Money Monday: What Are Necessities?

                                                                  Homemade Laundry Soap: Necessity

Now that you've categorized your spending, you likely had to face some ugly realities about where your money is going (Hint: Junk).  Some of you may still be delusional and think that there's nothing to slash out of your budget.  Oh friend, there is.  There is!

I was perusing through the Walgreens ad for this week and I realized that the pages are filled with a lot of crap that no one actually needs.  Food stuffs that are not actually real food, five million different cleaners (and chemicals) for your home, and supplements/ OTC meds that you have even never heard of (but surely need) top the list.  This got me thinking about how much of my money is spent on nonsense.  Some nonsense is worth it, and some is not.  That's the point of this exercise- figuring out how to pay for your needs and some of your wants and not wasting money on things that you really don't care about.

Examples of Necessities:
*Rent/ mortgage
*Insurance- auto, house, life (for some, not all), health (at least a catastrophe policy), malpractice insurance if you're a shrink, disability (possibly)
*Utilities (gas, sewer, electric)
*Gasoline if you have a car

These are just some examples and you may have a different list.  However, see how these simple items could easily get out of control?  You buy a house that is too big for your needs.  You buy whole life instead of term insurance.  You don't menu plan and go grocery shopping at the most expensive store ("It's nicer!") while you're hungry with hungry children in tow (!!!).  You purchase all clothing brand new at department store prices.  You leave every light on in the house and crank the heat up to 80 degrees.  On and on and on it goes!!  People think they can't control necessity costs but in reality most people spend UP on necessities when they could be spending DOWN.

Examples of Non-Necessities:
*Spa and salon procedures (waxing, chemical peels, manicures, etc.).  Don't freak out- I WILL teach you how to do all of this at home in a future post!
*Department store makeup
*Dish, satellite, or cable television
*Buying every book that you like brand new as it comes out
*The most expensive car available because it is a status symbol or looks cool
*Furniture from the priciest furniture store

Now, I am not one of those frugal bloggers that believes your life needs to be a spartan wasteland of nofunever.  In fact, I don't support frumpiness or misery in any fashion.  You will get to spend money on non-necessities, I promise.  I just want you to think about why you spend on what you spend instead of mindlessly buying into the consumer machine.

Let's think about this- do you really care deeply about using paper towels when rags would do just fine?  Probably not.  At the same time, you may like fancy toilet paper.  That's fine.  Buy it.  You just can't do that with *every* single product in your house.  It's time to get real, folks, and figure out why you buy what you buy.

This week, look at your purchases and begin asking yourself what you actually need vs. what you want and start making different decisions.  Look at your spending log from two weeks ago and start slashing away.  Having problems figuring out where to cut?  Email me!


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