Just saw this quote from Mabel @ GirlsOnTheMoney.com and cannot get enough of it!!
How true is this??? If you can afford the product, you can afford the stock! You literally have the cash in your hands!
But how many of us spend gobs of money buying up clothes or coffees, iPhones, laptops, and basically a million dollars on Amazon every month, only to then turn around and say we “can’t afford” anything?
- Clothes @ $30/piece // Express (EXPR) @ $7.41
- Coffees @ $60/mo // Starbucks stock (SBUX) @ $57.42
- iPhones @ $500 // Apple stock (AAPL) @ $176.04
- Laptops @ $700 // Hewlett Packard (HPQ) @ $21.79
- Amazon @ $1,000,000 // Amazon (AMZN) @ $1,585.55
(*stock prices as of the writing of this post)
(**also, do people still shop at Express?? it’s been so many years since I shopped at the mall and literally have no idea anymore, haha…)
So yes you COULD afford it, but you CHOOSE not to. Which is totally fine – we all live in a world where we can make our own choices, thankfully! – but you technically CAN afford it and just don’t want to. Which are two completely separate things :)
In fact, I really wish the whole “I can’t afford it” line would just go away in itself as it’s only ever used in a negative light vs an empowering one… There’s really no shame in not being able to afford things if that’s truly the case (millions of people are struggling out there!), but this whole fake “woe is me, I can’t afford blah blah blah” should be wiped away for good. If you’ve got internet connection right now, you have control of where your money goes. Even if it’s not a lot.
Perhaps we can change it to “I can’t afford XYZ, because I *CHOOSE* to spend money on ABC instead?” Much more accurate, while at the same time taking ownership! Regardless of whether your money’s going somewhere productive or not.
But I digress…
If you can afford the product, you can afford the stock. Yes – nailed it, Mabel.
And really, this applies to “investing” in general and not only individual stocks, although there’s nothing wrong going that route either. I love seeing people put their money where their values are, and one strategy you commonly see are those scooping up investments of companies they love and use in any given day. Might not necessarily give you a financial edge, but it does feel good.
I actually tried this myself 6 years ago and wrote about it here – What If We Only Invested in Companies We Loved? Then 9 months later gave an update (though not nearly enough time to truly test it – hah):
Earlier in the year I decided to try out a new investing strategy and throw a pile of money only into companies that I LOVE and use all the time. Places like Amazon, Target, TJ Maxx, etc. I figured if I spent my money there all the time and am always getting addicted, others are probably doing the same! And then it would feel good supporting these places too – kinda like an all around happy energy flow or something ;)
And it indeed felt good – both financially and emotionally! Here were the results from back then:
- TJ Maxx (TJX) — Put in $2,000. Now worth $2,182.37.
- Target (TGT) — Put in $2,000. Now worth $2,161.83.
- Starbucks (SBUX) — Put in $2,000. Now worth $1,987.10.
- Panera Bread (PNRA) — Put in $2,000. Now worth $2,040.89.
- Amazon.com (AMZN) — Put in $2,000. Now worth $2,524.92.
Again, not enough time and way too many variables to accurately portray this strategy, but it still served its purpose of getting me *to act*, and more importantly – to learn. Even if I eventually chose a different long term strategy in the end (which you now know became index investing).
All this to say that yes, most of us truly CAN save and invest more, but you have to really commit to it and want it enough to make it happen. Investing isn’t always as fun as having a new phone or computer or new line of beanie babies on the market (they’re making a comeback – watch out!!), but it’s easier than ever to start *small* these days and then ramp it up from there.
Make *one* less transaction a month, and then redirect the money into investments instead. Use an app, pick them out manually, or automate it every month – whatever it takes! Not only won’t you miss the money, but you’ll feel more confident with each passing month.
Make it happen!
PS: For further reading, see Mabel’s presentation she did at the conference: “Investing 101: Pathway To Wealth” (Powerpoint doc) It’s geared towards women and beginners, but there’s tons of nuggets for everyone in it. Huge thanks for letting us pass it around, Mabel!
Also check out Millennial Money’s post on Best Stocks To Buy For Beginners. You’ll recognize a handful of household names of companies you’ll be proud to own a part of!