Monday, November 19, 2012

The Power of Writing Things Down

Last year, i was hooked on online shopping. The process of clicking and putting stuff in the cart and checking them out in a virtual world on internet just sitting in front of computer was an exhilarating experience. Little did I know that in few months down the road, I will get myself in a serious financial issues. 

When I realized I spent probably a little more than twice amount of money than my average spending, I freaked out. I took part time job on campus and sold my books. I did everything but spend less!!!  The thing is, it was hard to cut back once I got crazy with spending. It was not like I got into  expensive designer brands, they were just little things here and there; take out food because I didn't  feel like cooking, books I bought and never read, food I bought and threw out eventually, clothes and shoes I bought not out of necessity but just because they are pretty and I want them.

This year i pledged myself not to spend recklessly. I bought a microwavable grill and rice cooker so I can cook my food instead of doing take outs or eating out everyday.  I deleted online shopping websites off of my bookmark. I also created a monthly budget, and most importantly, I started writing an account book.

At first I didn't expect much from writing one, but now I am glad I had made such a decision. Yes, keeping an account book does help you save money, a lot. First of all, it forces you to monitor and re-evaluate your spending history on a daily basis. I remember my surprises at discovering how much more I  spent a day than I actually had imagined. Secondly, it really does show little things add up. It is just a $2.00 coffee, $5 cab money, $10 lunch take out, $15 book purchase, and $1 muffin and look what they add up to $33!!!

Now, I am not saying we should not be taking a cab or should not be drinking coffees or buying books to save money. My point is that the awareness of little things add up  prevents one from making multiple unimportant, unplanned and insignificant purchases, thereby saving a big money for a smart investment or good quality time in near future (i.e.adding RAM space to your lap top, fixing your computer, getting good art brushes, getting good quality printer, treating your family to a nice restaurant etc,...)

I must admit I still make mistakes here and there, like +$20 purchase on bunch of patterned papers out of whim... but comparing me now to another version of me last year, this has been a big improvement. I probably have lesser stuff than last year, but I feel much more secured and happy. 

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