Are you one of those people who has “good” things that are only for special occasions? Good plates, good clothing, good bedding, whatever it might be.
Why are you saving it? Now, I realize you might be saving the china for a special occasion because it’s a hassle to clean and expensive if it breaks. But what about the other things?
I realized that I have a number of things that I only use for special occasions. I have a set of beautiful, not super-expensive wine glasses that I only use when I have guests. Why not treat myself and use them when I’m just having a glass of wine after work? If it breaks, it breaks. But they aren’t doing me any good sitting in a cabinet.
The thing that spurred this post is a gorgeous fountain pen my dad gave me for my college graduation. Many years ago. It’s a lovely, mid-range fountain pen that writes beautifully. I love it.
And I never use it.
I’m so worried about losing it or someone stealing it that it just sits in its box in a drawer in my apartment. I never even use it at home, because it seems silly to use a fountain pen to write my grocery list.
The other day, in a meeting, I noticed one of the members of upper management using a really nice fountain pen to take notes, which reminded me that I also own a nice fountain pen and never use it. And ever since, I’ve been using it at work. I don’t leave it at work – it travels with me in my work bag. But I’m actually getting some use out of it and really enjoying it.
Sure, I might lose it. Someone might steal it (and face my wrath). And I would be disappointed. But it’s not irreplaceable, and besides, what’s it worth to me taking up space in a drawer? What am I saving it for? Some things are meant to be used, not hidden away.
What are you “saving” that you should be using?
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.