Saying No to Spending More Money

by Miranda Marquit · 6 comments

There has been a lot written recently about the idea of a spending fast. You take a break from all non-essential spending (you still have to pay your bills and buy groceries, after all) in order to break the habit of mindlessly spending money.

While I don’t think I would want to participate in a spending fast, I do see the value in saying no to spending more money on occasion. Indeed, I’d rather prioritize my spending so that I am paying for the things that I enjoy and want, rather than watching the money trickle away because I’m mindlessly spending money on things I don’t particularly care about.

When to Say No to Spending More Money

In order to decide when to say no, you first have to look at the realities of your financial situation. The most basic question that needs to be asked is, “Can I afford this?” If you don’t have the money for something, the obvious – but sometimes hard to follow through with – solution is to say no and avoid spending the money. When evaluating something for affordability, it’s important to make sure that the essentials are covered first. Your bills, your groceries (but not snacks), other actual necessities, and preparation for the future should be covered before anything else.

Once you have determined that you can afford something, you still need to decide whether or not to say no to spending the money. Just because you can afford to spend doesn’t always mean that you should. Think about why you are buying something. Do you want to impress someone else? Do you think it would be “ok” to have it? Are you wondering if you might want or need it someday? These likely aren’t strong enough reasons to spend money on something. You might actually be happier not spending the money, and then using it later on something that you find more important.

Saying Yes to Spending Money

I like spending money. I don’t, however, like to just toss it away on things that aren’t very important to me. In the past, I used to buy a book because I thought the expense was manageable, and I didn’t want to wait to borrow the book from the library. Now, though, I’ve rethought my spending philosophy. Instead of buying any book just to have them, I now only purchase books I’m really certain of enjoying.

The same consideration goes into my other purchases. I recently bought a new car. I spent a little extra, because I wanted to get exactly what I wished, rather than settling. We have a “small” TV because we don’t want to spend the money it would take to buy a larger TV – it’s just not important to us. On the other hand, we are willing to say yes to spending more money at a nicer restaurant because both my husband and I enjoy eating out. The money we save by saying no to some purchases allows us to have the money to say yes to the things that we consider particularly enjoyable.

How about you? How do you decide whether or not to say no to spending money?

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  • Shane says:

    It can be hard to stick to your guns and spend wisely but with little practice you can get yourself into better habits.

  • says:

    I do am very particular when it comes to spending money. I make sure that I just spend it o what me and my family needs and try to not spend on what we consider as luxury. Luxury for us is something that we don’t really need at the moment and can forego buying it because we can still live life without it for the moment.

  • Mercyn says:

    The impulse to buy immediately is ingrained in us. I don’t know if it is in our genes or our American culture. I now adhere to the admonition – sleep on it – when the desire to purchase non-necessities hits. Often the strong desire to buy now is gone by morning.

  • Marbella says:

    I is not impulsive, never use credit cards, take not and has no debt, think through every purchase carefully if I really need it.

  • Jean says:

    It can be hard to say no sometimes but with willpower, you can and then it only becomes easier to do so in the future, as you look back on the benefits from not splurging at that moment of impulse.

    I personally do a lot of evaluation, looking at it from many angles to see if the purchase would be absolutely beneficial for me. If I see that what I might compromise in the future from not having those funds with me later on, I hold back.


  • ImpulseSave says:

    I love your perspective on spending and saving money – especially saying no to certain expenses so that you can splurge on something else that is really important to you. Wonderful philosophy!

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