It’s Your Money, Who Am I To Judge?

It's Your Money, Who Am I To Judge?Earlier this month, I came across the article It’s my money and I’ll spend it how I want to. As soon as I was done reading it, I knew I had to do a follow up to it.

I’m in agreement with the author – I don’t care what others spend their money on, and I wish others didn’t care about what I spend my money on.

As long as you can afford whatever you are buying (I’m assuming you don’t have $200,000 in credit card debt and are not still buying useless garbage – but, wait, is that judging right there? Yes, I guess I just judged), who cares (as long as it’s not illegal of course)?

People are usually rather quick to judge another person. I’m not going to lie – I have judged others too quickly and have regretted it many times in the past. Also, as a personal finance blogger, I have seen a lot of financial mistakes and sometimes it’s hard not to judge. Sometimes the answer is so clearly there but how do you tell a person?

However, lets get past obvious financial mistakes. Today, we are just talking about judging others for what they spend their money on.

Often, I see others judging people on what they spend their money on. It’s not like it affects you, so why do you care? I could understand more if their spending habits were affecting you, but they most likely are not.

Some like to put others down for their purchases. They might say:

  • “Oh that person must have so much debt because they are buying such stupid things.”
  • “She goes to Starbucks so she must think she’s better than everyone else.”
  • “They have a nice car and they probably only have it to show off.”
  • “Do they think I’m stupid? I know their parents bought them that!”
  • “Why do they even buy that? It sucks anyways and they are probably in so much debt.”
  • “Don’t they know they should not buy that and save their money instead? They probably have nothing in savings.”

 

Everyone is different. Some prefer to spend their money on a vacation, whereas others think vacations are a complete waste of time and money. Some have hobbies such as collecting coins, whereas others just don’t see the point in that.

The thing is, no one in the world is exactly like another, so who cares if they enjoy different things than you do?

Also, you never know the whole story. You don’t know if they have debt or not, how often they spend, why they’re spending and so on. Even if you THINK you know, you probably don’t know the whole story.

Here are things I enjoy spending my money on:

 

I like to spend my money on vacations.

I’m definitely not a world traveler or a person who drops thousands of dollars a day when I’m traveling, but I do like to take the occasional vacation.

Most of my vacations are fairly cheap, and I do try to barter, use rewards points and so on in order to make my trip as frugal as possible.

To me, vacations are a great way to relax, and they can be a lot of fun as well. I enjoy getting outside and trying new things such as eating fun meals from wherever I am.

 

2013 Camaro 2ssI like to spend my money on cars.

We have two nice cars.

Yes, I know, I am a personal finance fail according to many others.

We have a Camaro 2SS that we bought last year, and two years ago we bought a Jeep Wrangler, both brand new.

AHHH I know, the amount of judging I have felt because of this.

So much judging…

We don’t have our cars because we are trying to show off, however, that’s what many people think we are trying to do. Everyone enjoys different things, we just so happen to enjoy our Jeep because we can drive to fun places in it, and the Camaro is great because it’s a fun car.

Just because you don’t think cars are fun doesn’t mean that everyone else agrees with you. There’s a reason that there are car clubs (yup, we’re members of a Jeep club where we live – there are meetings, food outings, and rough trail driving) out there, because people enjoy them!

Many people also don’t know the whole story. Wes used to sell new cars, so we know how the car buying process works and we also received a hefty discount for working for the car brand.

 

I bought a house at a young age. 

I have definitely been judged for this one.

We bought our house at the age of 20, and many people have judged us for this.

Some assume that our parents bought the house, that the house doesn’t exist (you would be surprised if I told you how many people thought we were just lying about the whole thing), that I actually live in a box (I still laugh when I hear that one), and so on.

There are many reasons for why we bought our house so young, and I’m still glad we did it. We love our home and wouldn’t change a thing.

 

I’m having an expensive (well, expensive in my mind) wedding next weekend.

Our wedding will cost around $20,000 to $25,000, including bartering that I have done, which is more than I thought we were going to spend.

I have had expensive wedding regret too, which is something that I am thankfully getting over. There are also times where I have felt guilty for having this wedding, when I know that others around us aren’t doing as well with their finances.

I haven’t felt too judged for having an expensive wedding yet, but there have been a couple of instances where others have been confused because they don’t think a personal finance blogger should be spending that amount of money on a wedding.

We have saved for quite some time for this (we’ve been together for 8 years!), and we really wanted to have a big party/celebration because that’s just what we like. I have also had a ton of fun planning the wedding, and I wanted a way to bring our families together.

 

What do you like to spend your money on?

Do you judge others on what they spend their money on?

 

Do You Really Need That MASSIVE House?

Do You Really Need That MASSIVE House?A few weeks ago I published the article Would You Move To A Completely New Place? In it I mentioned that we have put the home-buying process on hold, and we plan on staying in our current house for at least a few more years.

We have put it on hold because we don’t know where we want to live. However, that doesn’t mean that we stopped looking at houses.

I am definitely a crazy person and I probably look at houses on Realtor.com and Zillow at least once a week.

It’s a habit and an obsession…

To backtrack: We bought our current house when we were 20. We weren’t making a lot of money back then, but the market was great for buyers and we needed a place to live, so we decided to buy (we, of course, thought about other things as well). We like our home and it will do for the next few years, but I also don’t see it as our forever home.

