We usually spend money on a variety of things, from small snacks and food to big brand-name products, cars, and houses. In fact, many of these purchases are often wasteful purchases that do not add value.
What exactly is wasteful spending?
Wasted spending is spending that does not bring satisfaction or pleasure commensurate with the price paid. No one wants to waste money. In other words, when we shop, we do not realize that it is wasting money. Clothes are high on the list of wasteful spending, but when you buy clothes, you don’t think, “This is a waste of money,” or “I’m not going to wear it anyway, but I’ll buy it,” do you? When you buy clothes, you go to the cash register thinking, “This is nice. After a while, however, you realize that it is money wasted.
How to Prevent Wasting Money in Advance
So, is there anything we can do to prevent wasting money in advance? If you know in advance whether a purchase is worthless or not, you can prevent worthless purchases. By reevaluating how you spend your money, you can stop wasting money and put it into areas that make you happy.
Don’t buy a house.
Do not spend more money than you need for your own home. Many people think, “I want to live in a detached house,” or “I want to live in a luxury condo.” However, spending a lot of money on housing will not make you particularly happy. A survey of thousands of people who moved into a new home found that while their satisfaction with their housing increased, their satisfaction and happiness with life in general actually did not increase at all. A university surveyed the happiness of students living in newer and older dormitories and found that students living in newer dormitories were less happy than those living in older dormitories. Housing costs account for a very large percentage of living expenses. Many people spend a lot of money on housing, thinking that living in a nice room will make them happy, but surprisingly, the reality is not so. Paying more for a house is a worthless expense that has little to do with overall happiness in terms of price Once you know this, you will be less reluctant to lower housing costs. Of course, there are important factors such as security and location, but as long as you can secure those, there is no need to spend any more money on housing.
Do not buy a new car.
The second way it is not worth spending money is to buy a luxury car. Just like a house, spending money on a car will not make you happy. A University of Michigan study found no relationship between car price and driving pleasure, from cheap used cars to luxury cars. In other words, just because you drive a luxury car does not necessarily mean you will be highly satisfied. For car owners, driving is an everyday activity. We do not often think about the pleasure of driving. The high quality of the interior and the driving performance are not often considered in everyday driving. The basic use of a car is for transportation. Spending money on a new car does not affect our daily happiness. Spending money on a luxury car does not bring happiness commensurate with the price, so when buying a car, it is ultimately most reasonable, both financially and in terms of happiness, to buy a car that suits you in a lump-sum cash payment.
Don’t spend money on cafes.
The third worthless use of money is the daily sweets store café bill. Some people buy sweets and alcohol at convenience stores every day or go to Starbucks every day. In terms of saving money, these expenses are not worth the happiness, so you should stop spending money on them. No matter how much you like something, if you have a lot of it, you will get bored. If you buy coffee at a cafe every day, it becomes a part of your life and you will not feel happy. At this point, it is important to be patient and reward yourself for a certain period of time. If you stop going to the café every day and say you will only go once a week on Fridays, that one time will become more rare. This will naturally make you feel special, so you will enjoy it more and feel happier. Of course, you will also save a lot of money.
Don’t buy luxuries.
The fourth way to spend money that is not worth it is to buy common luxury items. In general, luxury items such as luxury watches, brand-name clothes, and big houses are actually not a worthy use of money. Wearing brand-name clothes does not change your value. Not only does it not change your value, but you lose the freedom of time in pursuit of such material possessions. Obviously, to acquire luxury, you need money. And to acquire more money, one must take on more responsibilities and work longer hours. This loss of time greatly reduces the happiness of life. In all countries, people with higher incomes tend to feel more rushed. We work hard to be rich, but we are too busy to feel rich. It is ironic. Material wealth does not enhance happiness. It is free time, not material things, that most affects happiness.
Do not buy time-saving items.
The fifth worthless use of time-saving items is to save time. Many people think that since time-saving items have the effect of creating time, they must bring happiness. However, buying time-saving items for the sake of efficiency can actually take you away from happiness. The reason is that it takes the fun out of the process. Robotic vacuum cleaners certainly increase efficiency, but they take away the task of vacuuming.
So for those who like to vacuum, it takes away the very process that makes them happy.
People who like to vacuum are mentally satisfied by being immersed in the process of vacuuming. Being deprived of this process leads to a decrease in happiness. Acquiring time-saving items makes people feel more rushed. Because they feel rushed, they seek even more time-saving items. In other words, people buy time-saving items to buy more time, but when they do so, they lose a sense of time fulfillment. On the other hand, people who can spend extra time on extra things in a day feel that their time is fulfilled. Therefore, depending on how you spend a little time, you can find time fulfillment and satisfaction. Remember that buying time-saving products simply to improve efficiency does not lead to happiness, but rather can be a waste of money.
No one intends to waste money on shopping. Nevertheless, people inevitably spend money that is not actually worth spending. It is important to consider whether what you are purchasing will actually bring you happiness. Many people spend money on these things, but they never bring happiness and are a waste of money. There are exceptions to the rule, so if you think it is something that will truly make you happy, there is no harm in spending the money.