What Motivates You to HOW You Spend Your Money?

The other day my aunt posted a thing on Facebook about why someone who had a perfectly function kitchen would need a kitchen makeover. The lady detailed how, though her kitchen may be outdated, it was in good shape and totally functional. She had storage, a fridge to store her family’s healthy food in and clean running water (in not just the kitchen but multiple rooms in the house for which she is so grateful for). It was a public plea to stop asking if you can help her update her kitchen because quite frankly she doesn’t care for your opinion. It works fine, provides for her family and she would rather not go into debt to restore the kitchen to 2014 standards.

First off, good for you lady, you’re so right. Secondly I want to thank you for making me think not just about my kitchen but for opening my mind to thinking in a much broader sense. The motivation behind why we choose to spend our money the way we do.

If we lived alone and never had anyone over, would we sink a bunch of money into a perfectly clean and functional space just to satisfy ourselves? I wouldn’t.

I don’t care what the TV shows and magazines will try to convince you about how the room is just for you, there is no freaking way I’d be dropping 20k+ into a room that NO ONE but me and my immediate family will see. A beautiful kitchen won’t make me any better of a cook just like owning a treadmill doesn’t mean I’m guaranteed to use it and be in great shape. Gadgets (and that’s what a fancy kitchen is) are just things.

In keeping with the kitchen example, we just re-did the kitchen in my husband’s grandfathers cottage. By re-do I mean replace the handmade 20+ year old cabinets with used cabinets that my husband and I ripped out of our house and gave to him. When the work was done the family sat back and admired how good it looked. We were pleased with ourselves for doing such a good job and the cottage now looks great.

Why was this perfectly functional kitchen ok for the cottage, going as far as looking great, but not ok for my own home?

My guess? Other people’s standards.

We re-did the kitchen in our home because simply put, we thought it was ugly. Truthfully it wasn’t that bad. It was 100% functional, we just didn’t like it. As soon as we could, it was ripped out and replaced and guess what? We couldn’t wait to open the front doors of our house and show every single person who wanted to see. I also admit that I loved having the cabinet installers parked in our driveway, it allowed the neighbors to know that we were having work done to our house (and let them speculate what could be going on). Kinda makes me sick to think I admittedly dropped thousands of dollars to please others more than myself.

I’d like to think I’m a conscious consumer but maybe I’m not as aware as I thought. I’ll certainly question why I’m buying certain products a little more. Do I really want that sweater or do I only want it because so-and-so has it. Makes ya think…

What motivates you in how you spend your money?

Enjoy Plunged in Debt?

Pid

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Comments

  1. This was so good for me to read. I think I do pretty good (now) about saying no to clothes, gadgets, toys and the like. The purchases under $100. But I don’t think I’m quite “there” yet on things like kitchen redos, newer vehicles, that sort of stuff, but I didn’t realize it until reading your post this morning.
    Kirsten recently posted..Depression and Christianity and Student LoansMy Profile

  2. After buying an unusual property (read-SMALL) during the strong housing market in 2007 I find that I’m pretty good at staying true to my own sense of spending. Except when comest to food/clothes/and trips. I’m a foodie who posts food porn, but my friends are foodies too. I love fashion and love when I get compliments on my clothes, and trip porn is another problem.
    Michelle recently posted..How to Dress Cheaply For the Rest Of SummerMy Profile

  3. Kathy from CT says:

    What a very interesting article. Certainly does make me pause and think. We moved from a perfectly good, decent size house to a much larger one just because we could and because our neighbors were doing so. I am ashamed to admit it was right after we sunk $12k into redoing the entire (perfectly functional) kitchen to the way I wanted it . So at that time we spent money to (literally) keep up with the Jones’ (yes, Jones was their last name). Since then I have discovered Dave Ramsey and other well-known financial “advisors”, all who give old-fashioned, commen-sense advice. The same advice my own parents gave and lived by. Yes, I am still tempted to spend money changing or “updating” rooms or cars; however, we now ONLY do it if it is planned and money is put aside so we can pay cash. More often than not, when we finally have the cash, we have changed our minds.

  4. I guess I’m not immune to keeping up with the Jones’, but I honestly like nice things because I like nice things. I like having a glass top stove because there are no elements to clean around, I like stainless steel appliances because I like looking at them and I find it makes the room feel more modern and clean, I like dark coloured counter tops (doesn’t have to be granite) because they show the dirt less and I find them more pleasing to the eye.

