Posts tagged ‘how to save and stop spending’

Meet the Meticulosumers: The Ones Who Find Reasons Not to Buy

We’ve all encountered the idea of sleeping on a decision before making a purchase or committing to a significant financial investment. Many of us have found ourselves caught in the ‘buyer’s remorse’ conundrum, regretting a decision shortly after making a purchase. But how about going out of your way to find a reason not to buy something? Just as some individuals will discover any justification to acquire something they desire, there exists a tiny minority at the opposite end of the spectrum. This rare breed, upon finding something they genuinely want or need, invests the next few hours or days attempting to convince themselves otherwise, diligently searching for any reason to resist making the purchase. Their hesitation is so profound that unless they can identify a compelling reason not to proceed with the acquisition, they refrain from making the purchase. These are the ‘meticulosumers’ , or someone who meticulously analyzes and considers every aspect before making a purchase, even to the point of finding reasons not to proceed.

Are you a Meticulosumer?

I have been guilty of this and are mostly proud of it. In fact it is a habit, and borderline an obsession. For example, I am due for a new laptop, as my current one is a used one from 2014 and even when I bought it back then, it was refurbished and had already been used for another 2 years. But I have come up with so many reasons why I should continue with this, how it is still runs so good for the most part, that my money is better spent on paying off debt or saving it instead. But as with all consumable items, this laptop is due to be replaced eventually, so I have agreed to push this purchase to September 2024, that is when this laptop will have been used for exactly 10 years. That also means that I start to save for it from now, instead of trying to make one big purchase and come up with the money at once.

While being addicted to non-spending and finding ways not to go ahead with big purchases, this doesn’t extend to smaller, routine purchases, or even purchases that may impact my health or safety. For example, if my car tires or breaks are due for replacement, I won’t hesitate to go ahead and make that purchase. While a Meticulosumer may take things to the extreme, they should know where and when to draw the line and health and safety should always be on an exemption list.

Meticulosumer can’t regret their decision

At the end of the day, you can not regret not buying something because you can always go out and buy it but the opposite can’t be the case with something you wasted money on but hardly ever use.

Imagine having a good car already, that runs fine, is already paid off, but decide to go for the latest model because you saw a commercial for it, or want to keep up with the joneses. So you sign the agreement to buy a car that costs you $45,000 as an example. Based on the downayment you made and current interest rates, you figure that you will be paying $750 a month on this car, for the next 6 years. At first, you say to yourself: “I make enough money to afford this and I can easily afford this. Not to mention that I deserve a new car. ” But things always look better on paper than in the real world. So while you are comfortable making the payment in the first few months, by the 6th payment (with another 66 payments to go or so) , you start feeling payment fatigue, as the car is now taken for granted and you don’t feel like you want to keep paying this big amount – in addition to paying for gas and insurance – and want a way out. Unfortunately, it is not easy to get out of this situation without losing a lot of money.

With a Meticulosumer, this situation is avoided altogether because they would have found a way not to go ahead with such a big purchase in the first place, by first convincing themselves that their current car is more than enough for their needs, and their decision to buy one would never be influenced by a commercial they saw, or to keep up with their neighbour and friends. As they say, once a glass is broken, it is impossible to put it back together. Apply the same imagery to spending money on big purchases and how it is usually close to impossible to recover your losses and get back your money in full. You don’t have a Costco-like return policy for every purchase you made. So avoid that feeling and don’t go ahead with a big purchase to begin with, doing your best to overanalyze and find ways not to go ahead with it.

To be a Meticulosumer is the same as developing your patience or endurance muscle: you need to work on it and develop it to the point of putting it on autopilot and let it do the work and thinking for you when faced with a big purchase decision. This will not only help you avoid waste money and save it instead, it will mean a much brighter and independent financial future for you.

The Simple Advice that made the Ultimate Difference for my Friend and Turned his Life around.

While I don’t like talking down or preaching to people about finances from a position of ‘know it all’ , I do like to offer any advise I can when I realize the person is totally clueless or their situation is in need of some simple advise.

