Have You Been Spending or Saving?

by Broke Grad on July 29, 2009

As I sit here in the luxurious comfort of my Ikea bed, typing this post on my (mostly) shiny, (not quite as) new MacBook Pro, I can’t help but think about how I’ve been managing my money lately. I feel like I’ve been spending a lot of money recently even though I haven’t racked up any debt. At the same time, I’ve still been saving a lot of money, because I have part of each paycheck automatically put into my Roth 401(k) and Roth IRA.

In addition to getting a MacBook Pro, I recently bought a barbecue grill, because you can’t go through summer without grilling food. Of course, it’s not as fun to just barbecue for yourself, so I’ve been inviting friends over. It’s been a lot of fun, but it has definitely put a dent in my wallet. The fun has been worth every penny though.

Spending money is way easier than saving money, because the gratification is immediate. When I bought the grill, I could bring it home and grill a steak on it immediately. If something makes you happy now, who cares about later?

Saving money is all about later though. Putting money into my retirement accounts provides me with practically no immediate benefits now, but it has the potential to pay off big later. The problem is that later is so far away, it’s hard to even imagine what my life will be like then.

Like many things in life, I think the trick is finding a balance between spending and saving that works for you. Instead of asking “Now or later?”, you should try thinking about “Now and later.” Sometimes the answer is as simple as candy.

Have you been spending your money or saving your money?

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July 29, 2009 at 1:48 pm

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com July 29, 2009 at 5:29 am

I think conscious spending is the phrase you’re looking for.

I’m a conscious spender, and in your case a Macbook Pro & a grill are both practical items in my opinion!

2 Stefan | StudySuccessful.com July 29, 2009 at 5:47 am

I have been spending I must say.
I had to pay the first month of rent (I am moving out the house, in a room near my University) and I went on vacation.

So I think spending, too bad. When I am settled in my new room, had a couple of weeks, I am going to try to save more, and spend less.

3 Craig July 29, 2009 at 11:52 am

A little bit of both, the way it should be. Save for retirement, future, big purchases, etc….but also save to spend. Budget wisely so you can spend stress free. I have a vacation coming up already paid for in full and saving now for next year’s.

4 Jaremy July 29, 2009 at 5:04 pm

I find it very interesting that savings rose to their highest rate in May, at a time when such a great number of people are unemployed. It means that a lot of people are trying to save, worried about what is to come (as well as due to receiving stimulus checks :-).

Saving is a wonderful thing, however the only issue is that if you’re not saving for the long term, right now is a bad time to put money away (interest rates are close to zero) if you’re looking to make any sort of return on your money. Not to mention that if we’re looking long term, there is still the chance of the money you put away actually making negligible gains.

That said, I’ve been saving my money. I’d like to buy a house before the market rebounds, as I think that’s an investment worth putting money into, especially now (and/or within the next couple of years).

Oh, and the economics major in me feels the need to make a reminder: if we all save our money, the economy won’t recover.


5 Stephanie PTY July 29, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Spending, lately. With a big move from New York to Virginia coming up, there’s a lot to spend money on – not to mention going out and doing things with my friends before we say goodbye! But I have a minimum for each of my savings goals that I meet every month – like a minimum payment for a debt, only it feels better to pay! :) So I’m still meeting those minimums, which is important.

6 saving money July 29, 2009 at 11:22 pm

According to me saving money is very important factor, so we have to see all small things from which we can save single penny. This recession applies to household expenses. Check out some ways for saving like always look for sale, don’t use bottled water, always buy from same shop. Evey person should inculcate the habit of savings for brighter and secured future. For more details on saving money refer http://www.prime-targeting.com/tips-on-saving-money-on-household-expenses/

7 J. Money July 30, 2009 at 6:05 am

I like this post…def. been saving over here (a little too much at times!), but I go back and forth in spurts depending on my mood ;) Overall though, saving more has been the theme this last year or two.

Digging that new logo too – haha…

8 Jerry July 31, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Wait a sec… why aren’t you grilling on your MacBook Pro? =)
I know what you mean about savings — it can be a challenge and it leads me to some concern lately as well. We are getting by but haven’t been able to sock away as much savings as we would like to have a decent insurance for out future. Good luck with getting things to an even keel… being mindful is the first important step!

9 Helen Hunt August 2, 2009 at 1:42 am

Well, I hope things improve in the coming months and years because as we speak, I have no savings whatsoever – and to make matters worse, I recently bought myself a new laptop and soon afterwards, lost my job.

So, I personally understand the hardship that one faces in climate like this. But in all, I think saving more should be the way to go.

10 Fatima Adelabu - I'm Penniless Blog August 4, 2009 at 7:15 am

I’ve been spending, spending, spending… did I say spending?! I just finished my first year of college, and boy did I have an awesome time. But due to my poor spending habits, I’m out rightly Penniless! At school I used to just buy for me sometimes for friends. Everybody thought I was some rich chick that loved to spend money.

Rich I was not (well my parents are pretty well off), I was actually spending all the money I had saved up from working full time last summer to all my childhood savings– over $1.5k– gone. What I spent it on… I really don’t know!

11 auto phi August 4, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Summer bbq’s are killing me as well. I’m glad summer’s coming to an end so I can finally focus again.

12 Divorced Lifestyle August 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Too much spending. New (to me) car and new laptop. Hopefully, all of the expensive things are done breaking, and I can get back to saving.

13 Foxie@CarsxGirl August 7, 2009 at 7:11 pm

Lots of spending here… So this post was a nice read, to know I’m not alone. :) Most of my spending has been on cars, no surprise there… Putting lots of pennies towards building credit via my only car loan and trying pitifully to rebuild my savings…

No regrets about any of it, though, so I’m going to go with that the no regret thing makes it okay. Even if it seems completely illogical. ;)

14 Wedding Planning Checklist June 7, 2010 at 11:55 am

I don’t really save money. I always try to reinvest it into an asset or opportunity that comes up.

15 Bidet July 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Its very hard to save money when theres so much to spend on. Buying all the fancy electronics such as the iPad cost a lot of money and people always want the latest gadget.

16 DH @ The Money Blog Revisited January 16, 2011 at 5:52 am

I definitely agree with you on the fact that it doesn’t have to be “now or later” but that it, in actuality, ought to be “now and later”. One has to live life TODAY but also plan for TOMORROW. It’s an old but simple advice, that still rings true.

17 rent textbooks online September 19, 2011 at 10:20 am

Honestly spending, and i wish it wasn’t so!

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