How Much Money Do You Waste on Stuff?

Have you ever tallied up just how much stuff you purchase each month? I suppose before you can answer that question you need to know what stuff includes. I think it should include any items that you can live without. In other words I wouldn’t consider groceries, utilities, mortgage or rent in my definition. I would, however, include clothes, knickknacks, books, magazines, electronics and any other unnecessary stuff that crosses the threshold of my home.

So do you have any idea how much money you spend on these items per month? I don’t actually know my monthly number, but I estimate that it’s less than $150. Of course, as I type that number I realize it seems quite ridiculous. Surely, I spend more than $150 on stuff each month.

Of course, I suppose it all goes back to the definition. Should I consider the two cell phones my husband purchased as stuff? After all, he could have purchased a cheaper model with a much cheaper monthly plan. Is a basic cell phone considered a necessity, but a new phone with all the bells and whistles just excess we don’t need?

To be honest, I haven’t given much thought to the details of my spending lately. I rarely spend time shopping and when I do shop I rarely bring anything home. Over time I’ve reduced the amount of items I own and with each donation or sale my spirit feels a little more open and free. I love that I have less to dust and less to clean. In fact, I plan to take another crack at donating and selling unwanted items before the holidays arrive.

I guess the only way to know for sure how much I spend is to look through the credit card journals and tally the numbers. I have a feeling when I look through the ledger I’ll find a much bigger number than $150.

8 thoughts on “How Much Money Do You Waste on Stuff?”

  1. If I tallied my number up based on a yearly total, I could get a monthly amount. But in a usual month, I don't spend any money on stuff. Take October for instance. I spent a total of $54 on stuff, but that includes $21 on Race for the Cure supplies. I bought one pair of pants, but I normally don't spend money on clothes. Still, I feel pretty good about that number. I purchase makeup once a year. That's typically how long it takes me to use a bottle of Clinique foundation. I only buy clothes when I need them. (In October's case, I donated clothes that were too small for me, so I spent $33 to replace a pair of black slacks that no longer fit.)

    I'm going to try a no spending challenge in 2011 to get that number to $0! šŸ™‚

  2. we have a category called "extras" and every month it's about 500…we're currently at about 600…it's just random STUFF.

  3. I am always amazed by how much we actually spend on stuff. One catagory we definitly have a problem with is "hobby stuff". My husband is all about electronics & music, and I am all about crafts & cooking… and between the two of us we spend more than we should. One thing I am trying to do is enjoy what we already have… enjoy the unused supplies already purchased and try some free recipes off of the internet instead of buying a new cookbook.

  4. @Jolie – I typically by shampoo and stuff for next to nothing with coupons and sales. I don't wear makeup very often, so I save there too.

    @Red – I'm not sure that I can get the number to $0. Do you think you could meet that goal? I would like to aim for $100 a month though.

    @Newlyweds – If you count random discretionary expenses I definitely spend a few hundred a month. If you count pure 'stuff', just objects and things it's definitely closer to $150.

    @Stephanie – Hobbies are our downfall too and in the same categories, electronics and cooking.

    @Maureen – I sell a lot of my unwanted stuff on eBay. Other than donating, it's the best way to get rid of it.

  5. I tallied up my Toiletries (not including haircuts), Clothing, Electronics and Misc and spent $2,059.45 thus far this year.

    I think I'd like to take up the shopping ban next year. Not sure how that works for make-up… Just the essentials?

  6. First off, I wouldn't consider our cellphones and laptops as stuffs or wastes 'coz they're being used for work. Though we apply for Wisconsin payday loans to pay for things for the house and car repairs, we still stick to our budget. We also use the money that we get from selling our old stuffs to pay back the lending company. We try to minimize the trips to the mall to avoid eating in restaurants. Surprisingly, the kids love homemade dishes. Good luck!


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