    For me it is a combination of comfort, convenience, and looks. Although I’ll enjoying showing it off to others if they happen to come over (we don’t have a lot of guests actually) … the luxury stuff I buy is typically for me to enjoy not for others. I would also never buy something that I couldn’t afford or that would put me in unmanageable debt.
    Stephen @ How To Save Money recently posted..The Best Cash Back Websites For CanadiansMy Profile

  5. Good post! I sometimes have to stop and think “why am I buying this?” and some of the time, it’s because I’ve seen someone else wear/use it and want it. I think it’ll impress other people. Why do I need to do that? I don’t, so end up not buying. It’s a difficult mindset to stop, but I’m working on it.
    Nicola recently posted..3 Tips For Being A Successful Ebay Seller.My Profile

  6. Don’t be so hard on yourself! We all do things to impress others!
    We remodeled our kitchen a little bit before we moved in, and we mostly did it because it was ugly. They had two different countertop that didn’t match. It made me crazy!
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..How I Made $200 This Week for Doing NothingMy Profile

  7. I see the lady’s point of view and we should all embrace her thinking, but a lot of us deep down care a little about what others might say. We could all be driving a beat up, rusty car, but we don’t want to be seen in that thing, so we get a nicer looking car… used, but nicer. Our faded clothes are still functional, but they don’t look that nice anymore, so we throw them out or donate them to get nicer looking stuff. We all do this and if we find somebody that doesn’t we tend to ask, “how could you live like this?”
    Aldo recently posted..How To Invest $1000 or LessMy Profile

  8. New kitchens these days seem to be the major ‘Keeping Up With The Joneses’ thing more so than any other home or car statement that one can make.

    I just wonder how long until ‘they’ decide that granite counters, wood floors, and stainless appliances, are out of style so that they can get going on the next wave. It’s hard to think but there WILL come a time when people will say “Ugh, granite, I have *got* to get rid of that stuff”
    Money Beagle recently posted..Thankfully, Yesterday Was Just Another Day For UsMy Profile

  9. I’m definitely guilty of falling in love with our current apartment partially due to how awesome the kitchen is. Though most anything was an upgrade from our last kitchen as it was so tiny. I’ve realized now it’s not worth paying the premium for granite counters and a fancy looking built-in wine rack that we don’t use. I do think it’s important to be happy in your home, though. My parents couldn’t afford to completely remodel their kitchen, so they changed the worn tile out and gave it a fresh coat of paint. It instantly looked 10x better.
    E.M. recently posted..Don’t Let Perfect Be the Enemy of GoodMy Profile

  10. On so many of those house hunter shows it is obvious the people buying the house are doing it not for their own needs but to impress their friends. They admit to not cooking but couldn’t stand the though of their friends not seeing stainless appliances and granite when they “entertain”. (I often get visions of them doing a song and dance routine to entertain their guests.) But seriously, to they think that stainless appliances cook the food better or keep it fresher? And these are the same people who can’t afford more than a couple thousand down payment and ask the sellers to pay closing costs. I agree with Money Beagle….will they change everything in 5 years when the next big trend is upon us?

  11. I used to be motivated by what others thought about my purchase, until I realized that they are usually broke and I’m not. It’s motivating to me when someone says something like “why don’t you drive a new car instead of that old one?”, because I understand how finances work and where money should be going. It reminds me that they don’t. Great article!
    Kalen Bruce recently posted..6 Take-Action Steps to Get Out of Credit Card DebtMy Profile

  12. I’m not too concerned about what my house looks like as long as it’s clean and functional. I see so many of my friends going in to debt to buy a new sofa or TV and see nothing wrong with what they had. It’s all to go one better than another person.
    Layla recently posted..My ClixSense StrategyMy Profile

  13. I’ve often wondered just how much money people spend trying to impress other people. Several people I know spend literally all their free time buying new clothes, having their hair done, buying new cosmetics, going to the gym and so on. Literally their whole lives, and most of their disposable income, simply goes on trying to look good for other people. There’s no shame in taking care of yourself but sometimes I wonder what these people would do if they suddenly stopped caring what other people thought!
    Rich from FrugalityMagazine.com recently posted..How To Reach Financial Independence On Minimum Wage: My Plan To Escape The Rat RaceMy Profile

