How do You Stop Yourself From Wasting Money?

Title says it all, how do you guys stop yourself from blowing through every penny you have? Given the long hours and perpetual stress inherent to finance I always find myself daydreaming of the "next big purchase" that I can make. Not that I'm swimming in debt or anything, but definitely not saving as much as I should.

Perpetual next-thing syndrome is going to keep me chained to a desk forever unless I can figure a way out of it

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Comments (36)

Nov 15, 2018

You only live once, so fuck it.

    • 2
Nov 16, 2018

What kind of stupid shit you buying? I just bought a $600 chair and an Oura. Buying shit is fun sometimes.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

    • 2
Nov 16, 2018

I don't.

Nov 16, 2018

Get a couple sugar babies, let em blow through it for me.

    • 1
Nov 16, 2018
NoJobProspectsInSight:

Title says it all, how do you guys stop yourself from blowing through every penny you have?

Maturity, financial sense, and self control?

    • 2
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Nov 16, 2018

pusssyyyyyy

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

    • 3
Nov 16, 2018
GoldenCinderblock:

pusssyyyyyy

roasted

    • 1
Funniest
Nov 16, 2018

I don't stop. Last night I drunk bought the Lego car that WSJ did an article about. Its great fun.

Nov 16, 2018

What car?

Nov 16, 2018
Nov 16, 2018

Lego is the greatest stress reliever...thats a worthwhile buy.

Nov 18, 2018

Oh shit that's amazing.

Nov 20, 2018

Thank you for this, what a great Christmas gift

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Nov 16, 2018

Not sure what your hours are like, but if I think of something I need/want, but don't necessarily care too much about, I check out a couple thrift stores around me. Can find shit there for cheap and that lets you blow your money on cool shit

Don't beat yourself up on this, Eric. Some people like taking the long way home. Who the fuck knows?

Most Helpful
Nov 16, 2018

Seems to take people different amounts of time to realize that material possessions are meaningless and won't make you happy. Maybe more comfortable but in most cases it's questionable. IDK though, I'm weird because I only bought a $5 footlong from Subway with my first big pay day while my partners bought a Ferrari and a Porsche lol.

My advice is to wait 30 days instead of making whatever dumbass purchase you're contemplating and then see if you still want it. You probably won't. Or start investing the money instead in opportunities that give you learning exposure. I've found that to be the most rewarding thing to spend money on.

Nov 16, 2018

Need to find the strategy that works best for you. When I first started my career, I always saved 100% of my bonuses and even saved a good portion of my base. That said, I did have the benefit of not working in NYC.

I more or less track my savings so that I feel the pain when I make a big purchase. I still spend a fair amount of money on international trips, some electronics, and a few other misc. things, but it is relatively small compared to my income. A couple years back I took on a 7-figure mortgage in order to buy a home. I don't regret the decision one bit, but seeing the debt balance and the amount that I pay each month in principal and interest encourages me to avoid being wasteful in my spending. For any meaningful purchases ($1,000+), I evaluate it in the context of "would I rather use this money to prepay my mortgage?" This helps me make sound decisions most of the time.

    • 3
Nov 18, 2018

Want to save a ton of money? Be celibate.

    • 1
Nov 19, 2018

Did you pull that strategy from @theaccountingmajor ?

Nov 19, 2018

He's probably speaking from experience - either that, or he was mentored by @GoldenCinderblock

    • 1
Nov 19, 2018

Figure out what it is you want to buy and then completely forget about it / don't think about it / don't look it up on amazon for two to three weeks. If you then still really want it / it pops back up into your mind then buy it. Most things I really want in the moment but don't care much for once the initial hype has passed.

Nov 19, 2018

As others have mentioned, track your expenses to the dollar. Make a budget. Set up a savings account that automatically withdraws a certain % from your paycheck and don't touch it.

Idk why this stuff is so hard for people and I don't even make that great of money compared to a lot of people on this forum.

My buddy the other day mentioned how he was still paying off vacation from like 4 months ago.... wtf?

Nov 19, 2018

I just think of all the money I could save by switching to geiko

    • 4
Nov 20, 2018

The trick is to make more money. I make $150k so I could pretty much never go thru all of it

    • 3
Nov 20, 2018

No offense, but $150K is like $105 after tax, which is like $75k after rent alone. $75k is nice and all, but take out groceries at 400/mo, restaurants at 400/mo (if you like food and have a gf), car payment of $500/mo, insurance of $200/mo, gas $150/mo, you're down to like $55k already. This isn't even including random shit you may want to buy or other expenses like utilities and shit. Factor in bullshit purchases of ~$1k/mo and you're down to $43k after tax. Say you want to take a vacation (heaven forbid) and it runs you $5k (low estimate) across the entire year (probably more like 2-3 vacations) $38k after tax. Sock that away sure, but still... it doesn't add up to much.

    • 2
Nov 20, 2018

Or maybe the above is why i'm fucking terrible with money who knows lol

    • 1
Nov 20, 2018

TBH, personal finance can simple be about following rules and spreadsheets, though it doesn't have to be, but at least when you break it all down you know where the money goes.
Basic stuff, max out 401k, 3-6months cash reserve (savings/moneymarket/CDs). I think I've written the three buckets thing on another post somewhere so I won't copy paste here, also don't think it's necessarily the answer being looked for but always something nice to know/google/follow.

Spreadsheet, income, expenses, doesn't have to be broken down to the candy bar at the walgreens but take a look at your credit card statement (or use MINT) and see where the money is going, then see hey maybe I can trim this expense while still enjoying the benefit (buying something in bulk etc.)

