I’m reading this very interesting book, Organizing from the Inside Out, by Julie Morgenstern. In it, there is a series of fill in the blank questions, one of which is “I’m losing a lot of money on…” I, of course, thought this was a fascinating question. First, I answered it. My fill in the blank was “wasted food, using too much automobile fuel, unnecessary purchases, excessive utility usage, and missed opportunities.” It hit me hard, looking at my answers in black and white.
As you know, I believe that A Dollar Saved Is Two Dollars Earned. Therefore, every dollar I lose on wasted food, unnecessary purchases and missed opportunities is two dollars of my income. What is more important to me is that every dollar that I “lose” is a dollar that I don’t have available to put towards good purposes, like building income for the future, enjoying the things I value now, or giving to a worthy cause to help others.
I challenge you to write out on a piece of paper: “I’m losing a lot of money because” and then keep the paper around for a while. When you think of something, write it down. Here are some ideas to point you in the right direction:
- late fees
- food that gets thrown out
- duplicate purchases
- eating out for convenience
- finance charges, interest
- things that are misused and need to be replaced
- not doing maintenance on items like autos, houses and appliances
- not returning items you don’t want
Once you have a list, then spend some time just thinking about the list. Two things will probably happen. First, you’ll think of more things to add to the list. Second, you’ll start thinking of ways to cut back those superfluous costs. This isn’t about cutting back on things that are important or vital, it’s about plugging the leaks in your budget (and wallet.)
I’d love to hear what items you put on your list. You might help others, too. So go ahead, share in the comments!