These days, the urge to Spend on Stuff is rare. In fact, I find that I have trouble justifying most purchases.
The latest example was in the form of Crossfit equipment to use at home. I really wanted to buy a few key pieces of equipment so I could work out more at home, but the cost of my gym membership (at $120/mo) made the idea seem ridiculous. As time went on, my desire to purchase equipment remained.
I started by making sure that I could actually work out at home. For one month, I used the equipment we already had and got into a good home workout routine. At that point, I knew my purchases could enhance my home workout experience, and I also had a better idea of what equipment I needed. I decided to forge ahead.
I priced out what I hoped to buy. I wanted to get some bumper plates, a wall ball, a jump rope, and a kettlebell. The high end version of all this equipment was pretty pricey, but I managed to find alternatives that totaled $185 for everything. This happens to equal about 1.5 my monthly membership fee. In theory, if I take a month and a half off and work out at home, then I would “get my money back”. So that’s what I decided to do and I finally clicked “Buy”.
As I looked into it further, I discovered that I was working out an average of 6 times per month (in addition to our free Saturday classes). The drop in rate is $15 per class, so at 6 times per month, this equals $90 per month which was cheaper than my monthly membership fee. As a compromise (and because I love going to my gym), I decided to work out at the gym once a week and exercise at home the rest of the time. This cuts my membership fee in half to $60 per month. I only have to do this for 3 months to pay for my new home equipment. Not bad! This plan may even work indefinitely, therefore saving me a lot more money in the future.
When you’re ready to buy something, see if you can figure out a way to justify your purchase. It may mean selling some things you have or cutting back on something else for a short period of time. In Retirement and in Life, you may find this to be a useful tool that allows you to keep your monthly spending the same, while still being able to make thoughtful purchases.
How do you justify your spending?