We should all have a way of keeping up with our purchases. If it’s not an old-fashioned ledger, then your bank’s software or an app can hep you keep track of what you buy. When logging your expenses, try adding a section with how happy the purchase makes you.
As finance blog One Frugal Girl points out, noting how much you enjoy a particular purchase can provide valuable perspective on how you spend your money. As we’ve talked about before, not every purchase you make is about frugality or practicality. Some are about dignity or personal happiness. Knowing which little purchases make you the happiest can help you decide which to keep and which to let go:
Do you track your spending? Do you write down how much money you spend each day? Do you make note of how much that latte cost or how much you paid for your new shirt? Now what if you also paid attention to the level of joy you felt each time you pulled out your wallet?
Do you drink coffee every morning? Many financial advisers will tell you that cup of coffee is a complete waste of money, but what if you view the purchase differently? Perhaps that morning coffee fills your soul in an unexpected way. Maybe that first sip coincides with the first quiet moment in your morning after your kids have been dropped off to school but before you reach your office. Maybe you silently meditate while you enjoy that hot beverage, breathing in the warm aromas and clearing your mind before you start working. Maybe that cup of coffee makes you feel immensely happy. If that’s the case then perhaps that morning cup is not such a waste after all.
Of course, ratings for how happy you are with a purchase can change over time, so it helps not only to make a notation when you first purchase an item, but to review your ledger after an amount of time has passed. As your notes add up, you can see what purchases you value most and allow the rest to fall by the wayside.