This is possibly a controversial topic. I know many people are very passionate about their appliances and gadgets but before you get worked up, hear me out.
I’m Not Tempted
Personally, none of it tempts me.
Let me tell you why.
Have you ever read The Millionaire Next Door?
It’s all about how the people who truly have money have it because they don’t make a habit of spending it on things they don’t need.
They live well below their means
They allocate their time, energy and money efficiently, in ways conducive to building wealth.
They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status.
Their parents did not provide economic outpatient care.reference
There are a lot of lessons that can be learned from people who have money
First, before you buy anything, you need to ask yourself, “What do I really need?”
Do I really need this?
Do I need to vacuum my house hands-free with a Roomba vacuum cleaner that costs me anywhere between $200 and $450?
I do not.
Now, I’m not saying that a Roomba vacuum is not a quality product. I’m sure it is.
What I’m saying is that I will never purchase one because I do not believe spending that much money on a vacuum cleaner is a wise choice. Purchases like that don’t get you any closer to your debt-free goals, your early retirement goals, or any other financial goals you have (like paying your mortgage off faster).
Get out your normal vacuum cleaner and push it across your floor just like most people do.
You can do it. I believe in you.
Step away from that Keurig
Now, let’s talk about that Keurig coffee maker you don’t need.
Yes, I said it. You don’t need it.
I have been making coffee in a French press or a percolator for many, many years now. It’s not difficult and it’s not time-consuming.
I don’t even have calluses on my hands from doing it.
My French press and percolator each cost under $30. They are easy to use, basically unbreakable, and I don’t have to CONTINUALLY spend money on “k cups” just to have a cup of coffee.
With a Keurig, the cost per cup of coffee is higher than the cost per cup in a French press, percolator, or even a standard coffee maker.
Figuring “cost-per-cup” may sound ridiculous and tedious but it’s decisions like this that separate the Millionaire Next Door and his neighbor.
I won’t even get into the fact that the inside parts of a Keurig are made of plastic that isn’t good for your health. That’s another soapbox entirely.
Speaking of soapboxes…
What is it with Yeti these days?
All of a sudden I need a Yeti cooler to be one of the cool kids? Really?
Now, if I was a fisherman who needed to keep my fish on ice for 47 hours, then MAYBE I could justify buying an ice chest that costs me around $250. Maybe.
But I’m not one of those people.
Many of us grew up camping or going on long family vacations with a standard red cooler in the back of the minivan. It was all we needed and it served us just fine.
Don’t get caught up in the hype.
This brings me to Apple watches.
The latest craze.
First, I do not want to read text messages on my wrist. I just don’t.
I don’t like to be that connected.
I also don’t need to continually know my heart rate and how many steps I’ve taken.
I know when I’ve done my workout because I was there.
Here’s the deal…
Learn to respect money.
I respect money. Can I afford a $450 Roomba? Yes. But even though I have the money, I won’t buy it.
Can I afford a $400 Apple watch and a $300 ice chest? Sure I can.
But I won’t buy them.
Here is where many people get confused:
Being able to afford something and being willing to spend your money on them are two different things. If you are already debt-free and living your dreams then you know what I’m talking about.
Being debt-free, building up your savings, having money, and possibly planning an early retirement is about respecting money and seeing things for what they really are.
See things for what they are
A Roomba is a vacuum that isn’t going to do nearly as good of a job as I am. It’s not going to use the hose attachment under the furniture, it’s not going to move the doll clothes and Legos before it starts, and it’s not going to vacuum the stairs.
A Keurig is a coffee maker that is overpriced and still isn’t hands-free. I still have to put water in it and buy those k-cups. Then, all of that hot water is going to run through plastic tubing on the inside and that’s damaging to my health.
After it’s done, that cup of coffee will cost me more than it should. If I’m going to go through the effort, then I could just put water in my $30 percolator with a scoop of coffee and plug it up.
An Apple watch just gives me way more information on my wrist than I care to know about. I’m not interested in any of the features. It doesn’t impress me. It also puts off radiation that would continually be strapped to my wrist. After all, it’s basically a cell phone.
All I want is a simple watch that tells me the time. I’ll read text messages and emails when I look at my phone. And I may not even do it then. Plus, I don’t need a watch to tell me my heart rate is up. I can tell that on my own each time I jog.
And a Yeti cooler, well, I won’t even go there.
None of these products have earned my money.
It has nothing to do with whether or not I can afford these things. Because I can.
That’s the difference between “The Millionaire Next Door” and his neighbor. One of them buys things they don’t need and the other doesn’t think those things deserve his dollars.
We evaluate things before we purchase them. If we don’t need them or they don’t considerably improve our lives then we don’t buy them.
Now, if that Keurig made me a cup of coffee (using stainless steel piping on the inside, of course) then delivered it to me in my bed as soon as the alarm went off, then I MIGHT consider it.
But, then again, for that price, I probably still wouldn’t buy it.
Don’t get lost in the “must-have” frenzy.
If you are on your debt-free journey, I would like to encourage you to stay the course and don’t get distracted by what other people are buying.
Evaluate each purchase you make and decided whether or not you NEED it and if it is worth your money.
How much is your money worth to you?
Do you look at $5 and see a Sonic drink or one small step closer to your goals?
Most people don’t realize that each AND EVERY purchase makes an impact on their financial future.
Stay the course and you’ll do fine!
I would love to hear from you. Just drop me a comment below.
All the best,