I always preach that to achieve FIRE you need to stop all unnecessary spending, but to be honest, over the years, we’ve (particularly me) been terrible with this.. I would say only in the last two years, we’ve greatly improved.
So if we can be on track for FIRE after making all of these dumb purchases, so can you!
- Perfumes -I used to buy designer perfumes through out my teen years with the money I would get from working at a sandwich shop, so stupid.. One perfume, was over $100. Insane. I am embarrassed, I was a VERY different person back then & put value on things I shouldn’t have. Estimated total wasted: $300 -not terrible, only bought a couple.
- Makeup/Skincare -I used to buy so much makeup all the time, not just drugstore, but a lot of it was from Sephora, which we all know is so expensive. To be fair, I used to wear a lot of makeup everyday, now I wear makeup maybe 10x a year. I also used to buy so much skincare from Sephora, I haven’t in over 2 years & I’m STILL using it up… Again, this was mostly in my teen years.. I still have a lot of makeup that I have not used up. Yikes. Estimated total wasted: 0h god, probably thousands.. I just did the math and I want to cry.. I was spending about $200/month on beauty products.. for about 3 years… that’s $7,200.. going to go crawl in a hole now.
- B’s Car -Finally, a mistake Brandon made instead 😉 lol. In 2018, not long before we got married, Brandon bought a 2017 used Chevy Malibu at 21 years old. Now, no 21 year old needs a basically brand new car.. he had a loan for about $27,000.. Jesus.. he did get a very low interest rate of about 2% for a 6 year loan. We paid it off early in August 2021, so we had the loan for a little over 3 years. Not sure if I did the math correctly, but I got that we spent approximately $28,400 on this car… but then we sold it for $15,800 cash, so we lost a total of $12,600 on it..
- A lot of clothes & shoes -Ah shit, me again, I wasn’t as bad with clothes as I was makeup & skincare, but still, let’s do the math.. I would spend about $200 every new season refreshing my wardrobe for again, 3 years, so that is $2,400 of mostly unnecessary spending. I only bought new clothes back then too.. I still buy a piece here or there, but it’s like maybe 2-5 items a year and they’re very consciously chosen & I try my best to get secondhand.
- The amount I spent on my wedding dress. -I originally found a dress I loved for $129! But then a month before my wedding, the dress shop called me & said they were going out of business and had to find a new dress. If you’ve ever planned a wedding, you know having four weeks to find a dress & get it altered before your wedding is a tall order. I ended up finding a very expensive one, but it was the only one I could find that I liked for me, I also had to get it altered, which added on a couple hundred dollars, it had all sorts of tiny intricate beading all over it. Total, if I’m remembering correct, was about $1,500… but we tried our best to save money everywhere else when it came to our wedding, had it in a backyard and my mom helped out with a lot of the costs too, which was amazing. Taking into account that I would’ve spent probably about $200 on a dress either way, I will say we wasted $1,300 on my dress.
- Paying for stuff for my ex boyfriend -I would have to pay for his train tickets to come visit me after he went off to college, I won’t go into detail, but he owes me about $2,000…
- New Technology, not used. -Now that I’ve found out that buying refurbished tech second-hand is better for the planet & your wallet, I’m not going back. I would say we’ve wasted about $2,000 from 2016 to now on new iPhones, which we each only bought 1 new phone since then.
Alright, I think that’s it.. the grand total, drumroll please… $27,800…. OMG. Is what we wasted from mistakes we made in 2015-2019. The worst offenders were buying a newer car & my beauty spending…
- Brandon’s total for his errors: $13,600
- My total for my errors: $14,200
My mistakes as a teenager were worse than buying a new car, let that sink in.. We could have an extra $27,800 invested right now, or if he never bought the new car, we could’ve put all of the extra money we would’ve saved towards paying off the mortgage over the last couple years, rather than towards his car loan.
As you can see, we’re not perfect, at all, but over the last two years we’ve MAJORLY improved our spending habits & grown a bunch as people.
It is important to analyze your past spending & to do the math because you may be shocked at how much you’re actually spending on unnecessary things. This may shock you enough to make you change your ways.
Hind sight is 20-20, can’t go back and change it, but we can change our behaviors now to get back on track, which we have been for about two years now.
Thanks for reading!
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