Are You “Over” Spending?

Have you gotten to the point where you are “over” spending – as in -you just don’t feel like buying “stuff” anymore?

There was a time when I wanted “stuff” – a nicer car, a bigger television, a newer computer, but now I’m “over” that stage in my life.  Seriously.  I just want to enjoy the “stuff” I already have, hang out with my family, and live life.

It’s funny how, over-time, our priorities change.  Even with our new home, we bought a few things – some new furniture for the den and some decorative items for around the house – but we didn’t go crazy.  In fact, one of our goals was to minimize the clutter.  We sold, gave away, or disposed of anything that didn’t fit with our new less-is-more approach to living, and we are really enjoying the outcome.

I get the feeling that a lot of people – perhaps due to the recent recession or perhaps due to the over-commercialization of our culture – have simply decided that they have “enough” and that their priorities have changed.  My fellow blogger Clever Dude, in a recent article titled “I’m Tired Of Buying And Spending” writes -

…it’s not that I don’t want “stuff”, but when I begin to consider actually buying something I desire or even need, a feeling just washes over me and I lose the urge. I can’t even explain the feeling other than “ugh”…

I can very much identify with Clever Dude.  What was once a very strong impulse – the desire to buy – has gone away, and been replaced with an anti-impulse – the desire to not-deal-with-the-hassle-of-buying.  Does that make sense?  I just no longer have the desire to go out and spend money, even on things that I like.

There is one caveat.  I still enjoy spending money – on others.  I like to buy nice things for my wife, my kids, and friends.  Christmas, as I’ve mentioned before, is my favorite day of the year.  It’s also fun to buy things for our home, things that my wife, the kids, and I can all use.

I would love to chalk this new “frugality” up to maturity – and that might be a small part of it – but most of it, to be honest, is just apathy.  I don’t really want / need / like / “stuff” anymore.  Whatever it was that once drove me to own the newest, the latest, and the greatest – it’s just gone.

What about you?  Have you gotten to the point where you are “over” spending?  I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below.


NCN

http://www.ncnblog.com

No Credit Needed is a personal finance blog about debt reduction, saving money, and simple living. Thank you for visiting the site and please consider subscribing to No Credit Needed by Email. Have a blessed day!

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10 thoughts on “Are You “Over” Spending?
  1. Tom "The Practical Nerd"

    Absolutely. A few years ago, I bought a 32″ LCD TV and a $500 leather recliner and swiped the ol’ credit card. Now, it takes me 2 months to use a gift card because I can’t seem to convince myself to spend!

     
  2. Shaun

    First and foremost, thank you for sharing your experiences with us! There are a lot of people who need to hear the message of frugality and financial responsibility.

    My debt consisted mostly of consumer debt. I grew up in what many people would consider an under privileged household. As a result, when I got older and gained access to credit cards, I got all of the toys I thought I needed. I don’t own the newest or best things products on the market, but I too agree that enjoying what you have and spending time with loved ones has more to do with enjoying life than consuming.

    At the end of next month, I will complete the debt free journey I began last June. It already feels great!

     
  3. John

    I am “over” spending in a number of categories but not “over” everywhere. I no longer care to shop for music and movies. I tend to get the new stuff i want via presents. I used to over-spend on these things. Buying 500+ DVDs a year and almost 1000 CDs. I was making enough to cover it but was not saving anything for the future (I was 17-19).

    I still enjoy picking up and going to concerts/shows. I also enjoy shopping for food. I like to cook and other people seem to thing a am fairly good. For almost everything else i am “over” spending. Even clothes; and i need some new clothes.

     
  4. Jackie

    I’ve been over buying “stuff” for a long, long time. I guess I never really had much of an urge to do so in the first place. The last thing that I really wanted in a longing-to-buy it kind of way was my car, which is now 20 years old. However, being over spending is another matter. I still enjoy getting things that won’t be around for long though, like food and trips. I just like doing things, so I don’t plan to get over that. Maybe I can find a way to do those cheaper though.

     
  5. Laura

    I’ve gone through this recently… when I first got my house I definitely had a lot of wants. Now I just want to get rid of stuff! While there are few things I still want (i.e. a running belt since I run half marathons and the such) most of what I desire now is vacation or house projects.

    By chance I had to cancel and get my credit card reissued (fraud), and I have now spent 1.5 weeks without it. I use my credit card for everything and pay it off each month. I HATE spending cash (anything bigger than ones) This has curbed my spending even more… I have spent a grand $40, $20 for gas, and $20 for dinner with an old friend who was visiting. I’m about to spend another $10 to grab my sick bf his favorite Tuesday night dinner! It’s been quite liberating in a strange way!

     
  6. Christina

    When I was in my 20′s I’m guilty of spending more than what I earn but as I grew older, I only buy what I need. There are even times that I get tired of buying, especially electronic stuff, almost every month a new gadget will come out.

