Spending habits draining MY net worth

By | February 4, 2016

I don’t want to alienate you with my series – spending habits draining your net worth. I like to think I give both sides of the argument for each item, but for me and my lifestyle, the answer is obvious to avoid them. Here’s an incomplete list of the items I spend no money on or very little money on.

Spending Habits Draining Your Net Worth

Now, despite what you may think after reading this list, I absolutely do NOT advocate sitting in your house staring at the wall until you die, just to save money. I advocate knowing yourself and spending money on experiences that will enrich your life.

No loincloth, but the occasional sari.

No loincloth, but the occasional sari.

I ask you to consider the clutter in your home, the poison in your body, the harm to the environment. Minimize, not eliminate, the money you spend on depreciating assets and make sure you’re thoughtful about the process. I know you work hard. Put your money where your happiness lies.

And just so you don’t think that I live in a cave eating berries I pick from the bushes wearing nothing but a loincloth, I decided to confess to the habits that drain my net worth. Instead of spending money on the items listed above, here is where I throw my dollars.



I spend most of my cash traveling on airplanes and boats and trains and buses and occasionally a car that isn’t mine (e.g. cabs). In that budget bucket I also put in accommodations I use while visiting new places. My obsession with crossing stuff off lists extends to my “visited countries list.” I love seeing a new city. I love flying. Consequently, I spend a LOT of money on flights. Even with frequent flier miles and scouring the Internet for deals, this is still my largest expense by far.https://pixabay.com/en/airplane-silhouette-purple-plane-304110/

And it most definitely adds up, draining my net worth. And I know that my habit is NOT great for mother earth, spewing fumes in the air.


https://pixabay.com/en/wine-drink-hands-alcohol-holding-294236/One day, I’ll be a teetotaler and give up drinking. But right now, I quite enjoy the taste of alcohol. I love a good craft beer, red wine, mixed drink that is an unnatural blue color with a funky umbrella sticking out of it. I love drinking socially with friends. I love going to bars and closing them down. I love raising my glass and “cheersing” to something ludicrous. I love trying alcoholic beverages in different countries. I love lowering my inhibitions and making friends over booze. Even when I was trying to pay off my student loans, going out drinking with friends was never something I gave up. I participated less than I do now, but I still drank.

And I know this habit drains my net worth. And I know this habit is bad for my body.


I’m learning to cook whenever I visit my mom, but I eat out quite a bit and probably more than I “should.” I’m a single gal, so making big meals for myself doesn’t feel like the best use of my time. I also view eating out with friends and drinking as my major social activity.

And I know this habit puts a severe strain on my net worth.


https://pixabay.com/en/earring-jewelry-ears-glamour-25497/Earrings are the only* depreciating assets I buy when I know I have too many as it is. I have three holes in my left ear and two holes in my right ear and I love picking out earrings to wear each morning. I may not always wear makeup or always do my hair, but I feel naked without my earrings. I easily have over 100 pairs and I buy new ones in each new country I visit. I love dangly earrings, studs, gold, silver, gems. It’s my favorite item to collect and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

And I know this habit drains my net worth.

Eyebrow Threading

https://pixabay.com/en/eye-eyebrows-eyelash-woman-looking-159550/This is a small thing, but so are many of the items I listed under my list of items draining your net worth. I get my eyebrows threaded by a professional every few weeks because I’m of Indian descent and a hairy monkey. I could, theoretically, pluck my eyebrows myself, but I can’t get the polished look of threading on my own. I could also learn to thread my own eyebrows. But I haven’t. And I have no plans to because I like burning money.

No, seriously. I tell you this because I know we all have our vices. We all spend our money on things that give us pleasure. All I’m asking is that you consider everything before you buy and make sure you really want the thing you want and that it’s not some clever advertising messing with your brain and your wallet. Nobody cares about your money as much as you do. Look at the item you want to buy and ask yourself if it brings you more joy than having more free time.

*Okay, I also buy postcards in every new city I visit as well. I like making things like this heart for decorating my wall. 11821766_1654643654757923_1788851281_n

16 thoughts on “Spending habits draining MY net worth

  1. KangSik Seo

    It is good for you to enjoy the party with your friends. It is always good to be friendly.

    These day, I started to be interested in the elder law. I should borrow the books from the library.

  2. Marty

    Thank you for the permission to indulge. After binge-reading your series, I was feeling guilty about some of my time-money-and-health wasters.

    Ironically, my biggest vice is sitting at home, staring at a wall. But there is a big TV on the wall. Staying home saves on the car and restaurant money pits, and I have arranged my cable/roku/netflix sources to get the biggest bang for my bucks. And I do enjoy my stories.

  3. Anna

    Thank you for sharing your story. I really love your honesty and I still have my student loans to take care of and I feel alright=)

  4. kapil

    Hi TG, Hairy monkey! I really like that one. When you travel so much, how do you connect to people and make friends to go have food and drink with on a regular basis?

    1. Thriftygal Post author

      Ah, this is why I miss my life in Sydney everyday. When I’m traveling, it does certainly get a bit harder to find friends. I have been lucky enough to have people contact me after my interview with MMM recently and met up with them while I’m in South America. Otherwise, I peruse meetup.com in my current city and couchsurfing.org for possible souls to hang with.

  5. TJ

    I’m sensing that I should allocate more expenses to alcohol if I want to interact with fellow humans. 😀

  6. Evergreen

    Wine on the list of indulgences…. you had me at hello. Solid! Less than 18 months away from military retirement… 3 rental properties… net income after retirement looking comfortable. Wish I could have been more disciplined and thereby retired earlier… as you have done… but, regardless… I am looking forward to starting the next chapter. [sent from Naples, Italy]

  7. Ellen

    I enjoy reading & am surely not alienated. You might like to know that what you write has broad interest: I’m over 65 years old & a not-yet-retired lawyer. I love to travel (your packing list is the best I’ve seen, and I’ll soon use to for a trip to Hong Kong). Personal money management is empowering. Please keep it coming!

  8. Marla Martenson

    I indulge on organic food. I am a big juicer, so organic veggies are something I can’t give up. I cut down on going to seminars, it was getting to be ridiculous. If I were wealthy, I would go to everything! I do buy one lottery ticket per week.

  9. Brian

    Never has “doing more with less” been so relevant. I learned to adopt the lifestyle you wrote about when I started letting go of my possessions. I quickly learned there was so much I didn’t need to find fulfillment in life. In fact, having too much sometimes caused more stress. After letting go of possessions, it led to letting go of other mental blockers in life. In a nutshell, it led to spending less money but feeling more happy. I can’t imagine how I was able to live the way I did before.

  10. Ray

    Thanks for the list. It is very useful for saving money and deciding where to spend money. Travel and good food are great areas to spend money. Amazed at how fast you were able to retire after starting work as lawyer. Awesome results!

  11. Ppd111

    You sound like an interesting person. I’m a global nomad too. Retired early but lucky for me my first career consisted of nearly 25 years of work and global travel combined ! Now I’m in home base for a while to look after older family, but planning another extended jaunt.

    I’ll check out couch surfing and meetup- I struggle to find and connect with younger early retired people – not many out here …

    I tried a blog but am not a decent writer – maybe will get back to it at some point.

    Love your free spirit and attitude. Truly priceless! Take good care and fair winds where ever u may roam.

  12. Simon Kenton

    I think the point of earrings is that your more subtle friends can read your moods from them. So they are a communications tool. A utility. The alcohol, of course, lightens the social burden of making constant good decisions.


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