How to stop spending money on the boring to spend more on the exciting
Do you know what you want in life? What lifestyle? What experiences? What trips? If you don’t, then start there. The problem isn’t that you have no self control. You have self control; you don’t call people names. You’re still polite.
The problem is that you don’t have a clear vision for your ideal life. And because of that, you end up spending money on a bunch of things that not only don’t really bring you any long term happiness, but things that don’t give you the short term happiness of living.
In other words, you’re spending money on a lot of boring stuff, which doesn’t allow you to spend on the truly exciting things.
Now I’m not saying not to buy your lattes, or your avocado toasts. If those things truly make you enjoy life, then do it. And if you’re going to do it, make sure you truly savour the smell, the taste, the feelings.
What I am saying no to are things that you are either paying for mindlessly, or those that you are paying for because of some short term emotional need.
So the first step to stop spending money on boring stuff is is to know what you could be spending money on now (or the future) that you would be able to call it the exciting stuff.
In other words, you need to know what exactly that ideal life looks like for you. What is it that you want to experience? What do you want to do? Who do you want to help?
Once you have that down, it’s time to look at each of the items to see how it contributes to that life.
Most likely a lot of your everyday expenses aren’t connected to that ideal life. So it’s our job to start cutting those bills (ie the boring stuff) to be as low as possible while still giving you the life you want right now.
Luckily, many times these bills can be significantly reduced without actually hurting your day to day life too much. Here are 3 examples:
You are most likely paying way more than you need for your broadband internet. Especially if 95% of the time all you do with your internet is watch netflix, youtube, browse social, game. Internet speed doesn’t matter with all of these things because you won’t watch your movies at 20x the speed. At the end of the day, all you need to watch netflix is 5mbs.
Maxis has a new internet package for 30mbs for RM 89. That means you can have 6 people watching their own Netflix all at the same time with that speed.
You’re also most likely overpaying for your phone plan. Most people only use their phones for the internet. They don’t use the calling or texting feature (you can do those exact same things on whatsapp and messenger).
This means all you really need is a plan that give you internet.
Umobile has a plan that only costs RM 30 and will give you unlimited internet for all your apps. And they have also gotten 1 billion to improve their services so you better lock in this deal before they start charging more in the future.
Look at all your subscriptions and ask yourself what would happen to your life if it was gone. If the answer is nothing, then cancel it. If you are able to list out a few different things, ask if it’s worth paying a monthly amount to stop those things from happening. If it is, that’s fine. If it’s not, then maybe it’s time to let it go.
Those 3 ideas alone can probably give you back RM 1000 a year and If you want more ideas on ways to cut down on bills, you can sign up for our free money 101 program.
How to stop spending money on impulsive buys
Now that we’ve looked at cutting a few different bills, it’s time to look at our impulsive buys. Like we’ve already said, you do have self control, so if you really want to stop impulsive buying, here are a few things to do:
Look at all your frivolous spending the last 3 months
We first need to understand what we have done in the past that is considered impulsive buying. Otherwise we won’t be consciously aware of the next time we’re at the store and making the same frivolous spending mistake.
While we’re at it, see if any of these items can be refunded. Otherwise, it might be best to sell them second hand (better have some of the money back than having something that makes you feel bad everytime you see it).
Understand that you’re stealing from yourself
Your ideal life can only happen after you have a certain amount of money to make it happen. So everytime you make a impulsive buy, you’re making it that much harder to make that ideal life a reality. Which brings us to the next idea.
Ask yourself this question
Next time you’re holding something and are tempted to make the spontaneous purchase, ask yourself these questions.
Will this bring me fulfilling happiness or will spending this money on making the ideal life happen in the future bring more happiness to me?
Are there any other alternatives that can give me everything I’m looking for that might be cheaper?
Chances are that this will be able to stop the impulsive buying. And if not, there’s one more thing we can do.
Do you still feel the same way one week later?
Avoid buying this item for one week in order to let your emotions calm down. Then you can ask yourself the questions above again and if it’s still the same answer, then what we’re looking at isn’t an impulsive buy, but something that will actually make you happy.
And if your argument for not being able to wait is that it’s on sale now, then I’d like to point out: if the item is actually getting you closer to your ideal life, then it would still be worth paying full price to your ideal life. Afterall, the purpose of stop spending money is to stop spending on things that are boring so we can start spending more on the things that bring us real happiness and fulfillment. And saying that progress to your ultimate happiness isn’t worth full price is just wrong. Because your happiness is worth that price.