for my house, groceries, etc.--that are necessary in my book. Some purchases, mainly entertainment-type purchases, are obviously not a necessity.

But there are quite a few gray areas. For instance, I've run out of the cleaning solution for my Swiffer WetJet. Do I really need to buy a refill, or should I use some other cleaner for the next month instead? How about when friends ask me to eat out with them--I of course need to eat, and I'd enjoy the company of my friends, but do I really need to spend money eating out when I could eat what I already have at home?

Really, there are no hard and fast rules on this. What's one person's luxury may be another's necessity. I suppose the bottom line of this experiment is to really get me to carefully consider each purchase before I make it, and to truly weigh its value. I'm hoping that after this month I'll emerge with a more thoughtful attitude toward money and posessions. I have a feeling that I'll discover that some things I really thought I needed are not quite as necessary after all.

Anyone else out there set some financial goals that they wish to share?


Jon said...

Don't be afraid to do something nice for yourself every now and then. You do plenty for other people...nothing wrong with enjoying the fruit(s) of your labor.

budget "fun" money...while not necessary, it can make life more enjoyable :)

Snapshot said...

Excess spending is something I aim to tame too. For instance, the kids and I went to TJ Maxx on Saturday. I had a buggy full of stuff I liked and wanted. But while standing in line, I began to mentally go over all the stuff in my head and ask myself the hard question of "do I really NEED this" and even better "if I don't purchase this will I even care tomorrow?" The answer to both questions on all the stuff was no. So I unloaded the basket and walked out to the car. Saving me approximately $75.

That Girl said...

I once made myself eat all the food I had bought before buying more groceries. You can bet there are Weight Watcher meals I will NEVER buy again! :)