Making Smart Spending Decisions

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Partial Transcript

[The following is a partial transcript of this episode of The Scott Alan Turner Show. Listen to the full episode to hear this story, listener questions, money hacks, and inspiring stories of people that are changing their financial lives. Subscribe to the free podcast on iTunes or Google Play]

In This Episode / Listener Questions

  • How to research a good used car (Liza)
  • I’ve lost momentum on my debt-free journey (Amber, Facebook)
  • What brand of children’s shoes last a long time (Corey)
  • How to diversify outside of retirement accounts (Gandolf)
  • How much money would be good to open a savings account for a 7-year old (Cassandra)
  • Watch out for extra costs when buying a condo.
  • You called it right on Helium (Allison)
  • Tax efficiency of ETFs vs. index funds (Tom, Florida)
  • What is a good balance of stocks and bonds if you have a pension (Harriet, Washington D.C.)
  • Should we stop saving for retirement to save up for a house (Hannah, Connecticut)
  • Are there regulations on who can be a financial planner (Stuart)


Most millionaires got that way by – wait for it – spending less than they earn. No way!

Growing up most people have this belief, people with money are evil and greedy. They didn’t earn it. They inherited their money. They had a dad who wrote a rap song that went to #1 and they just collect the royalties off it. Like in that old movie with Hugh Grant called About a Boy.

Jeremy had a comment on my Instagram post about spending less than someone earns:

Unfortunately, for most, this is easier said than done. Not because it can’t be done, but because we’re very good at rationalizing unnecessary spending.

I believe when we get clear on what we want, it’s easier to disconnect from what we don’t.

Here’s how I put this to a listener of The Scott Alan Turner Show a while back. Most people who own a car have this fear they will break down in the Nevada desert and die of thirst. Or end up at Area 51 and disappear into the sky. Even if they live in Miami, Florida and have never been to Nevada. They think they could die in the dessert. Obviously that’s not the case. But people worry about their cars breaking down, right?

The argument I gave was, listen to this – someone that has a garage, the garage door is going to breakdown too. The motor engine thingy. The springs are going to snap or break. The remotes will stop remoting, ok?

Should they not also pay $300 for a new garage lift? Or $2,500 for new garage doors? Wouldn’t want to get trapped inside the garage and be late for work someday. They could lose their job. They could miss the big meeting. They could miss out on the break room donuts.

While they are at it. Maybe they have a few stairs in the garage. The stairs are a bit dangerous. People fall down stairs every day. Maybe a parent or grandparent could fall. Have they thought about adding one of those chair lifts? Or heck, maybe a slide. Those are safe.

But what’s much safer would be to have no stairs. Yep, someday the parents or in-laws may need to move in. Maybe the first house, the starter home, or the next house, needs to be just one story with no stairs.

Let’s just move. Moving is expensive though. Sell all the furniture. This couch is old. The dining table has scratches from the dog chewing on the legs. Let’s get new furniture.

But new furniture expensive. Old furniture doesn’t get delivered from Craigslist. We’re going to need a truck. Who do we know that owns a truck? Nobody. Because you don’t live in Texas.
We need a truck. We should get a big one, so we can help our friends move. And in this new house, wouldn’t it be awesome to have a garden. Grow our own produce and make our own salad. Which requires dirt. Dirt doesn’t fit in a car. Let’s buy a Ford F–350 duelE.

But not an old one, because it’s got old technology. and it’s bad for the environment.

Which is why instead of waiting for a car to break down, people should get a new $120k truck from Tesla. So they can save the planet by buying used furniture and making their own salad.

You know we all do it! Think of any hobby you’ve ever had. This thing, this gadget, this training, it will make me better in 1/2 the time. Let’s buy it as a shortcut to greatness.

I get it.

It is true of gaming PCs, too right? For my gaming listeners. Because the faster the CPU, the faster the bullets come out of the guns. That’s why nobody can defeat an IBM supercomputer at Fortnite.

You know you’re very smart with money. It takes time and practice to catch the brain from tripping over itself in these types of purchasing decisions.

You see, millionaires do things differently, right? But in order to do things differently they first had to think about things differently. Does that make sense?

Children do things first. They don’t think first. Adults have to think first, then do.

When you get clear on what you want, it’s easier to disconnect from what you don’t.

When you get clear on what you want, it’s easier to disconnect from what you don’t.

Unrealistic expectations kills financial freedom. Kills your sanity. And robs you of your joy for that day.

Keep saving up for the new Tesla truck. We can save this 3rd rock from the sun one salad at a time.


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