One of the advice I give out to people is to to simply save money and ensure you are paying yourself first. As simple and as obvious as this financial lesson may sound, it is lost on so many. The good news is, some of these same people are one advice away from turning their life away.

A friend of mine, whom we shall refer to as ‘Nick’ , was the recipient of such friendly but crucial advice. About two years ago or more, the topic of finance and money management came up and after knowing his situation, I gave him the simple advice and the importance of automating his savings. Moreover, I brought up the concept of paying yourself first. In his mid 40s at the time and while he had saved money in the past, it was sporadic and more of an afterthought. In other words, saving money was far from a priority for his pay check. I explained to him how not prioritizing this will ensure not a penny remains after he takes care of both essential and non-essential budget items. And I use the term ‘budget’ here loosely as he didn’t even have a real budget.

Fast forward to last week, where I had a chance to meet Nick for a mutual friend’s birthday. After telling me about his new job , the topic of finances came up and he proceeded to thank me for advice from years ago. Confused and clueless about this advice he had received from me, I asked him and he reminded me about the ‘pay yourself first’ recommendation I had given him years ago. Ever since, and after automating this through his payroll and bank, he has yet to skip a payment. I felt very proud of him and totally blown away by how one simple advice – coming casually and out of the blue – could make such a large impact. It is like the compound effect that starts small but builds up over time.

Seeing that he was committed and took my advise seriously, I offered him another advice that I myself had started to implement last few years. This is to forego any salary increases and let it continue to go to savings instead. It is money you never had to begin with, so just keep pretending that and let it go to savings instead. This was explained in a previous post but the concept is simple to understand and apply. Say your bi-weekly net payout is $1750 and from that, $250 goes to savings automatically. Let us assume you had a salary increase and your bi-weekly payment is now up to $1850. Take that extra $100 and add it to your existing $250 of automatic savings for total of $350. As long as you do this from the start, you won’t feel it and you just have a better financial future ahead of you.

Your life or someone’s life may just be one advise or lesson away from being completely different. When it comes to financial management and freedom, never shy away from advising others, or accepting advise from someone else, as obvious as the advise may be. While the advise may be the same, depending on the context and circumstances, there may be very valuable insight that can help. In this case, had me and my friend not talked about the strategy or prioritizing savings first, he may have wasted the last two years without any savings. And two years can make a world of difference.

Outsource and Save: Home-Based Hacks for Your Wallet that could save you hundreds or thousands

If you are like me, you can’t spend a day without having your coffee. While no coffee addict, I still drink an average of 1-2 cups a day. But rarely ever more than that. And if you are like me, you also like to get your workout done, rain or shine! But unlike many of you, I actually do most of these things at home, and that saves me so much money. Literally thousands per year. Let us go through some of these items:

Home GYM

Ever since the COVID pandemic lockdown started in March 2020, I cancelled my GYM (more like they closed down) and never been back to a GYM since. That is 3.5+ years. But having always been someone who likes to look after my health and fitness, I couldn’t be lazy enough to quit my GYM and not do something to replace it. And that is exactly what I did: for the last 3 years, I have done walking and hiking on an almost daily basis, depending on the weather outside. In fact, thanks to my Apple Watch that keeps me committed, I have a streak that goes back to Jul 2020 where I have walked a minimum of 30 minutes or more.

And in the last 2 years, I have managed to build a modest mini-GYM (workout area) in my basemen, with a treadmill, weights and some other stretching equipment. You not only can’t beat the cost savings, the convenience is huge. The fact that this is in my own home, where no effort is required to get to it, makes it easy do use it daily. And of course, I am also saving on commute time and gas driving to and from the GYM. With a regular GYM, I would usually go an average of 4 times a week. With my own home GYM, I do it almost 6 days, if not 7 per week. Compared to the average GYM that now costs minimum of $50 a month, and add all the time and gas costs spent driving there and back, I am saving a minimum of $750-800 on this. And oh, the GYM happened to have been given to me for free from family, so that makes things even better in my case.