  14. I’m not really motivated to spend money based on what others are doing. I do have moments where I get jealous or feel like I can’t do something — or that because they CAN spend on whatever (even if I don’t want it), that means they have more freedom and flexibility than I have.
    Melanie @ My Alternate Life recently posted..Eating Healthier and Staying On BudgetMy Profile

  15. Travel motivates me to save and directs me how to spend every penny I have. I think when you have a goal in mind makes you think twice when buying things. The thought of travelling with family makes me spend less. I don’t mind what they think and others say about me…. I have a clear goal to reach.
    Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..Monster Piggy Bank Turns 2!My Profile

  16. I hate my kitchen, it’s getting out dated and the working area is very unfunctional (you can only fit too people in it). But would I go into debt to fix it now? No way. It’s functional enough. The longer I delay the more I save. We will save up the cash to redo it once our mortgage is paid and then likely downsize after that. My sister thinks I’m crazy because she says I will have no time to enjoy the new kitchen. I will for a few months and make some memories and then it will be time to move on to a new adventure. I’d rather have my money for financial independence and travel. Those are my priorities.
    debs@debtdebs recently posted..Cutting Cable – Will it Payoff?My Profile

    • Catherine says:

      I don’t think investing in a kitchen reno is a bad idea at all. You will likely recover most of it upon sale of house. Just be careful not to overdo it.

  17. Quite like your innovative ideas, where no need to spend much. In a time when a penny saved truly is a penny earned, we should be more concerned with frivolous spending than ever before. Proper money management starts by budgeting your money to end up with surplus.
    Simply, spend less than you earn. In fact, few innovative and creative ideas doesn’t require much money! If you can get low interest instant cash loans to use for investing toward a passive income source, I am all for that. A great article I came across: http://blog.cashinasnap.com/7-ultimate-tips-for-couples-to-tackle-debt/

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What Motivates You to HOW You Spend Your Money?

The other day my aunt posted a thing on Facebook about why someone who had a perfectly function kitchen would need a kitchen makeover. The lady detailed how, though her kitchen may be outdated, it was in good shape and totally functional. She had storage, a fridge to store her family’s healthy food in and clean running water (in not just the kitchen but multiple rooms in the house for which she is so grateful for). It was a public plea to stop asking if you can help her update her kitchen because quite frankly she doesn’t care for your opinion. It works fine, provides for her family and she would rather not go into debt to restore the kitchen to 2014 standards.

First off, good for you lady, you’re so right. Secondly I want to thank you for making me think not just about my kitchen but for opening my mind to thinking in a much broader sense. The motivation behind why we choose to spend our money the way we do.

If we lived alone and never had anyone over, would we sink a bunch of money into a perfectly clean and functional space just to satisfy ourselves? I wouldn’t.

I don’t care what the TV shows and magazines will try to convince you about how the room is just for you, there is no freaking way I’d be dropping 20k+ into a room that NO ONE but me and my immediate family will see. A beautiful kitchen won’t make me any better of a cook just like owning a treadmill doesn’t mean I’m guaranteed to use it and be in great shape. Gadgets (and that’s what a fancy kitchen is) are just things.

In keeping with the kitchen example, we just re-did the kitchen in my husband’s grandfathers cottage. By re-do I mean replace the handmade 20+ year old cabinets with used cabinets that my husband and I ripped out of our house and gave to him. When the work was done the family sat back and admired how good it looked. We were pleased with ourselves for doing such a good job and the cottage now looks great.

Why was this perfectly functional kitchen ok for the cottage, going as far as looking great, but not ok for my own home?

My guess? Other people’s standards.

We re-did the kitchen in our home because simply put, we thought it was ugly. Truthfully it wasn’t that bad. It was 100% functional, we just didn’t like it. As soon as we could, it was ripped out and replaced and guess what? We couldn’t wait to open the front doors of our house and show every single person who wanted to see. I also admit that I loved having the cabinet installers parked in our driveway, it allowed the neighbors to know that we were having work done to our house (and let them speculate what could be going on). Kinda makes me sick to think I admittedly dropped thousands of dollars to please others more than myself.

