We live in a society that has become accustomed to buying lots of unnecessary material things. That includes expensive cellphones, clothes, televisions and other non-essentials. The exact reasons behind this buying behavior vary from shopping addictions to the desire to “keep up with the Joneses.” But there comes a time when you must take a hard look at your spending habits and how they may be affecting your financial future.
Record Your Purchases
Carry a little journal with you when you go out of the house for anything. If you stop and make a purchase, write down each item that you bought and its cost. At the end of the month review the list of items to get a snapshot of exactly where your money is going. Add everything up in Microsoft Excel to get a grand total of the non-essential items. Think about the fact that the money you spent on all of that stuff could have gone into a savings fund or invested in a business idea. You may be a little surprised and upset at what you bought and how much it cost you. That is a good thing—that list should motivate you to make a change.