This or That
A friend once lamented that she couldn’t buy a beautiful $200 dress that fit her perfectly.
Having gotten herself into debt once before, she was now sticking to a strict budget. But upon further reflection, she realized she’d spent at least $200 that month to buy lunch at work, instead of making it herself at home.
Normally, when we think about the things we want in life, they often seem like difficult-to-reach goals, but the truth is all they take is a little spending consciousness.
We know the idea of the “latte factor”—that wealth can be gained here and there by not buying lattes—is trite, but it’s true: You can chip away at your big goals, one lunch salad at a time, or one extra cocktail at a time, or one mani/pedi at a time.
That’s why we built the calculator below. Think of a mindless spending habit of yours. Perhaps it is the bagel and coffee you get every day as you run to work, when you know you could make yourself breakfast at home. Perhaps it’s the gym membership you barely use. Perhaps it’s the little beauty baubles you can’t help but pick up when you walk by your favorite store.
Whatever it is, just plug in the item, its price and how often you buy it, and see what else you could have if you cut that spending habit out.
We’re not saying every single day and purchase should be an opportunity for you to feel guilty about what you’re not buying instead. We’re just nudging you to take a look at your spending and make sure not just that you’re spending your money on what you really want, but also that you’re living the life you really want.
More From LearnVest
Now feeling more motivated to reach your financial goals? Try out our Get to Your Goal calculator.
If you want even more motivation, whip all your finances into shape with our Take Control Bootcamp.
If you ever wonder whether your purchase is worth the money, get our Purchase Appraiser to decide.