Frugal Seattle Neighbors: When Can You Stop Saving and Start Spending?

When Can You Stop Saving and Start Spending?

Have you been saving for years and now (in the wake of COVID) you realize life is short and you want to start putting some of your hard-earned cash into action?

For really aggressive savers, starting to spend can feel unsafe.

That’s because, for people like us, money in the bank is what we equate to security.

But it is okay to spend a little and enjoy life without jeopardizing all you’ve worked so hard for.

How Do We Spend Our Money?

When and how to enjoy spending (responsibly) comes down to your goals.  

Are you hoping to travel the world, put your kids through college (and medical school…), retire early, or start a business?

My philosophy on this has followed a suggestion made by my father some years back.  He said it would be his recommendation that we try to have a steadily improving quality of life.  

That means, you always feel like your life is getting better.

As you make more, you can spend more, but don’t spend all of your raise, set aside a portion so you are saving more, too.

Being conscientious about how much I choose to spend, give, and invest is an ongoing conversation I have with myself. 

Is Buying A Car An Investment?

It’s an evolution of who I am, who I hope to be, and how I want to live my life.

From an investor cleaning out my own rental properties (that got pretty gross when the power had been cut for a few days after an eviction… refrigerator = yucky) to an investor who is able to raise private money to fund big-deal syndications, I still stick to my frugal habits because they give me a sense of control and safety.

I don’t think it’s a problem, but it is interesting…  

I’d rather buy another investment property than buy another car.

I’d rather pay to go on a weeklong family vacation than upgrade to guacamole on my weekly Chipotle chicken burrito. (Note: chicken is the least-expensive meat option.)

Emily Cressey's Seattle Real Estate Market Predictions
Emily Cressey’s On Her Personal Philosophy

I suppose it all comes down to your values and priorities – what’s most important to you.

For me, it’s a race to ensure my family’s financial security (and inflation ain’t easing those concerns).  It’s a race with a few special stops along the way – incredible experiences with my family.

We are pretty low maintenance, but when it comes time for fun, I want them to have some great memories together with their father and me.  We’ve got a few years of travel to make up for, so hopefully, you’ll see a vacation photo or two from us in the upcoming year ahead.

In the meantime – I’d love to hear from you – what do you enjoy spending money on?  

What’s worth it or not worth it, from your perspective?

Are you a recovering cheapskate like I am?  A big spender? Or somewhere in the middle?

Emily Cressey

Emily Cressey is a real estate broker residing in Lake Forest Park, WA who services the Greater Seattle area including Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Lynnwood, Kenmore, Bothell and Edmonds, WA.

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