Why Should You Waste Money and Not Just Take It Away?

It seems odd at first that a financial planner would convince you to “just spend the money,” but that’s what I love about author and certified financial planner Carla Richards. He reminds us that money is not some vague goal that you should strive for. It’s just a tool . And it’s okay to spend!

Richards, author of One Page Financial Planning , explains that ROI can be difficult to quantify. You can calculate how much you will get from, say, a new phone or a new jacket. But experience? Memory and fun are almost immeasurable. Richards argues that it’s probably better to just spend money on experience than to save it for the sake of economy:

Do you have something that you want to do with your loved one, and is there money to pay for it, and the only reason you don’t do it is because you have a nauseating feeling that you should you save money for some unclear purpose outside the main ones you have already formulated for yourself? Spend money! Then do it again. And again. And next time? Spend money!

Of course, this does not apply to all situations. If you have problems with spending, you don’t want to use that as an excuse to spend money that you don’t have. If you live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to get out of the debt trap , that’s a slightly different story.

The general gist is that yes, saving money is important, especially for clear goals. But the goal of money management is not to deprive yourself entirely.

In other words, it’s a good idea to save money so that you can use it later. But now you can use it too.

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