Accountability. It is a word that you are going to come to know and love after giving this trick a try. Only you are responsible for what you choose to do!
Around Christmas time last year, I was doing some browsing around Marshall’s and found myself mindlessly adding things to the cart I was pushing – because who can pass up relatively inexpensive décor, right?
The thing is, though, that the “inexpensive” décor suddenly becomes pretty expensive when you went into the store for one or two specific items and suddenly decided to fill every nook and cranny of your house with objects.
So, I decided to put back all of the extras I had put in my cart after I completed one important task: I wrote down the price of every item that I was putting back. In this one shopping trip alone, I realized I had saved myself nearly $75 of spending on items that are only on display for less than 3 months of the year.
I decided to challenge myself and start writing down the price of all of the little extras I wanted when I would visit a store.
Over the next few weeks, I kept adding more items to my “want but do I really need” list. Items ranged from clothing, decorations, drinks at the bar, and even coffee – but the coffee savings is a conversation for another article. I just challenge you to really think about how much money you spend monthly of coffee, especially if you’re like me and half of the time don’t even finish the whole cup.
By the end of the month, I found that I had saved myself nearly $300 of money by just taking a moment to stop, really think about if I needed this item, and putting it back or driving past Dunkin’. Granted, this amount may have been less shocking if it hadn’t been the holiday season, but the lesson is still there.
Now, here’s where the real trick comes in: take every penny that you didn’t spend on those extras and move it into your savings account.
This may be a different process for everyone depending on when you get paid. Since I get a paycheck bi-weekly, I add up two-weeks-worth of costs I spared myself and move the total amount into my savings account. But If you get paid monthly, move that lump sum of monthly savings on your list into your actual savings.
The point is this: that money would have been gone anyway, right?
The difference is that instead of watching it disappear from your account because you paid a store or a credit card statement, you paid yourself.