It's amazing to me how people just never look at what's coming in and where it's going, if you like expensive things great, just know how to save for them/how frequently you can buy the vacation/watch/car etc.

As for the next big purchase thing, maybe convert this into a longtime hobby? I know legos were mentioned but essentially anything, golf, aircraft flying, reading, etc. Don't know if you have the time though.

    • 3
Nov 23, 2018

I'm by no means careful with money, but it sounds like in the example you gave, you are spending quite a bit. I'm thinking about it from a 2nd-year analyst perspective, which was my last year. With the new tax plan, living in NYC, your take home about $113k (rounded down): it's about ~$9k in state income tax and ~$27k in federal. If you live in a city, you don't need a car and it's an unnecessary expense unless you are old enough to the point where you are regularly driving upstate or to Long Island. Say you spend $1k/mo on all food (groceries+restaurants), you are still at $101k.

Then rent, obviously this changes with age. I pay about $1500/mo in rent in NYC and live close to work. It's not great, but it works fine and is not someplace I'd be embarrassed to bring friends/coworkers/women. I've seen some (fairly) nice apartments for $1200-1800/mo. Let's say you have a girlfriend and to satisfy her and yourself you have to live in a place that's $2500/mo. That's still only $30000. So you are left with $71k.

$5k vacations are expensive, a flight anywhere in the world, I've never paid over $1500 in an economy for a round trip. If you know how to game the credit card system (open your Chase cards first, then Plat Amex, etc., and you can qualify for many of these with $150k salary in this market) you can probably avoid paying any money for several round trips of economy seats. If you go to more remote places it's still expensive with points, but not a ton. So assume you don't use credit card rewards and buy the tickets. You'd only end up spending $5k in one week if you stay at a nice resort and pay over >300/night and still spend $2000 whilst there. If you like vacationing in costly places I can see that add up, but if you don't mind (or prefer) going to kinda lowkey spots in Eastern Europe (Croatia, Austria, etc.) or Africa (Tanzania, South Africa) or more outdoorsy spots like NZ, Latin America, or places mentioned before it will be a little less than $5k a trip. This assumes you pay for yourself only, which is reasonable at that age and go on two vacations. Here again, you are left with $62k. Factor in the $1k/mo in bullshit and then you are left with $50k to put away for a year.

Again, I put away a little more than $50k/yr but made about two bills last year. I am by no means responsible, but a lot of saving comes down to not letting your lifestyle creep up to your income. I have a friend making $65k/yr doing marketing and he still manages to save money at the end of the year, which is how I know I'm doing something wrong if I can't.

    • 1
Nov 26, 2018

I guess it's more like I feel like saving $30K-$40k/year doesn't add up that quickly. Frustrated with myself and inability to 1) make more and 2) save more money

Nov 27, 2018

With regards to the making more, can't really say much other than maybe consider a side gig (mainstream is real estate, though it's a hassle to get started) but income wise that's on you, your boss and perhaps a bit on luck.

2) Save more money
Take an hour or two, map it out, what can you trim, how can you save on tax (big one), and then how to invest it (your age wise, more aggressively), stuff you can do, or pay an advisor to help you with.
If I can also suggest another way to think about it, you seem to be wanting "more", how much is more, what number does your net worth/acc need to be/increase each year for you to be happy/not frustrated?
Is there a goal? Magic number for a dream house? Retirement? Not to be to preachy but there's always someone doing "better" with more money more income etc, if you don't set and hit goals for yourself, and just keep looking up there's always going to be the feeling that you don't have enough. Goals can be financial or not, but dream car, marriage, if you enjoy stocks/watching numbers in your acc go up, read some stock trading books and try (small to begin) your hand at trading, make it a hobby. This is all stuff that ultimately people need to figure out (If you go through life without it people tend to be unhappy long term, particularly high salary high prestige industries where there's always someone bigger and everyone's flaunting money), and you can go at it on your own/support group/family and friends and or use an advisor, but either way, at your age with what you've told us, you're well ahead, so I think some conversation with someone (family, advisor, friends) or self reflection (give yourself some credit) is in order. Feel free to DM me, fresh perspective can help with the "how am I doing?".

    • 3
Nov 20, 2018

When I get my paycheck, I deposit 95% of it into my savings account.

As I run out of funds in my everyday account I draw from the savings account at small amounts every time. Only bad thing is, I tend to go into overdraft from direct debits and forgetting to deposit in time (although the bank I'm with gives me a few days grace to cure the overdraft).

    • 1
Nov 23, 2018

Dump the desired amount into ETFs the day of paycheck; when I make promotions I only increase post-rent spending money by 10% and put the now larger remainder in ETFs again.

You shouldn't feel deprived of anything, but I don't miss buying random stuff as much as I love never having financial stress again.

I was broke AF in school (lived in London on 1240GBP as a 100kg guy), and I never want to be broke again. Not buying new shoes as often as I want is a small price to pay.

Nov 23, 2018

Keep track of every expense

Nov 24, 2018

Find other entertainment that's cheap. Get into a video game, go to the bar and just order a regular beer like everyone else, get laid on tinder, whatever. Stop using shopping as your entertainment.

Realize that the more you save, the more you invest, the more wealth you build now....the faster you can get out of this godforsaken rat race once and for all

Nov 25, 2018

Set a certain amount to enter your Savings account. Doesn't have to be much, but reasonable enough after expenses like rent, utilities, fun etc. And try not to live a material life. Always buy what you need, and in good quality so that it lasts for a long time.

Nov 26, 2018
Nov 30, 2018

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.