I’ve always wanted a bigger kitchen, a bigger bedroom, and some land. Our house (by my standards and Midwest standards) is small. Our house is currently 1,200 square feet. We do have a finished basement though that adds another 1,200 square feet to our home.

I grew up in apartments because my dad hated houses (he hated the maintenance, lawn mowing, HOA’s, and so on), so I guess I’ve always wanted a big house since I didn’t have that when I was a kid.

Anyway, I have been catching myself searching for homes that are 2,500 square feet and above. I don’t know why.

Does anyone really need a house that big? Do I need a house that big?

According to MSN, the average home in the U.S. in 1950 was approximately 983 square feet, and in 2004 it was 2,349 square feet. That is a HUGE increase!

I don’t think there is anything wrong with whatever decision you make regarding how big your house is, as long as you can afford it. Some people are fine with a 400 square foot home, whereas others like 3,000 square foot homes.

 

But, if you really want to save money, below are reasons for why you should rethink that massive home:

Bigger homes usually have a higher price tag.

Of course, this all depends on the location, but in general a bigger house will cost more than a smaller house on the exact same lot. The different in price can easily be a few hundred thousand dollars.

You will find yourself paying for a larger mortgage, and you will also have to pay higher property taxes. Don’t forget about higher home insurance as well!

 

Bigger homes will cost a whole lot more to cool down and heat up.

Many newer homes have vaulted ceilings, which can easily increase the heating and cooling costs. Even if you don’t have vaulted ceilings, a bigger house will lead to higher utility expenses because there are more rooms to heat up and cool down.

 

Bigger homes will need more maintenance.

If you have a bigger home, that means the possibility of something breaking is a little bit higher than if you had a smaller homer. You might have a larger lawn to mow, more to paint, more to repair, and so on.

 

Bigger homes may lead to hoarding.

If you have a McMansion, then you may find yourself with a lot of extra rooms that you feel you need to fill up with things.

You may find yourself buying furniture and other items for a room that you only step into a few times a year. Furniture is not cheap – you may spend thousands to furnish a room in which you will just close the door and forget about.

I know someone who has FOUR living rooms in their home. One is the actual “living room,” the other is a “sitting room,” one is a “play room” and I don’t know what the fourth is. Oh, and then they have a basement living room as well, so I guess that is FIVE. It just seems like a lot of wasted space to me…

I also know a few people who have a dining room, a formal dining room, a breakfast room, and a lunch room. WHAT THE HECK? And they usually only use one room to eat in, whereas the others are maybe used once a year. Can you imagine having to buy four separate dining tables?

 

What is your ideal square footage in a home?

Do you want a McMansion or are you more of a minimalist person?

 

Fall Minimalism

Every time the seasons change, I like to take a look at my habits, and decide if there’s anyway to streamline them, to minimize them, or to reduce my consumption.

Can I reduce my expenses in any way? Can I stop consuming something that I’ve always thought is necessary, and what do I really, truly need to add to my home this fall to make life a little bit easier to live?

I find these reflective questions to be an excellent way to intentionally and mindfully reduce the volume of stuff in my home.

As a minimalist in a 400 square foot house, I feel that it’s important to continually try to minimize and remove clutter from my house. I’m always trying to weed out the stuff that I don’t need, keep only the functional or beautiful items, and find new homes for the stuff that no longer needs to be a part of my life.

Here are a few ways I’m going to keep my minimalist philosophy in play this fall.

Decorations

With fall, comes the urge to decorate. Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner, and the crispness of the fall air makes me want to put up new art, and invest in a few decorations. This fall, I’m going to try to only purchase compostable or recyclable decorations. There are a few ways I’m going to achieve this:

  • Plants – I love fall Mums. They are a gorgeous colour, they handle the cold air well, and they remind me of fall in a big way. The best part? When they are finished for the season, I can toss them in the compost pile and not have to worry about storing them for the next fall.
  • Jack-o-Lanterns – I haven’t carved a pumpkin in ages, but I think this would be a great way to get in the Halloween spirit without having to accumulate more stuff. Plus, pumpkin pie perhaps? Yum.
  • Printables – A printable is a free graphic that you can print out with your home printer and frame. They are typically free but you can find very high quality ones for a low fee. The best part? Because they are free, they’re easy to swap out as the seasons change, and toss into the recycling when they’ve outlived their novelty.

 

Halloween Costumes

For the last few years I’ve dressed up for Halloween. This year, I’m not sure if I’m going to. I’m not really crazy about the idea of a bunch of useless costumes taking up space in my closet. I could donate them, but odds are they’d end up in a landfill eventually, so it might be easiest to just abstain. Better for the wallet too!

Do you plan on dressing up?

Warmer Clothing

Whenever the seasons change, I get the urge to shop. To combat this, I make sure to dig out all of my winter gear that has been packed away for the summer. I wash it all and make sure it’s ready to be used, so I can make a mental inventory of what I already have. No need to buy duplicates.

Summer Stuff

Before I pack away my summer stuff, my dresses, my sandals, my patio furniture and camping gear, I make go through everything. I try to pick out stuff that I didn’t use, that no longer fits, or that doesn’t make sense to keep, and I try to get rid of it. What’s the sense in packing stuff away if it has no benefit to me?

Fall is one of my favourite seasons. The trees change, the warm sweaters and gloves come out, and the wonderful smell of wood smoke permeates the air. It’s also a great chance to take a look at some of your habits of consumption and trim them down to help save money, clutter and environmental impact.

What’s your favourite part of fall?