Money Is Meant To Be Spent, Not Just Saved

Money Is Meant To Be Spent, Not Just Saved

At first, it seems kind of weird that a financial planner should urge you to “just spend the money,” but that’s what I like about author and Certified Financial Planner Carl Richards. He reminds us that money isn’t some vague goal you should work toward. It’s just a tool. And it’s okay to spend it!

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Richards, author of The One Page Financial Plan, explains that the return on investment of experiences can be hard to quantify. You can calculate how much use you’ll get out of, say, a new phone or a new jacket. But an experience? The memory and the fun are almost immeasurable.

Richards argues that it’s probably better to just spend the money on an experience than save for the sake of saving:

Do you have something you want to do with someone you love, and the money to pay for it, and the only reason you’re not doing it is that you have this nagging feeling that you should be saving the money for some vague goal beyond the basic ones you have already articulated for yourself? Spend the money! Then, do it again. And again. And the next time? Spend the money!

Of course, this doesn’t apply to every situation. If you have a spending problem, you don’t want to use this as a justification to spend money you don’t have. If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck and struggling to get out a debt trap, that’s a bit of a different story.

The overall point is that, yes, saving money is important, especially for clear-cut goals. But the goal of money management isn’t to deprive yourself completely.

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


  • oh yes.. the old, spend it on experiences.

    there seems to be a shift now towards the spend it on experiences, as an alternative to consumerism. IMO is almost just as harmful.

    While I recognise experiences have value, probably more so than material things or the latest flashy phone, you can also become a consumer of these, and just as addicted.

    Money should be saved towards a goal, no doubt about that, but why does the goal have to be immediate?

    I can’t thing of anyone who wouldn’t like to retire early, or gain some more freedom in their current work, have a safety net to fall back to in case they have problems, or a career change to something they love instead of just do for money.

    Truly financial independence should be about reaching these goals, not the latest fashion in tourist destinations.

    at the end, it is your money to do as you wish, but replacing one type of consumerism for another is not any better IMO.

  • Of course it’s meant to be spent, that’s what it’s for. The problem is that our society is currently a toxic spending spree, you’re practically brainwashed into spending every spare cent on crap you don’t need. I know I’ve fallen down that rabbit hole many times, If I could go back in time with 20/20 hindsight I’d love to be able to just not buy that utensil, or kitchen wiz or the plethora of tools I currently have no use for. The current system is flawed and needs to change, it’s just making the rich, richer and the poor poorer. And before you berate me for using that old chestnut, I suggest you look up the effect the top mega-rich are having on the economy. Here is an article I read today on how bad our current system is and a possible solution. I am saving the money so I can grow old comfortably, instead of in some under-staffed and poorly managed old people’s home. That doesn’t mean I’m being overly frugal, just using a bit more common sense in how I manage the little I get.

  • I could spend a hundred bucks (for the sake of argument) on something fleeting that won’t bring me Inner Peace, or I can invest it modestly and have it make me another 5 bucks per year for the rest of my life. That 5 sestertii won’t bring Inner Peace either, but it’ll help to fund my meditation time.

    • But then everyone else does the same, suddenly your money isn’t making anything as the companies it’s invested in are no longer profiting due to everyone saving their money. Fees then start to eat at your 100 then before you know it you only have 60.

      Yes it’s wise to save, but our economy revolves around goods and services. If no one spends money no one makes money, it really does go both ways.

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