FIRE Station Fun -Don’t Know, Don’t Buy


I had lunch with a good friend this week who is just six weeks from her retirement date.  I am very excited for her.  She planned on retiring in a few more months, but moved up her date because she has “had enough”.  Unfortunately, she is a little concerned about her retirement nest egg – which could probably benefit from the extra few months pay.

This seems to be the classic retirement dilemma.  People get close to their planned retirement date, but aren’t sure if they’ve done enough saving to get there.  They look back on a lifetime’s earning and spending and wonder if all of the choices they’ve made over the decades were the wisest.

One trick that we’ve always used when it comes to making spending decisions is to apply the rule that “if you don’t know, don’t buy.”  That is, don’t just spend money on things you are lukewarm on.  Only spend your money on necessities and things that will bring you real joy.  Here is an article that explores the concept in more detail.  Very often our lives are much richer when we focus on ourselves and our time, and spend less money.

Image Credit: Pixabay


12 thoughts on “FIRE Station Fun -Don’t Know, Don’t Buy

  1. A great way to approach purchases. I usually ask myself is this a want or a need or give it the 24 hours test. Waiting 24 hours to see if I’d still purchases the item. In most cases I wouldn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adding 24 hours into a purchase decision also adds in a ‘hassle factor’ that you have to go back to a store a second time. I imagine that plays an effective role in preventing buying stuff, too.


  2. Good luck to your friend! I hope she has enough to enjoy a long retirement.

    Unfortunately for me, I’ve only really paid attention to my purchases for about the last 6 years or so. Before that, if I wanted something, I bought it. Without really thinking about how that purchase would impact me.

    If only I knew then what I know now. I’d be soooo much closer to retirement!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At least you caught yourself a half dozen years ago. Some people never cut their spending habits and never get ahead.


  3. God knows that I’ve made a few stupid spending decisions in the past. Now, I’m working on getting rid of all that junk so I can have a more organized home. What I spent $$ for years ago, I would just as soon give away for free now, just to off-load them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have some of that to do, too. I have a friend who once said “It’s easy to buy things, but tough to maintain it all.”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Over the last few years I’ve really reigned in spending on misc. stuff. Many times it will just turn into clutter or under-used items that you didnt really need. I like the “if you don’t know, don’t buy.” and I’m going to start using that more often. Cutting out wasteful spending is a big part of FIRE and if you are already retired, keeping it that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to admit I broke my rule yesterday and bought something I probably wasn’t so sure of. I have it in the back hall (unopened) with the receipt to return tomorrow.


  5. That’s basically a shorter version of what 2 of my good friends use:

    1. Where are you going to put that?
    2. That’s going to become a yard-sale item (now shortened to “yard-sale item”)

    Liked by 2 people

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