     
  7. Tim S.

    I definetely know the feeling of being “over” stuff, but I cannont say I am “over” stuff. There was about 4-5 month period in my life, ending about this time last year, where I spent on average $200 a month on wants. During this period I really didn’t have any desire to spend, being motivated by Dave Ramsey and PF bloggers to go frugal. During this period I got more utils (economics term for measuring pleasure/utility) from saving money than I would have from the stuff money could buy. Like I said, this period only lasted 4-5 months. I think I got burnt out or bored maybe because that period followed with fairly heavey spending. The weird thing is, I really like almost everything I bought and would have made most purchases again. Still, I’m very unhappy with the amount I spent. When I looked back on all my purchases, it was hard finding regrest, however, I did find a few categories of things that I am really HAPPY I spent money on and some things that I would rather have not spent money on. I found that I really valued experiences and things that are used on a daily basis (such as my computer, socks, etc.) I regret having spent an average of $50 a month on fast food, not so much for the money, but also and mainly for health reasons. This is an “x” that I replaced with a “y”. (I like the way you phrase this concept in a recent post.) Also, I found that the cost of my experiences isn’t correlated much with the quality. In other words, my experience when going out is much more dependant on factors other than eating a pricy meal or drinking the better beer. Armed with this information I’m able to spend modestly and strike a balace between frugality and fun.

     
  8. Erica

    Yeah, I’m in a long period of not wanting to shop/buy stuff at the moment. I don’t feel burdened or shackled by the things I do have, but when I’m in a store (which is rarely) or faced with the prospect of going out to eat, I just think “what a waste, I’d rather save my money.” This is a HUGE turnaround in thinking for me, and I sure do hope it lasts.

    I used to get a big thrill out of shopping and spending money, then I wouldn’t really care about the stuff I bought — it was the actual purchase that satisfied me. I’m glad this reward feeling has changed — I need to save and to pay off my one remaining credit card. I just hope it lasts and I will continue to feel rewarded by saving, rather than spending.

     
  9. MikeG

    I totally feel the same way! Things that once seemed so important just don’t matter anymore. I used to want allthe electronic gadgets and other stuff, but I don’t care about that anymore. I have been selling, giving or throwing out the things that just clutter up the house and I just don’t want anymore. Less really is more. You feel like you have something heavy lifted off your back and it feels good.

    I have never been one to buy something I couldn’t afford. I would usually save up andbuy it outright than carry a credit card balance. And if I do use my credit card, I make sure I have enough money saved up to pay it off every month. I have been paying extra on my mortgage and will finally be done with it next month. I just like knowing I actually own my home and not the bank. And even though I will have more money at the end of the month, I still have no urge to go out and buy stuff. I will up my automatic payments into some of my mutual fund and other investments. The rest will go to cover the things that I really do need. Car and homeowner’s insurance. Health insurance and medical bills. Utility bills, gas and food. I can live very modestly and could care less about keeping up with what other people have.

    I amgood at fixing and building stuff and am gonna concentrate on fixing up the things in my house. I just felt paying off my mortgage was more important than re-doing some badly needed upgrades in the bathrooms. Leaking showers, bad wall paper and new toilets which will save money by using less water. I also need a new roof, but that is going to have to wait. Just living as simply as possible makes things so much easier. I think if you haven’t used something inover a year, it should be gotten rid of. I am not talking about everything, but maybe that blender you don’t use anymore or those clothes that are just sitting taking up space in a closet.

    I did splurge and redid my kitchen. I like to cook and I figured why not have a nice kitchen to do it in. I hired my own contractors and combining sale items with being able to do a lit of the work myself, I probably did the kitchen fir half if what it actually should have costs. But I did it in pieces. Doing the appliances one year than the rest of the kitchen the next. I was able to pay for it without having to take out a loan.

    Just having a nice little house that is comfortable, nice and everything works is a great feeling. I se my neighbors get the newest or best and I don’t even care. I fix everything in my house from cmputers to cars. I always felt I could do a better job than someone you could just hire. But since all my friends know this, I end up fixing all their stuff. It’s not a bad trade, they make me dinners and brownies and cookies for me. So I usually don’t need much when I grocery shop because someone is almost always feeding me. But I still like to cook and especially for friends. When you can have people over to your house and be able to entertain, that’s worth more than any new dangled thing. I still get busted about having a six year old Mac, but when something breaks or burns out, I have some other broken computers that I have and pirate the parts out of them to keep this one running.

    So I just think living simply and having no debt if you can is the best way to go. Now I can go on the vacations I want and splurge a little by staying at really nice hotels. You can’t take it with you, so why not just have what you need to be comfortable and enjoy life. Accumulating things just isn’t important anymore. Being with friends and family is better than all those. But having a big screen TV so you can have your buddies over to watch sports or movies is a must have!

     
  10. Guy G.

    Hey NCN,

    I must admit that the urge to buy things, needs or otherwise, has never left me. I wish it were, because those urges make tips on budgeting difficult to adhere to.

    I am working so hard to get ahead and reduce spending, that I actually get frustrated when I see an ad for something and I know it’s not in my budget, or I walk past a really great pair of shoes that would be perfect for running and won’t even try them on for fear that they’d fit well and I’d be more tempted to buy them.

    Thanks for the post,
    Guy