Cutting back spending can be very hard if you haven’t considered your motivation for buying things in the first place.
Think about a “want” purchase that is expensive or that you consider a luxury. This could be something you already have bought, something you’re planning to buy, or something you really want to buy, but don’t think you can afford just yet.
Thinking just of this one real or imaginary purchase, use the Mindful Spending Worksheet to answer the following questions:
What is my reasoning/rationale for buying this particular thing?
- “I need to keep up with trends, otherwise I’ll be embarrassed.”
- “I deserve to splurge once in a while, and this will feel like a reward for all my hard work.”
- “This was a necessary upgrade — even though my old one still works, someday I’ll have to buy a new one so it might as well be today.”
What is the purpose behind making this particular purchase? What do I hope to get from buying it?
- “I hope to impress my friends.”
- “I hope to not feel embarrassed anymore that my stuff is old or out-of-date.”
- “I hope that my kids will think it’s cool.”
How do I think that this purchase might make up for something in my life that is lacking?
- “If I had something nice to wear, then I would get asked out more.”
“If I had a bigger TV, then my kids would want to come over.”
“If I had a better computer, I would be motivated to work on side projects.”
What might be cheaper alternatives to this purchase? What would be the reasons to buy the more expensive version?
- “I could research generic brands rather than brand names.”
- “I could monitor the deals online and make the purchase at a time when I would get a discount.”
- “I already have researched and compared options, and I am confident that this is the best value for the best deal.”