Many people in the personal finance / FIRE community have a complicated relationship with the concept of consumer spending.
They may see family, friends and neighbors demonstrate one extreme — they’re profligate spenders who will buy anything — and, in an effort to be nothing like them, they may overcompensate by becoming extreme penny-pinchers. (I see this often at the start of a person’s FIRE journey, when the pendulum is swinging sharply in the other direction).
The reality is that neither extreme is healthy.
There’s a middle ground between being so gullible that you’ll buy anything vs. being so cynical that you build a wall that shuts real value out of your life and hampers your growth.
In recognition of that balanced middle path, today’s PSA Thursday episode focuses on five questions that you should ask yourself before making a purchase.
#1: Do I have high-interest debt or an inadequate emergency fund?
#2: Is this a purchase or an investment?
#3: How long have I been thinking about this?
#4: Is this only serving an emotional need, or does it also have greater utility?
#5: The five “ity’s” — longevity, durability, applicability, versatility, utility.
We elaborate on these five points in today’s PSA Thursday episode. Enjoy!