I’d like to think I’m a conscious consumer but maybe I’m not as aware as I thought. I’ll certainly question why I’m buying certain products a little more. Do I really want that sweater or do I only want it because so-and-so has it. Makes ya think…

What motivates you in how you spend your money?

Enjoy Plunged in Debt?

Pid

Subscribe to get our latest content by email.

Powered by ConvertKit

  1. Kirsten says:

    This was so good for me to read. I think I do pretty good (now) about saying no to clothes, gadgets, toys and the like. The purchases under $100. But I don’t think I’m quite “there” yet on things like kitchen redos, newer vehicles, that sort of stuff, but I didn’t realize it until reading your post this morning.
    Kirsten recently posted..Depression and Christianity and Student LoansMy Profile

  2. Michelle says:

    After buying an unusual property (read-SMALL) during the strong housing market in 2007 I find that I’m pretty good at staying true to my own sense of spending. Except when comest to food/clothes/and trips. I’m a foodie who posts food porn, but my friends are foodies too. I love fashion and love when I get compliments on my clothes, and trip porn is another problem.
    Michelle recently posted..How to Dress Cheaply For the Rest Of SummerMy Profile

  3. Kathy from CT says:

    What a very interesting article. Certainly does make me pause and think. We moved from a perfectly good, decent size house to a much larger one just because we could and because our neighbors were doing so. I am ashamed to admit it was right after we sunk $12k into redoing the entire (perfectly functional) kitchen to the way I wanted it . So at that time we spent money to (literally) keep up with the Jones’ (yes, Jones was their last name). Since then I have discovered Dave Ramsey and other well-known financial “advisors”, all who give old-fashioned, commen-sense advice. The same advice my own parents gave and lived by. Yes, I am still tempted to spend money changing or “updating” rooms or cars; however, we now ONLY do it if it is planned and money is put aside so we can pay cash. More often than not, when we finally have the cash, we have changed our minds.

  4. I guess I’m not immune to keeping up with the Jones’, but I honestly like nice things because I like nice things. I like having a glass top stove because there are no elements to clean around, I like stainless steel appliances because I like looking at them and I find it makes the room feel more modern and clean, I like dark coloured counter tops (doesn’t have to be granite) because they show the dirt less and I find them more pleasing to the eye.

    For me it is a combination of comfort, convenience, and looks. Although I’ll enjoying showing it off to others if they happen to come over (we don’t have a lot of guests actually) … the luxury stuff I buy is typically for me to enjoy not for others. I would also never buy something that I couldn’t afford or that would put me in unmanageable debt.
    Stephen @ How To Save Money recently posted..The Best Cash Back Websites For CanadiansMy Profile

  5. Nicola says:

    Good post! I sometimes have to stop and think “why am I buying this?” and some of the time, it’s because I’ve seen someone else wear/use it and want it. I think it’ll impress other people. Why do I need to do that? I don’t, so end up not buying. It’s a difficult mindset to stop, but I’m working on it.
    Nicola recently posted..3 Tips For Being A Successful Ebay Seller.My Profile

  6. Don’t be so hard on yourself! We all do things to impress others!
    We remodeled our kitchen a little bit before we moved in, and we mostly did it because it was ugly. They had two different countertop that didn’t match. It made me crazy!
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..How I Made $200 This Week for Doing NothingMy Profile

  7. Aldo says:

    I see the lady’s point of view and we should all embrace her thinking, but a lot of us deep down care a little about what others might say. We could all be driving a beat up, rusty car, but we don’t want to be seen in that thing, so we get a nicer looking car… used, but nicer. Our faded clothes are still functional, but they don’t look that nice anymore, so we throw them out or donate them to get nicer looking stuff. We all do this and if we find somebody that doesn’t we tend to ask, “how could you live like this?”
    Aldo recently posted..How To Invest $1000 or LessMy Profile

  8. Money Beagle says:

    New kitchens these days seem to be the major ‘Keeping Up With The Joneses’ thing more so than any other home or car statement that one can make.

