Frugal Living, Personal Finance, Shopping 

What’s Your Financial “Achilles Heel”

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AchillesAchilles was one of the mightiest Greeks to fight in the Trojan War and was finally felled by Paris’ arrow, guided by Apollo, when it struck him in the heel – hence the term, Achilles’ Heel. But I’m not talking about mythology here, I’m talking money. Everyone has their financial Achilles’ Heel… the one “thing” where money really is no object, when you let it all hang out, where you spend like there’s no tomorrow because you’ve been eating cold cut sandwiches at lunch for the last six months to scrape a few cents together. Why do you buy the generic instead of the brand names? Most of us aren’t saving for the sake of saving, we’re saving for something. You’re not saving money so your bank account can get a little bit larger, it’s so you enjoy your “thing,” that financial Achilles’ Heel that you know will always get you every single time.

What’s mine? It’s when I go on vacation, I spend money on overpriced food, I spend money on overpriced trinkets, and I don’t care. I’ll spend weeks researching the best time to hop on a cruise but mere minutes to convince myself that I really need little plus Thing 1 and Thing 2s. I’ll search for days waiting to pull the trigger on the the best flight down there, but seconds snapping up that enormous turkey leg I really don’t need to eat. I’ll spend the time to find the best price on getting me there, but once I’m there I’m a sucker for everything.

That’s my financial Achilles’ Heel — overspending on vacations. What’s yours?

Image by anthonygrimley.

{ 7 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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7 Responses to “What’s Your Financial “Achilles Heel””

  1. Nick says:

    My financial Achille’s heel is the bookstore. If I’m in a Border’s or a Barnes & Noble I can spend all day picking out books I want to read and placing them in a basket or bag. Usually I’ll get out of there real quickly without buying anything and head on over to my public library, but every once in a while I’ll break down and splurge on the books that I don’t need and probably don’t have the time to read anyways.

  2. Wanda says:

    Skincare products – I always think, is $30 that unreasonable for my skin, my hard-working largest organ of the body? :p

  3. dianefromPA says:

    A very interesting book called Trading Up by Silverstein and Fiske addresses this consumer trend. Although written primarily for businesses it was fascinating for me to see myself in many of the examples. Most of it was an easy read for even the non-business person.
    It seems that consumers are now willing to pay a premium for goods and services that are emotionally important to them while being bargain hunters in all other categories. Hence the sight of BMWs in the Wal-Mart and Target parking lots! It’s beginning to look like businesses can no longer be average, they must either address an emotional issue and be perceived as delivering values of quality, performance and engagement. Or they must be perceived as the place to go to get the best bargains.

  4. John says:

    Dining out. It’s hard to resist going out with friends or family and enjoying a nice meal or night on the town.

  5. steve says:

    Massages. Yes, terribly true, but if I have 10 extra minutes and 10 extra dollars and happen to be in the vicinity of a Chinese Tui-Na Massage place, I will stop in and get a back rub.

  6. Debt Hater says:

    My hair. When it comes to a black woman’s hair, we don’t skimp. I do it myself mostly now and that’s all but free, but when I go to a salon I can pay $70 to $300 and I don’t care as long as it looks great!

  7. Dasha says:

    Mine is buying things on clearance. I simply can’t pass up an item that’s 75-90% off (what I consider clearance). I was justifying shopping by the fact that my bill was never over 20 dollars. But all those small ammounts still added up and I often found myself buying something because it was a good deal not because I really needed it or liked it. Now I am much more careful to buy only the things I really like, I sleep on it, save up the money and end up with something I truly love and value.

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