We’ve all wasted money. It’s part of being human. Something looks good in the moment but turns out to not be a great idea in the long run. We waste money on stuff, experiences and even people.
We buy clothes that don’t fit with the idea that some day they will. We buy colors that we know don’t work for us because they are on sale or our mom likes them. We go to an event that is not our thing just to make someone else happy. For me that would be most sporting events, just so you know.
We stay in relationships that aren’t working and pay out bucks for the privilege. We buy the purple chair that we fall in love with but doesn’t go with anything else we own.
We buy food that we don’t like but is healthy that eventually goes bad and gets tossed. We’ve bought lemons and not made lemonade.
We’ve done all sorts of things that waste money and the truth is that we will continue to do that. Of course, we can get better at it. We can be clearer about what we really want. We can stop settling for things we don’t like. We can stop letting others over-influence our choices. That’s all good stuff to do, and it will truly help you to both waste less money and treat yourself better.
Wasting money isn’t as bad a thing as you think it is. More of it always shows up. You are absolutely hard wired to have at least enough. If you’ve followed me for any amount of time you know that I have this whole thing about enough. Most of us live in that land, Enoughland. The bad news about that is that it would be more peaceful and easy to live in Plentyland. The good news is that living in Enoughland means that even if you fall down you will get back up quickly. There may be some bad and ugly spots, but you won’t stay there.
Would I like to have never wasted any money in my life? Oddly, I’m going to say “No”. Sure, I’ve wasted money, bunches of it. I’ve made silly choices, dumb choices, even heartbreaking choices. However, the life I would have had to live to never make any of those wasted money choices would have been awful. It would have made me crazy and made everyone around me really, really anxious. Those ‘wasteful’ choices have all helped me to learn and to grow.
The money that got wasted is like the mirage losses that people pine about. Mirage loss is a term I just made up, this second. Here’s what I mean. Let’s say you bought a house in 2000 that you paid $200k for and in 2005 it was worth $250K. When you sold it in 2008 you got $225k for it and you think you lost $25k. That’s a mirage loss. You didn’t actually ever have that money so you didn’t lose it.
The cost of continuing to fret about the loss is more expensive than the actual loss. Think about it.
Say you bought the dining table that was butt ugly and eventually got rid of it. Okay, wasted money. Isn’t it better to have gotten rid of it and ‘lost’ the money than to be sitting at that ugly table every day?
So here’s what I say: “Thank goodness for all the wasted money I spent. It was worth every penny.” How about you? What do you say?