Money Spending Habits?
Pretty much all of us could be better with our money spending habits.
I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve spent money on questionable stuff plenty of times. (We all have!)
Let’s see… there was an impulse orange, geometric dress that I wore once and thought “What am I thinking?! This is not flattering or my style”… a webinar course that I still have the intention of going through (but, let’s be honest, I haven’t found the time in a whole 2 years!)… a funky, hose chandelier from Paris that not only did I cart home as a carry-on, but I continued to move it from apartment to apartment to storage until I just gave up on rewiring it for a US outlet…
Cutting down on your spending is hard. It can be a challenge to find the balance between buying things that make you happy or that will benefit your business, and completely overspending on things you don’t need.
That’s where these two money spending habits come into play. I try to use them daily.
With two simple questions, you can make smarter financial decisions and help yourself (and your money spending habits) stay balanced!
Money Spending Habit #1 : Does it enrich my life?
Enriching can mean a variety of things, and it all depends on what makes you happiest.
It could be enriching because it gives you great joy, makes your life easier, saves you time, or whatever works for you!
Basically, enriching is something that affects you at a profound level in a positive way.
Some examples? It could be something like buying a new outfit that makes you feel AMAZING every time you put it on – even if it was a bit of a splurge. Or something as simple as making your life easier by buying prewashed spinach over unwashed spinach when you know for sure it’s the difference between making a morning smoothie or not (ahem, totally guilty of this). Or save yourself time by buying a new super smart coffee maker that brews before your alarm goes off–or a new software that automates some of your business.
Whatever it is, whatever it does for you, if you can answer “yes” to the question of “Does it enrich my life?” then you’re set.
Now, this does NOT mean to give yourself permission to buy whatever you want. “Treat yo self” is not the smartest financial strategy for every day choices. If you find yourself saying “yes” to everything, hold up.
Bring yourself back to the word enriching. I don’t know about you, but there’s a lot that I could spend money on that doesn’t enrich my life – it’s much more neutral. I mean, let’s be real here. You’ll reach a point in clothes shopping where you have so many great-fitting pants that just one more pair won’t really make a difference in how you feel. And you only need so many time-saving morning gadgets.
So, use common sense. And keep asking the question “does it enrich my life?”
Be honest with yourself when you answer!
Money Spending Habit #2: Will it make me money?
This one is specifically applicable when you work for yourself, so you should ask yourself this when you’re considering new business pursuits or expansions.
“Will it make me money?” is an important question because it costs money to run a business. Plain and simple.
But, there are always a lot of subjective costs of doing business. Despite all the rules out there when it comes to business tax deductions, the IRS doesn’t produce an all-encompassing list of what you can and can’t buy.
So, when you’re tempted to buy another course, or another business app, or fly to another unpaid event to speak, first ask yourself “Will it make me money?”
Sit with that question for a moment. Feel it in your body. And see if whether you truly feel this cost will bring in income.
Sometimes the answer will be a wholehearted yes, sometimes it will be a no.
And sometimes it will be a sort of “ehh…maybe??”
In these “ehh” circumstances, I deal with it by looking at three things: how much flex spending room I have, how much I actually want to do something that’s going to cost me money, and how much money and effort I’ve already put into this area. For example, I’ve been asked to speak at a lot of unpaid conferences. I’ve done unpaid speaking, and I’m not against it as a rule. But there was a point in a year-and-a-half period where I’d done several of these for free for a specific industry… and there hadn’t been any pin-pointable financial return. So, I decided I was going to put my efforts elsewhere.
Over to You
Do you have any favorite ways to curb your money spending habits for business or for your life? Share your thoughts in the comments below!