Have you ever thought about how pretty much everybody in your life wants you to spend your money? It’s true, think about almost anybody in your life and I can bet in one way or another, they want you to spend your money, even if they (and you) don’t realize it. Companies spend $600,000,000,000 a year worldwide trying to part you with your money, so what hope do you have of resisting?
So who exactly is trying to prize that money from your tightly gripped fist? There are the obvious businesses like clothes stores, restaurants, salons, grocery stores, coffee shops, car salesmen and just about any business you can think of. Even the less obvious businesses still want you to spend your money, they are just generally more subtle about it. They like to make you think they are on your side, when in reality all they care about is getting their cut of your money when you do decide to part with your case.
You might think banks, the holy grail of saving money, have your best interest at heart when they offer to give you that 1% GIC that is actually losing you money to inflation, but all they really care about is creating a relationship that is beneficial to them. They want to be there in times of need when you require a loan, a credit card, a mortgage. When those times come, you can bet your advisor will put on their empathetic smile and offer a warm embrace into their world of debt.
Realtors might put on a facade of having your best interest at heart, but they’re the first to recommend you to just “push your budget a little bit so you can get that 3 bedroom house you don’t need”. Sound familiar? Really they’re saying “Spend more than you can afford, feel free to go ahead and mire yourself in a lifetime of debt. I need the 5% commission I get from this sale to buy that new Bugatti I’ve had my eyes on”.
Even the people you keep closest to your heart are yearning for you to spend, spend, spend
Oh no, no. It’s not restricted to businesses either. You can think about basically anyone in your life and in one way or another they are yearning for you to part with that hard earned cash. Here’s a list of people you might expect to have your back when it comes to financial decisions, and why in reality they couldn’t care less:
Friends – They are some of the biggest money pits out there! Think about it, all friends do is ask you to spend money. “Want to meet for coffee?” “Want to go out for dinner?” “Want to go to the movies?” Yes, the vast majority of people are spending money when they are hanging out with their friends. Your friends don’t realize it and their intention isn’t to make your broke, but they certainly go a long way to helping you get there. Don’t even get me started on wedding and birthday invitations!
Employers – Pfft! Whilst you don’t generally SPEND money due to your employer, you can certainly have less of it because of them. There isn’t an employer in the world that wants to pay you more than you’re worth, in fact if they could pay you less and know you’d be happy, they would do it in a heartbeat. The biggest cost to employers is staff and the easiest way to cut costs in a business is to make you redundant or cut your wages. Why do you think you always hear about layoffs happening during tough economic times? People are the most disposable assets a company has.
Family – Ah family, surely they are a safe haven, right? WRONG! All children want you to do is spend, spend, spend. Candy, toys, games, they don’t give a rats ass about your wallet. Your spouse likes nothing more than being spoiled relentlessly, whether it’s at Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Birthdays or bringing flowers home for no reason whatsoever. Partners love spending money on each other because it makes them happy, it’s a self fulfilling prophecy at times. “I’ll spend on you, you’ll spend on me, we’ll both be happy”. Nothing wrong with that as long as you can afford it and budget for it. There is a reason the number one cause of divorce is money and it usually involves one person being upset at the other persons spending.
Parents – What is the number one thing most parents want from their children? I’ll give you a few seconds…..Correct! Grandchildren. Oh, that’s not all? Oh yes that’s right, they also want you to buy a house because all of their money is tied up in theirs and of course you have to follow in their footsteps, no matter if you can’t afford it. After all, house prices always go up, until the correction happens and $6 trillion is lost.
Government – “But, but, but…the government has my back, right?!” Wrong again! Governments are elected and re-elected on their economic promises (and successes) and the most prominent measure of a strong economy is GDP. What do you think happens when GDP goes down? Interest rates get dropped to encourage people to borrow money and spend it! The government doesn’t care about you at all, all they care about is your vote.
Any way you look at it, almost without exception, everybody you know in your life wants you to spend your hard earned money. This makes saving a very lonely place at times. You do not have a very big support group (if any) and are entirely reliant upon self-discipline. If you don’t have it, you could soon find yourself underwater, struggling to survive.
The good news is you’re here, reading this blog. That already proves you have the motivation and wherewithal to improve your financial situation, now you just need some guidance on how to do it. That’s where Money Miser comes in!
My goal here is to empower you to save more money, reduce your debt, increase your investments and reach your financial goals, whatever they may be. In fact, I am going to do my absolute best to discourage you from spending your money! I’m going to be going through various typical outgoings that most people have and highlight how they are holding you back in reaching your goals.
If you haven’t taken that first step, I encourage you to begin here!