I Think I Know Why I’m Not Rich!

I came to the realization this weekend I’m not rich because I’m not shopping enough. Go figure. I guess I should pay attention to advertisements more often. Boy, to read about how much money people are ‘saving’ by buying this or that, it really makes you want to hit the stores. Of course, I don’t need this or that. I’d be willing to buy them though if it meant I was saving money. Saving money is the goal right? It should be the focus of a 35 year old woman who still has some good income earning years before retirement.

So I’ve made the decision this Monday morning that I’m turning over a new leaf. I’m going to be a responsible saver and start shopping more. This or that…here I come. I don’t have a lot of cash on hand to buy this or that. Good thing I have a credit card. Charging things has always felt unwise. Now that I know I can save money while charging, I feel much better about the idea.

Someone once told me if you save $10 everyday you’ll be in good shape. Let’s see, if I save $50 on a new leather jacket, $25 on that trendy purse with the fabulous buckle, $100 on a pretty diamond necklace (my daughter’s birthstone) and $3,000 on that luxury sedan I’ll have managed to accomplish an entire year’s worth of savings in an afternoon. Shear genius! My husband is going to be so proud of me!

Okay, all kidding aside, how often do we fall into this trap? How often are we buying things we don’t need, or are above our budget threshold, because we have convinced ourselves we are saving money? So many of my friends are saving to the point of being broke by buying this or that. Do this or that really enhance our lives to the extent they are worth compromising the security of our financial futures?

It’s fascinating when you sit back and consider how big an industry retailers have made out of helping individuals save money. Any Costco or Sam’s Club members out there? I’m a Costco groupie. Filling up my cart with items makes me feel responsible and proud. Never mind the flat of muffins I bought are likely to spoil before I manage to eat through my savings. Who cares that I’ll never use the 20 cans of tuna fish I managed to convince myself was a fabulous deal. Ignore the 8 pound boulder of ground beef with 20% fat is selling for the same price per pound as the ground beef with 7% fat currently featured as a sale item at my local grocery store. I mean, this is Costco. Everything in the store has to be cheaper, right?

Am I saying that sales and bulk goods stores can’t help us save money? No. They can go a long way to helping us save $10 a day and actually having that $10 to put in the bank. The key is to make sure we are experiencing savings on the this and thats we actually needed and planned to buy, sale or no sale. It’s a great deal when you can afford to pay $25,000 for a car and find a way to get it for $22,000. We are stealing from our future when we’ve saved $5,000 on a car that was $10,000 more than what we could afford to begin with.

I guess I’ll close with a little vote of encouragement for myself and whoever happens to kill some time on my blog. We can be smart about this. We can thumb our noses at these silly retail strategies that are designed to pull money out of our pockets so someone else’s future is funded. We can be protectors of our family’s future by knowing what we need and what we can afford to pay. Let’s get rich on our bank statement instead of in our minds.

4 Responses to “I Think I Know Why I’m Not Rich!”

  1. mandi says:

    Lisa, you crack me up! It is so true. I think about this all the time too. It kills me how some people(my family and friends) “But you should get it because it is such a good deal.” occasionally I do fall into the trap, but normally I can resist.

    I miss you guys at preg.org. send me an email and I will send you pics of the kitchen.


  2. Lori's DH says:

    Great observation. Have you also noticed how much friends and family “assist” advertisers? Not only do they tell you how good of a job you’re doing when you go out and buy stuff “at a good deal”, but they look at you funny and start admonishing you when you decide to stop “saving”! I know that I have personally uttered the phrase, and meant it – more than once – “I can’t afford NOT to buy it”!! As Dave Ramsey likes to say, “noone gets rich on reward points”.

  3. lisa says:

    Thanks Mandi & Scott. Interesting how you both zeroed in on how family and friends add to the problem. Talk about pressure! That shows you how many people have subscribed to this way of thinking. Hard to blame them. The message to “save” and “reward” is everywhere.

    The quote from Dave Ramsey was a perfect addition.

  4. Emily (esuzanne) says:

    Lisa-your blogs are great…We always joke that we go to Kohl’s “to save money”…