If paying back debt has taught me one thing, it’s this: even a budget build with the best of intention can develop leaks.
I don’t agree with Kevin O’Leary often, but one section of his book Cold Hard Truth on Men, Women & Money piqued my interest.
It’s about the idea of ghost money.
Ghost money, O’Leary writes, is “dead money, money wasted on stupid things, money that should have been invested instead.”
He goes on to explain there are four main things the average Canadian spends on without thinking about it: cigarettes, magazines, coffee and lunches.
Accounting for interest, he suggests regular spending on these things over a period of 20 years could amount to more than $276,000 in unconscious spending.
At first, that seemed unbelievable. But it did make me think.
I don’t smoke or buy magazines. I love takeout coffee but try to purchase it sparingly (as documented here), and more often than not, I avoid eating out by bringing lunch from home.
It’s unlikely I will spend that kind of money on the four items he’s identified as common for unconscious spending.
Which is a good thing, because I definitely have different areas where I spend money without thinking about it.Continue Reading