We all know that tracking every transaction helps keep you accountable, but what if you were to just focus on the *wants* side of the equation?
Would it open up your eyes even more or change future habits?
I’ve been doing it for about a week now and so far I’m thoroughly enjoying it :) It hasn’t affected my patterns *too* much yet, but I’ve never sat down to actually figure out just how much I spend on fluff, so I’m def. curious what I’ll find over the next month.
Here’s what I’ve been spending so far:
- Day #1: $0.00 (it’s working already! ;))
- Day #2: $35.00 (membership to a local organization)
- Day #3: $3.27 (coffee & a bagel)
- Day #4: $5.27 (coffee & bagel, two $1.00 raffle tickets at coin club)
- Day #5: $43.27 (coffee & bagel, two $20.00 donations*)
- Day #6: $2.00 (ice cream bars for boys)
Total so far: $88.81
Daily average: $14.80
Too early to tell how good or not this is, but so far it’s at least feeling pretty good! Outside of the donations, most days have been under $5.00! And I’ll probably just take those out of the equation anyways as they’re fully automated like “bills” and don’t really affect my day-to-day habits, even though technically they are wants.
(I’ve also coded all the numbers here in green instead of red because they’re expenses that make me happy, haha… After all – they’re wants! ;))
What I’m most excited about though is just seeing how far I can push myself with this and get my spending even lower, while still retaining my same quality of life. Since after all – there’s a ton of stuff that can make you just as happy whether you spend $5.00 or $500.00! And quite honestly, I haven’t been the best at holding myself accountable in recent months…
I don’t know if any of you have experienced this, but I’m finding that it’s a LOT harder saying “no” to stuff when you can actually afford something than when you can’t. Not saying it’s the biggest problem in the world (hah), but it’s definitely something I’ve noticed creeping up in recent years.
When you don’t have the money to buy something, it pretty much makes the decision right there for you (credit cards, aside). But when you DO have the money, the biggest obstacle has been removed – thereby leaving you fully open to temptation! Again, not the worst problem to have, but definitely something I need to be better about warding off.
So let’s see what this Wants Tracker does over time! Anyone wanna join me and compare notes?!
I’m gonna keep doing it until at least the end of the month (long enough to give a more accurate picture), and then if I’m still getting something out of it I’ll continue until the end of the year.
I really do believe it’s going to open up my eyes more than I think, and it’s not too often we separate out this category from the rest of them. Nothing wrong with spending money on stuff you love, but that’s only if it’s not getting in the way of stuff you love even more! And you first have to stop and track it in order to know exactly where you stand.
I’ll come back in a month and do another update :)
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!