Each Thursday, Ms. Moneypenny provides 5 money tips. Have a tip you'd like to add? Leave a comment and I'll add it to a later edition.
Last week I talked about things that were worth the money to us. Here's a few things I've spent money on that just weren't, and the lessons they have taught me.
1. Wasted food
It happens. No matter how hard I try to stay on top of things, an open jar gets forgotten at the back of the refridgerator, or something rots in the crisper. I don't have an estimate on how much food gets wasted per year in this way, and perhaps I don't want to know. Most of the time it's not much, but tossing that asparagus a couple weeks ago hurt.
Lesson learned: We need to stay on top of what's in need of eating better, and plan our menus around it.
2. Shoes and clothes that don't get worn
I used to be something of a clotheshorse. I'd buy things because they looked good, not necessarily because it fit well. I shudder to think of all the money I wasted over the years on uncomfortable shoes and clothes that weren't practical or wearable. As part of my de-Stuffing efforts, I'm working on getting rid of some of the things that I just don't wear or use. Consignment shops and donation bins are my friend.
Lesson learned: Buy what's comfortable, usable and serves a purpose. Useful and attractive are not mutually exclusive, but buying those shoes just for looks ensures they will sit in the closet so I don't get blisters.
3. Skin care products that don't work
I have sensitive skin. Over the years I've bought about every product on the market. Most of these purchases I've regretted quite a bit, especially the super expensive cleansers and creams. Now I use just a few reasonably priced products that work great.
Lesson learned: Just because it's expensive, doesn't mean it works better. Get samples before sinking big dollars into skin care.
4. 20 yards of grey silk velvet
I bought it years ago. I won't get into why. It's still sitting in a storage bin in the attic. I'm not yet able to part with it.....although I'm getting there. I still have this idea that maybe I'll use it. For something.
Lesson learned: buy project stuff for only identified projects. Don't just buy it because of someday. It will sit in your attic. Or mine, as it were. Need some velvet?
5. A really expensive bag
A couple years ago, I bought a Coach bag. I was consulting, making good money, and I wanted to spoil myself. I bought it on sale, but still. Honestly - I love this thing. Why do I regret it? Because it's a cranberry color, and suede. Good for the fall. When the weather is perfect. A single drop of rain....well, not so much. So for about 10 months of the year, perhaps more, it sits in the closet. Sure, I use it. I love it.
Lesson learned: for 2 months a year, I could have gotten a cheaper bag.
Confession - I had a hard time getting to 5 on this list. Not because I've never bought things I've regretted, but because I had to think about how much money I've spent foolishly.
Honestly, I'd rather not. But it was good for me. Now I just have to figure out what to do with that darn velvet.