What is the Definition of Wasteful?

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The Definition of Wasteful

definition of wastefulInterestingly enough, someone accused me of being wasteful today. While I know completely different, I did stop long enough to ponder what the real definition of wasteful would be. I also decided that it would make sense for me to decide how that fit into my personal situation.

According to dictionary.com, the definition of wasteful is:

1) given to or characterized by useless consumption or expenditure: wasteful methods; a wasteful way of life.

2) grossly extravagant; prodigal: a wasteful party

3) devastating or destructive: wasteful war.

Am I the Epitome of the Definition of Wasteful?

I read those definitions and can honestly say that none of those apply to my life. I don’t participate in useless consumption. I am not grossly extravagant, and the third definition is a completely different use of the word.

Let me share my thoughts with you. Here is how I view wasteful. Wasteful is putting dinners you can’t afford onto a charge card because you feel you need to go out to eat instead of sacrificing to get out of debt. Wasteful is talking yourself into buying clothes that you can’t afford because you feel like you need a “pick me up” for when you go to work. Wasteful is taking out that 72 month car note to drive a vehicle that you can’t afford, but are able to fit into your monthly budget (like you really have one) for the next 6 years. Wasteful is having to tell your kids no because your poor financial decisions put you into a position where you must work 6 days a week. Wasteful is missing out on life because you were too busy focusing on a “lifestyle.” Wasteful is letting society know what you have on the outside because you are missing out on the “inside.”

Being Debt Free Means the Occasional Splurge

At the end of the day, here’s the deal. I am not a wasteful person. Do I have a car payment? NO! Do I have a house payment? NO! Do I owe money to any credit cards? NO! Do I have student loans? NO! If that’s the case, why shouldn’t I be able to enjoy the nicer things in life? I think that people have the wrong perspective when it comes to the “frugal lifestyle.” Being frugal doesn’t mean that you live a life filled with cheap crap. Being frugal means that you “live like no one else so that you you can live like no one else,” according to Dave Ramsey.

There are many of you that are well on your way to being debt free. There are some of you that have already achieved this and to you, I say: Well done! It is not an easy road. Many of you have given up habits. For some, you quit going out to lunch with the girls for work. For others, you have beat a serious addiction like smoking. In either case, it is not an easy thing to do, but you did it. Great job! Even if we have never met in person, I am proud of you! I knew you could do it and you did! For those that aren’t there yet, let these people serve as an example to you. Let them be the light at the end of the tunnel. I know how hard those baby steps can be. You have some great success stories to see when you lift your head from your journey for a few minutes.

The Definition of Wasteful to Me

Let’s talk about what’s really wasteful to me. What’s really wasteful to me is NOT being able to take an afternoon off of work to spend with your children. Being wasteful is being so financially strapped that you can’t buy something nice for your wife to tell her “thank you” for all she does in her role as CEO of your household. Being wasteful is being so caught up in pinching every penny that you have once you are debt free, that you let life pass right before your very eyes. Make no mistake about it, you will never hear me say a single word about restraint when it comes to saving up and spending cash. If you are debt free, you DESERVE it! See, America has a distorted perspective today. It’s one that’s filled with self-entitlement and jealousy. It’s one where people can’t be happy for their neighbor because they are so burdened with debt and financial pressure that they can’t see clearly.

Our Children Learn from Us

Let me be clear! If you want a nice vacation and you can afford to pay cash, TAKE IT! If you want a nice pair of designer jeans and you are debt free and can afford to pay cash, BUY THEM. I am sick and tired of all of the people out there with their arms cocked ready to cast stones. If you want to direct your energy to something, quit complaining and direct it to something positive. None of us are responsible for your position in life, YOU ARE. Own up to it, make a decision to change and then bust your rear end to cure your ills. Once you have done that, I am pretty sure you will have a much different perspective than you do now. I don’t feel sorry for you because complaining is easier than fixing the problem. I do feel sorry for your children because they will only replicate what you teach and unfortunately for them, they will grow up blaming someone else.

As for me? I will hop into my paid for car and drive away from the outlet mall knowing that my wife is ecstatic. She’s ecstatic because she knows that know matter what happens in our life, we have the money to pay for it. She knows that I appreciate her and I will shower her with gifts as tokens of my affection. Doesn’t sound too wasteful when you think about it that way, does it?


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  1. jessica salter says

    great read!! Sport that new bag Andrea!!!!!

  2. Ashley gogle says

    Well said! People are so negative!! Enjoy your cute purse!

  3. I am happy for you!Congrats you have no debt. I wouldnt call anyone out of debt wasteful.
    I hope someday to be that way I was debt free until about a year and a half ago(except our house) I had a beautiful 6 week old baby. My husband lost his job from a family company. Which since he no longer worked there, the insurance company didnt pay the rest of the hospital bill that was due. So that fell on us. My car completely broke down and it would of cost us more to fix it than it was worth since it had broken down contiuously. so we put it up for sale and waited. we got our taxes and bought a cheap 800.00 car and have been driving that ever since. Weve put some money into that we had to put on credit cards. since without a job we had no money to use to fix it. We kept up with most of the bills for about six months and then we started fallng behind on them and had to use credit cards to pay the bills.(no one would help us) My husband finally found another job that paid him 4.00 less an hour than he was making. But he needed the income. We have had constant things happen since then and we just cant get ahead. everytime we get a little savings it gets wiped out by something. We dont go out to eat we dont buy excessive things. I only shop clearance and that is when its an extra percent off. My daughter is the only one that gets clothes since she is growing constantly. But I consign or yard sale her old clothes to buy new clothes. I have lost hours at work because I dont keep up with trends like I am required to. Since I work at a clothing store. But I cant afford new clothes for myself. I keep praying that someday I will get ahead. I coupon like crazy and only by meat when its clearance or on a .99 cent sale. I am doing everything to get out of debt. But I have at least 5 years before I pay off my credit cards. I already paid off one by selling all of my daughters old toys and anything that I wasnt completely attached too. I didnt get in debt because I was spending on fun things I was surviving. I got no government help whats so ever.(not that I didnt try, we just didnt have enough children to qualify(which is pathetic)) But I agree some people make me nuts. my neighbors wife only works she drives a new vehicle, he drives a new vehicle and they have 4 kids and shes pregnant again. But some how they can buy the newest of the new all the time she carries a designer bag and is always bringing new bags of stuff home. I really want to ask her how she does it. Maybe she can afford it or maybe she cant I have no clue.

  4. Well said, David.

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