Money is a limited resource for most of us, so you want to spend it wisely. Often, we buy stuff that ends up just collecting dust a few weeks later. To curb this kind of spending, make purchases based on the life you have, not the life you want.
Picture: Berit Watkin/Flickr
Over at Apartment Therapy, writer Nancy Mitchell says one simple question can help you cut back on a lot of unnecessary spending: "Am I buying this for the life I have right now?" If not, you might be buying for a fantasy life. Buying a closet full of super-fancy clothes, for example, when your day-to-day life is pretty casual, can be a waste of money. Chances are, you won't use those items often.
Or, you might even buy stuff for a lifestyle you're expecting to live soon. Mitchell explains:
I just moved to New York, after waiting and wanting to move to New York for almost two years, and during this time I amassed a ton of New York stuff, things I was sure would be absolutely perfect and necessary for my life in the city. I got all this stuff...because I was anxious about my future in a new city, and I figured I could make the transition smoother by having all the right stuff already. So now I have wool sweaters that I can't wear because my office is regularly heated to a toasty 85 degrees, and giant clunky rain boots that sit in my apartment because I realised after I had been here for a week that ankle boots would do the job a lot better.
The lesson is the same: buy for the life you have now, and you'll better ensure your purchases don't go to waste.
Of course, this doesn't nip all impulsive spending in the bud. If you want a new TV, you may very well use it in the life you have, but that doesn't necessarily mean its not impulsive. On the other hand, if you're guilty of buying things you never use, this advice will probably be helpful.
For more detail, check out the full post.
Cut Down on Unnecessary Purchases by Asking Yourself This One Simple Question [Apartment Therapy]