How Much is Too Much to Spend On…Anything?

22 Jun

Raysha Duncan, Financial Aid Administrator

coffee beans with text overlay: How much is too much to spend on...anything?

How much is too much to spend on an item? Chances are likely that you’ve encountered this question somewhere on the internet before making a purchase. Today, we’re going to focus on a general answer to the question, “How much is too much?”

If you’re wondering if the price of an item is too much, then you probably already have an idea of how much you’re willing to spend. I’m a huge bookworm, but I rarely buy books brand new, and especially not in hardback. No matter how much I like a book or author, I’m not willing to spend more than five dollars on a book. In my opinion, any more than that is just out of the question. I know that if I wait a month, I can borrow the book from the library or hit up a used bookstore. Knowing the maximum amount you’re willing to spend on an item can keep your spending in check and also help you save money.

You should always aim for a price you’re comfortable with, unless your ideal price is extremely low.  In that case, you may need to re-evaluate your expectations and come up with a more realistic price range.

If you’re completely unsure on what to expect to pay for something, do some research! What are people paying on average for that particular item you’re looking for? What type of quality are people getting at the price you’re willing to pay? Are you looking for a new car? Kelly Blue Book is a wonderful resource for new and used vehicles. Do you need to find an apartment for the upcoming year? lists tons of information about apartments, including tenant reviews and price listings. Do you need to purchase textbooks for school or a gift for a friend? Amazon lists thousands of items at competitive prices, and they even have next-day shipping if you don’t have time to wait for delivery.

One of the biggest reoccurring expenses you’ll have as a college student, and  even after you graduate, is paying for your where you live, whether that be your rent or mortgage payment. This is where you need to consult your budget and see what you can realistically spend each month without sacrificing any necessities. While it’s important to be comfortable with your living arrangements, being comfortable doesn’t have to mean more amenities or extras. You should try to live within your means so that you don’t have to take on additional loan debt to make ends meet. Remember, it’s always too much if you can’t afford it.

Do you have any helpful tips on keeping your spending in check? Share them with us in the comments below!

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