How to Save Money Like Some Kind of Kate Moss

how-to-save-moneyWhen Kate Moss is hired to do a shoot for some glamorous company, in some glamorous magazine, there is one thing that is certain: Kate is ready for action whenever her agent needs her to be ready for action.

For that to be the case, Kate can never let herself go. Every decision she makes must always be in favour of how she looks. Which means making a serious decision every time food comes her way. Is this the healthiest choice she can make? What else will she be eating that day? Is she staying on track or falling off the rails? No Bon Bon benders for Kate. Ever!

In other words, Kate’s career necessitates that her low calorie eating habits are part of her lifestyle.

Consuming Calories is Just Like Spending Dollars

Whereas the supermodel knows every calorie she consumes counts against her, the savvy-saver knows every dollar she spends, similarly counts against her.

The savvy-saver knows this because she maintains her very own Dollar Army. She understands that every dollar in her army is a soldier working for her. And that it takes work to add another soldier to her army. So it’s best not to lose soldiers if she can at all avoid it.

Just like it takes work for the supermodel to maintain her figure. It is often easier for her to avoid consuming the calorie in the first place than it is to have to work it off later.

How to Save Money: Stop Dieting and Instead Make it Part of Your Lifestyle

The trick to knowing how to save money is no more about learning how to budget, than the trick to being a supermodel is about learning how to diet.

True, having a budget can often keep your spending under control. It can even enable you to accumulate some money if you do it right. Just like a diet can help you to lose some weight if you try really hard at it. Have you noticed yet how a diet is nothing more than an eating budget?

Unfortunately though, a spending budget doesn’t get to the heart of the problem. It still promotes spending. Granted, less spending. Instead you need to learn to not want to spend money. Managing your Dollar Army should help with that.

Furthermore, like a diet, more often than not a spending budget is just a temporary measure. Either to get out of a debt, or to save up enough to buy something, if you’re one of the smart few who avoids your credit card. Just like many diets and boot camps I’ve tried in the past, a budget can help, but as I learned, the truth comes down to the need for a change in your lifestyle.

The Lifestyle of a Savvy-Saver

So what is this lifestyle I speak so freely of?

Well for starters, every decision you make has to put the money aspect of it at the forefront.

That doesn’t mean you just always have to pick the cheapest thing when a choice is given to you! We all know the second cheapest wine choice is always the best choice, right?

But it does mean you should probably always keep your choice within the top three cheapest choices. Unless you have a very strong argument to go for the fourth cheapest choice. But it better be a good argument.

When you think you need to spend money for some reason, you need to seriously re-evaluate the thing you’re spending the money on. Do the math to help convince yourself.

Be ultra-careful about recurring costs: Are you spending three dollars a day, five days a week on something? Multiply it by 250 to see what you are spending a year on it. Now punch that number into a compound interest calculator over 20 years, since you could be instead investing that money. Do you really need to buy that coffee every day when they are free at the office?

Do the same with recurring monthly costs too, except multiply it by 12. Do you need 300 channels of cable tv? Could that hundred dollar phone bill be fifty dollars instead? Fifty dollars invested per month over 20 years at a return of 6% adds up to be $28,250. That’s a lot of money for removing a couple minor bells and whistles from your phone plan.

You need to avoid trying to look cool by buying fancy cars or fancy clothes or rounds of drinks for your friends. Unless it’s your turn to buy, of course!

You need to become hyper-aware of every dollar you spend. And then you need to grow a genuine distaste for spending it because you understand how to instead invest it.

Pay with cash so that you actually feel the money slipping through your fingers as you give it to someone else.

It is a new way of thinking, a personal paradigm shift.

A change in lifestyle that affects you each and every time your wallet comes out of your pocket.

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5 Responses to How to Save Money Like Some Kind of Kate Moss

  1. I really appreciate the point that this mindset needs to be a way of life…allowing it to trickle into all aspects, thoughts, decisions, philosophy. That’s the only way any real changes have happened in my life long-term. I would love to hear more of your thoughts on how this can happen. A ‘how to’ of sorts.

    And just to be clear, Noble Anarchist, Kate Moss would totally have approved of a leather jacket purchase.

    • mzungu says:

      You got it, LifeLessOrdinary – leather jackets are the one exception to the rule! Hehehe :)

      Perhaps I will work on a more pointed, “how-to” post for one of these weeks!

  2. I certainly agree with your central argument here.

    Just as a minor thing, I think a counterpoint to “always buy in the top 3/4 cheapest choices” is one of my new favourite sayings “I’m too poor to buy cheap” — meaning that cheap items often can end up costing more in the long run because they may need to be replaced more frequently.

    Anyway, I think that’s still very much in the spirit of what you’re saying: to be careful about the value you’re getting for your money (especially vs its opportunity cost).

    • mzungu says:

      Euan that is a fantastic point and I’m glad you made it!

      I was purely just thinking about food, drink, and other daily, temporary things that really aren’t that important.

      Once you’ve decided you are going to buy something for real and have done your due diligence of debating the need for it in the first place, then I couldn’t agree more – spend the extra cash so that it lasts forever!

      Which points out (at least to me) the broken system of companies purposely building electronics that are obsolete after a year or two. But I digress!

  3. Pingback: New Things are for Wusses | Noble Anarchist

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