Wow what a massive temptation, I had to go to Officeworks this week, to get some supplies for an upcoming consultation, this could have been bad.
Stationary is one of my favourite indulgences (along with Gin), I just love notebooks and pens and pencils, particularly mechanical pencils, they are the best. So when I have to go to Officeworks or another stationary store, I usually pick myself up a couple of note books and a pencil or two to add to my collection – after all I am bound to need them one day.
So knowing that this was a weakness I determined to be strong and only buy what I needed for this particular consultation. I wrote a list and set off to the store, to discover I had forgotten my list and the USB containing the map I needed printing. Still I persevered and wandered round the store looking at all the cool stuff, I picked up a very nice looking notebook just $4.50, what a barging! Still I was strong and put it back down again. I bypassed the mechanical pencils – will power is a limited resource and I did not want to take that risk. I even got through the check out ‘maze of temptation’ (you know that bit at the end that has lots of $3-$5 bits and pieces that look oh so useful). When I went to pay I was surprised by how cheap the trip was – I might be onto something here.
Well, I think we can call that a success and saving money is always good, in fact many people have said to me ‘you must be saving heaps of money’ doing this (stuff reduction). Sadly this is not the case. Well I say that but in truth I have no idea how much money I actually spend. My brother, who is an accountant, was amazed when I told him that. He genuinely could not comprehend that I could not be aware of where my money was going. To be truthful it is a little bit silly on my part, I have always lived within my means but if I ever want to retire I may have to be a little more grown up about this.
So I installed an app on my phone called Money Smart. You log all your expenses into categories and you can see where your money is going. I have been doing it for three months now so I can see some patterns. I decided that the easiest way to save money was to look at where the biggest chunk of my money goes and stop or cut down on that particular expense. After a quick review I can see that cutting my biggest expense means I wont be paying my mortgage or utility bills anymore.
OK, that is probably not going to work so I looked at the next biggest expenditure which turns out to be entertainment and eat out. Saving money is going to mean I will be cooking at home and catching up on a heap of DVD’s and books in the next three months – I can live with that.