When I tell you what is one of the best way to not spend money, I’m probably going to make many of you mad or at the very least frustrated. It’s not personal. I don’t mean to make you mad. I do mean to challenge your assumptions and the things you think you need or think you need to do.
You see we really have some deep rooted issues when it comes to our money, especially in the United States. I just read a few articles about how every state in the Union has the GDP of an entire country. The research also goes on to herald the “productivity” of the American worker because pretty much each state produced the same GDP with a fraction of the workers in its sister country. In fact, the U.S. produced 24.3% of world GDP in 2017 with only about 4.3% of the world’s population. If you’re doing the math, that’s almost six times the efficiency. I’m not sure how all that happens, but it’s truly fascinating to me.
The issue that arises as a result boils down to the reward we get for our labors. Americans are reasonably well paid based on the world economy, and thus have more to spend. Note, I didn’t say, “Thus Americans have more ‘save.'” I truly believe that should be case. With so much wealth distributed, why is there so little wealth that remains?
I can hear the arguments about how little wealth is actually distributed. But could we at least discuss this concept in terms of the global economy? Sure, “the man” is likely holding back. Also, wages haven’t increased at a rapid rate over the last few years.
However, at the same time the market has been on an upward trend for one of the longest bull runs in history. If you didn’t have any money saved, you missed the opportunity to grow your wealth along with it. You need to save! But you can’t save if you spend it all. And most people think they need to spend it all in order to have a decent life or lifestyle.
But often it doesn’t add up. For instance, you were living just fine. Your family was fed. It was clothed. Along with that, your family had shelter and likely even conditioned air that was warm when it was cold outside and cool when it was hot. Also likely, you not only had running water, but you had clean drinking water and heated water for bathing and washing dishes and clothes. In fact, it’s also most likely you had working electricity, a TV, a couple of vehicles, and went out on the town several times a month. You may have even found some extra money to spend on a vacation. That sounds like a pretty good life. Granted, it wasn’t necessarily an opulent one. But let’s be honest, it was a good life, especially in global terms.
So you’re doing just fine, and you’re working hard at your job and you get a raise or even a promotion with a raise. You’ve finally arrived! You finally have some margin. Now you can start saving, right? Well, yes you could start saving. However, it’s likely that you won’t.
In fact, it’s way more likely you find yourself in a store shopping. One thing I didn’t add in that list up there is that it was also likely that you had an internet connection. So it’s also likely that you find yourself in some online store or looking to book another vacation. What are you doing? You are shopping. I don’t mean shopping for groceries or other things that are truly necessities. I mean shopping for some thing. That thing isn’t something you really need. It is something you want.
Now I’m not always going to be completely right. I get that, and I know sometimes you do need what you’re shopping for with that extra margin you acquired. But if you’re honest, when you find a little extra cash your mind goes straight to shopping. It even seems like you are virtually programmed to spend. In many ways you probably were programmed by all the marketing you’re exposed to. That’s not the point. Well, that’s another point. However, the point here is that you are making the choice to shop versus save.
So maybe you can guess what I’m going to say may be the best way to not spend money. Can you? Give it a try. That’s right. One of the best ways to not spend money is to not go shopping. Don’t go to the mall. Stay away from the shoe store. Watch out for deal alerts. Stop browsing Amazon. Avoid that travel site. Don’t wander into the sporting goods store.
You shouldn’t do any of these things until you have started saving. Remember, you have all your needs met. Sure, you want things. Even so, you don’t really need them. If you want to build any kind of solid savings and be able to invest for the future, you have to stopping shopping the way most people do. Most people don’t have any savings not to mention any substantial investments. Is that really how you want your life to turn out, like most people?
If you want to be different, learn to love the life you have when your needs are met. Find those best things in life that are free. Save for a future in which you actually have more freedom to spend because your money works for you and will last. If you really give yourself to it, that kind of life is closer than you might think.
In the end, you have to start spending less and saving more. One of the best ways to do both is to stop shopping.