Splurging on meaningless things is too easy to do. Determine which transactions are really important by remembering you have a finite number of dollars to spend in your lifetime.
Picture: Australian money photo by Shutterstock
It's easy to get paid and make an empty purchase, just because you can. People do it all the time -- adding to an already packed shoe collection, for instance. David Cain at Raptitude encourages us to think of money as permanent to avoid these types of purchases:
Essentially, the realisation I had is that money is permanent. You have it until you trade it for something, and then that trade is permanent -- you are thereafter permanently without that money. It's gone and belongs to someone else now. Therefore it's important to consider the permanence of whatever benefit you traded it for.
Think about it: when you die, you will have earned and spent a specific, finite number of dollars. For you the number might be 2,193,003, or maybe it's 8,806,550, or even 217,101,992. Whatever it is, at the moment you die, it is a real and actual number. Even if you never wrote any of your purchases down, there's an actual list of things these dollars were traded for, and each of these trades contributed to (or maybe detracted from) the overall amount of pleasure and fulfillment you experienced in your life.
There's a limit to the number of dollars we have, just like there's a limit to the number of hours we have. If we spend those dollars wisely, we might find ourselves less stressed and living fuller lives with our money.