Do you ever find yourself standing in the store looking at a product, and asking yourself “Is it worth it?” Whether it’s a new pair of jeans, a coffee maker, or a dining room table, sometimes we all scratch our heads trying to decide if the item is worth the price you will pay for it.
If it’s truly an item we need, we might just suck it up and buy it regardless of the price. But what if it’s an item that is practical but not necessarily something you need right now? A new pair of sneakers for example. How do you decide if you are okay with trading your hard earned cash for those new kicks?
You learn to view money differently.
First and foremost, before buying anything, you need to ask yourself if the item in question is covered in your budget. If the answer is no, then do not pass go; do not collect $200. Don’t buy the item! Wait until you reconfigure your budget to include the item or wait until you have enough saved up before purchasing. If it is a non-essential item that you just want, then start saving up with your Fun Money account.
Check and check. The item is included in your budget and/or you have enough saved up for it. So now how do you decide if the item is worth the price?
Learn how to view money differently.
Instead of viewing the price in currency, think of it in hours of work. Basically, how many hours would you have to work at your job to be able to buy this item?
Let’s say you make $15 an hour, and you are thinking about buying a jacket that costs $120. That means that you have to work 8 hours – a typical work day – in order to afford this jacket. So you have to decide: is this jacket worth a full day’s worth of work?
But if you make $60 an hour, that jacket is only going to cost you 2 hours of work. All of a sudden, the jacket seems much more affordable. By adopting this practice, your spending will start to be more proportional to what you earn, as in the examples above.
Time is money
When we start looking at our money as time spent working, we tend to value it a little more.
When you start to realize how much you would have to work to pay for that impulse-buy item, you might just choose to not buy it after all. You might look for an comparable item at a cheaper price. Either way, you end up spending less.
If we view money differently, as hours worked, how many of the items that we normally buy would we suddenly see as overpriced? How many frivolous expenses could we cut out of our budget?
Start to view money differently, and you will start to train yourself to spend less. This is another part of having a frugal mindset. You can read more about having a frugal mindset by using the link below.
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