    I just wonder how long until ‘they’ decide that granite counters, wood floors, and stainless appliances, are out of style so that they can get going on the next wave. It’s hard to think but there WILL come a time when people will say “Ugh, granite, I have *got* to get rid of that stuff”
    Money Beagle recently posted..Thankfully, Yesterday Was Just Another Day For UsMy Profile

  9. E.M. says:

    I’m definitely guilty of falling in love with our current apartment partially due to how awesome the kitchen is. Though most anything was an upgrade from our last kitchen as it was so tiny. I’ve realized now it’s not worth paying the premium for granite counters and a fancy looking built-in wine rack that we don’t use. I do think it’s important to be happy in your home, though. My parents couldn’t afford to completely remodel their kitchen, so they changed the worn tile out and gave it a fresh coat of paint. It instantly looked 10x better.
    E.M. recently posted..Don’t Let Perfect Be the Enemy of GoodMy Profile

  10. Kathy says:

    On so many of those house hunter shows it is obvious the people buying the house are doing it not for their own needs but to impress their friends. They admit to not cooking but couldn’t stand the though of their friends not seeing stainless appliances and granite when they “entertain”. (I often get visions of them doing a song and dance routine to entertain their guests.) But seriously, to they think that stainless appliances cook the food better or keep it fresher? And these are the same people who can’t afford more than a couple thousand down payment and ask the sellers to pay closing costs. I agree with Money Beagle….will they change everything in 5 years when the next big trend is upon us?

  11. Kalen Bruce says:

    I used to be motivated by what others thought about my purchase, until I realized that they are usually broke and I’m not. It’s motivating to me when someone says something like “why don’t you drive a new car instead of that old one?”, because I understand how finances work and where money should be going. It reminds me that they don’t. Great article!
    Kalen Bruce recently posted..6 Take-Action Steps to Get Out of Credit Card DebtMy Profile

  12. Layla says:

    I’m not too concerned about what my house looks like as long as it’s clean and functional. I see so many of my friends going in to debt to buy a new sofa or TV and see nothing wrong with what they had. It’s all to go one better than another person.
    Layla recently posted..My ClixSense StrategyMy Profile

  13. I’ve often wondered just how much money people spend trying to impress other people. Several people I know spend literally all their free time buying new clothes, having their hair done, buying new cosmetics, going to the gym and so on. Literally their whole lives, and most of their disposable income, simply goes on trying to look good for other people. There’s no shame in taking care of yourself but sometimes I wonder what these people would do if they suddenly stopped caring what other people thought!
    Rich from FrugalityMagazine.com recently posted..How To Reach Financial Independence On Minimum Wage: My Plan To Escape The Rat RaceMy Profile

  14. I’m not really motivated to spend money based on what others are doing. I do have moments where I get jealous or feel like I can’t do something — or that because they CAN spend on whatever (even if I don’t want it), that means they have more freedom and flexibility than I have.
    Melanie @ My Alternate Life recently posted..Eating Healthier and Staying On BudgetMy Profile

  15. Travel motivates me to save and directs me how to spend every penny I have. I think when you have a goal in mind makes you think twice when buying things. The thought of travelling with family makes me spend less. I don’t mind what they think and others say about me…. I have a clear goal to reach.
    Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..Monster Piggy Bank Turns 2!My Profile

  16. I hate my kitchen, it’s getting out dated and the working area is very unfunctional (you can only fit too people in it). But would I go into debt to fix it now? No way. It’s functional enough. The longer I delay the more I save. We will save up the cash to redo it once our mortgage is paid and then likely downsize after that. My sister thinks I’m crazy because she says I will have no time to enjoy the new kitchen. I will for a few months and make some memories and then it will be time to move on to a new adventure. I’d rather have my money for financial independence and travel. Those are my priorities.
    debs@debtdebs recently posted..Cutting Cable – Will it Payoff?My Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      I don’t think investing in a kitchen reno is a bad idea at all. You will likely recover most of it upon sale of house. Just be careful not to overdo it.

  17. Quite like your innovative ideas, where no need to spend much. In a time when a penny saved truly is a penny earned, we should be more concerned with frivolous spending than ever before. Proper money management starts by budgeting your money to end up with surplus.
    Simply, spend less than you earn. In fact, few innovative and creative ideas doesn’t require much money! If you can get low interest instant cash loans to use for investing toward a passive income source, I am all for that. A great article I came across: http://blog.cashinasnap.com/7-ultimate-tips-for-couples-to-tackle-debt/

Speak Your Mind

*