Then figure out your basic needs: health, sleep, quiet time to reflect, people to play with; family, friends and pets to love. A roof over your head <preferably paid for>, basic utilities, a car. Simple pleasures and experiences. A fun hobby or activity. Service to others.
1. Carry cash and only spend what you have … leave your credit cards at home
2. Plan for the week and don’t visit the ATM again until next week
3. Track your spending for a week … know where it goes … decide what you can live without
4. Think about what emotional need you are trying to fill by buying more “stuff”
5. Ask questions: what can I do without? Do I really need this latest gadget? Why do I want this? Where am I rich in my life <don’t compare your life to the wealthy>? Put these questions on a stickee attached to your credit cards and ask them before you buy something. <or print out the Wallet Buddy PDF which has questions to ask before buying>
6. Shop with a list and stay away from places that trigger impulse spending
7. Buy only the necessities for a month … use up food in your fridge, freezer and pantry
8. Get creative: make a list of free fun things to do
Make it a game … challenge yourself to find new ways to simplify your life and spending. Realize that less stuff means less to take care of and less stress.