Get Your Life!: Rethinking our Frivolous Spending Mindset

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I don’t know what it is about my generation in particular, but we Millennials seem to have a penchant for simultaneously trying to impress and outdo one another all at once. We’re quick to spend our money on things that we really don’t need most of the time, rather than saving our money, investing it, or putting it toward a more productive end goal.

Tattoos are more popular than ever these days and I’ll admit I’m the first to admire some nice body art. But let’s be real; unless you’re getting the “hookup” from “that guy” tatting everybody in the neighborhood in his basement, tattoos are not cheap. What could you really do with that extra $150 besides adding more ink to your arm? Save up for that trip you’ve been wanting to go on? Pay ahead on a credit card bill? 

Everybody’s out to have the newest gadget to show off, tweet from, and Instagram with. But do you truly need the latest and greatest one every time it comes out? Did you have to have the Galaxy S III as SOON as it came out? Was your Galaxy S II really on its last leg and dying, screen shattered and apps freezing up every 5 seconds? Probably not. Yes, the iPad Mini is adorable, but was it really necessary to shell out another $300 for it when your 3rd Generation iPad is probably still working perfectly fine?

What really gets me is seeing kids who aren’t even old enough to walk sporting a fresh pair of Jordans. In all honesty, the child doesn’t care whether he has on Jordans, L.A. Gears, or Goodwill shoes, and I’m sure the other kids at daycare aren’t sitting around evaluating his swag either. Who are you trying to impress with your baby’s all-Jordan-everything sweat suit? And more importantly, what could you have done with the $50 those baby J’s cost you for a kid who isn’t even walking?

Putting $50 in the child’s savings account every month for 18 years would earn $10,800 that could go towards the kid’s college tuition or anything else they chose to pursue someday (and that’s not even adding in interest). Instead, the money is being spent on a pair of shoes that the child will outgrow in a few months anyway.

Whether it’s a $20 MAC lipstick, a new tattoo, or the latest gotta-have-it gadget, there’s nothing wrong with indulging yourself every once in a while with something that’s a little out of your price range. But all those “little” purchases here and there for stuff that’ll probably be quickly accumulated and quickly replaced add up faster than we realize. If we could get out of this “instant gratification” mindset, we might discover just how beneficial and gratifying it is to have saved up or invested in ourselves rather than in things.


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Briana Gunter is a young writer searching to find her niche in the world of words, and in the world in general. She enjoys anything that allows her to express her creativity, be it music, writing, or crafting, and jumps at any opportunity to learn something new. Email her at and follow her on Twitter @DiamondCut1902 for her daily thoughts and musings; she loves interacting with her followers!

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