On the way home from rehearsals the other night, some friends and I got to talking about outlet malls, specifically about the Coach outlet at one of the nearby outlet malls. One friend mentioned that her coworker went and bought six purses at the Coach outlet, each for at least $200. We were a little appalled at that. Even on sale, I’m not going to spend $200 on that. There are so many other things I could buy for $200.
And then I stopped.
Because the other things I was thinking about were just as necessary as a Coach purse – that is to say, things that served a purpose other than being decorative, but weren’t really necessary for life. For me, my mind immediately went to electronics – I would much rather buy an iPod or a Blu-ray player than a Coach purse. That’s just what happened to be on my mind though. Upon further reflection I can think of a number of other unnecessary ways I could spend the money.
So who am I to judge if someone wants to spend money on an expensive purse or a fancy car or a pricey pair of shoes. So what if it’s not what I would spend my money on? Other people think that Kindles and Netflix subscriptions are a waste of money, and they are both things I have and love. Of course, I think you should spend your money on necessities first, and maybe if you have to eat ramen noodles for a month in order to buy that Coach purse, you should take a closer look at your priorities, but if you have some extra money to spend on something you want, but not something you necessarily need, you should be able to do so without judgment from others.
Megan is a 40-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.