FIRE.024 UnNecessities

Oh no, don’t get my frugal side started…”that new patio umbrella is not a necessity. It doesn’t matter that the old one broke.” I know life comforts are important, and in many cases a plan to acquire these items makes sense. But, all too often we assume we “need” these items when they are nothing more than “wants.” I.E. a great cell phone plan, more channels in our TV package, the extra items that jump into our shopping cart (were you thinking—grocery store or online cart?).

I’ve read so many times about not buying latte’s every day because it will destroy your ability to save and become financially strong. I don’t believe that is the whole story. Yes, $5/day will add up fast, just as eating lunch out at $10/day adds up fast. Yes, this can affect your monthly/yearly spending amounts.

On the flip side, you might not even realize that buying a new car every 3 or 4 years because you’re tired of the old one—jump from sedan to truck to SUV to hybrid, etc—is a wealth killer. Many people have “reasons” for “needing” the truck or SUV for “the family.” I have a feeling that in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s people had families and were fine with 4 door cars. Much in the same way these families of four or five could live in the <1500 square foot home back then. There was no requirement for a 2500-3500 square foot home with a 3 car garage (maybe they just didn’t know back then how better bigger life can be?)

I’ve read that a new car every 3 years over a 30-year working lifetime can cause a 10-year delay in retirement. 10 YEARS of additional work is not worth the hours of “enjoyment” I’d get sitting in new cars. At least, not worth it to me.

Here’s the truth. Your personal wealth level determines how spending decisions affect your personal financial situation. If you make great money, and save money (pay yourself first) then you can do what you want with the remainder each pay period. If you have a plan, that is even better.

If you “want” things, it seems so much smarter to plan/prepare for these wants. To put money aside (save) and purchase the item when you have the money. This is planning. This is delayed gratification. This is a possible opportunity to change the want and not purchase, or find the item at a lower cost. Time and planning may save you money, and build your wealth.

With wealth, you can really have a lot. You can buy a lot of wants. These are often not “needs”” but instead enjoyment options, unnecessities.

UnNecessities are not for the Unprepared.

I have to go now. I need to pull up Feedly and the RSS feeds for DealNews  and TechBargains see how I can save money on something I may not have known I needed until I saw the deal…

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