As mentioned earlier, I don’t necessarily need a cup of coffee every hour to function, but I do enjoy sipping 1-2 cups a day on average. It’s more about the taste and enjoyment than the caffeine rush to keep me going. Since I always opt for a small size, the cost is $1.65 per cup ($3.30 for two). Going to the local coffee shop involves time and gas wasted in back-and-forth trips. Needless to say, it adds up. That’s why I decided to try a home coffee machine two years ago, and it was the best decision ever. Not only does the coffee taste great, almost on par with what I get from coffee chains, but the savings are significant. I did the math; it costs around 80 cents to make one cup at home, taking about 2-3 minutes. Now, imagine I do this around 500 times a year — considering I still buy coffee when I’m out — that means I’m saving over $400 annually (the difference between what coffee costs me at home versus buying it outside). And that doesn’t even take into account the cost of gas and time to get to a coffee shop. In other words, my coffee machine is also doubling as a cash machine, given the huge savings for my money and time.

Electric Shaver

It has now been well over 23 years that I have been using an electric shaver. In fact, it was only a year or two after my adulthood that I decided to ditch razor in favour for an electric shaver. This is not only convenient, the savings are huge. Let us crunch some numbers based on average of one shave per week:

The costs of shaving cream and razors can vary based on the brands and types you choose. However, let’s assume average costs:

  1. Shaving Cream: A typical can of shaving cream can cost around $3 to $5, depending on the brand and size. Let’s assume $4 per can.
  2. Razor: A pack of disposable razors or a basic razor cartridge can cost around $5 to $15, depending on the brand and the number of blades. Let’s assume $10 for a pack of razors.

So, for a weekly shave, the estimated cost would be:

  • Shaving Cream: $3 per week
  • Razor: $10 (assuming it lasts a month)

Therefore, the total cost per week would be approximately $3.25. Keep in mind that these are rough estimates, and actual costs may vary based on your specific choices and how long the products last for you. So in a year, you are spending around $170. With a shaved, you buy it once (around $100 for a good one) and use it for 3-5 years.

Of course, each person may be different in what they do to save money. For example, some like to cut their hair. Some may even grow their own fruits and vegetables, make their own tomato sauce, wine etc. Find what you already spend a lot of money on, and on a regular basis, and see if you can outsource it to yourself and do it at home. If the time and money savings are not significant, there is no need to go ahead with this.

In conclusion, embracing a lifestyle of cost-effective home practices and strategic outsourcing can yield significant financial and time savings. From establishing a home gym for convenient and affordable fitness routines to brewing your own coffee, these small changes accumulate into substantial annual savings. By making mindful choices in personal grooming, such as adopting an electric shaver, one not only enhances efficiency but also reduces recurring expenses. These practices empower individuals to take control of their expenses, contributing to a more financially sustainable and personally fulfilling lifestyle.

Smart Shopping for Big Ticket Items: Price vs. Value and Tips for Maximizing Benefits

If you have a need or even want to buy a big ticket item, do you simply do some research on the best choice, compare it to other items in the same category, then make your decision? or is price the first thing you look at?

For those wondering or are not sure about the exact meaning or what does it apply to, a “big ticket item” refers to a high-cost or expensive purchase or product, which typically represents a significant portion of an individual’s or household’s budget. These items are usually more expensive than everyday or routine purchases and may require careful financial planning and research.

For example, let us say you are in the market for a new Smart TV, as the one you currently have is from 10 years ago or more, and is not only outdated, it is not working properly and it is time to replace it. You decide on the size you want, the features, and even down to two or three brands. You may even have a budget for it. Now what? Do you simply go out and buy it? or do you look at different retailers and big box stores and do price-comparison, as well as checking who gives you the best value for your buck.

With an item that is going to cost a significant amount, it is a no-brainer: you have to spend some time trying to find the best deal, even if it takes you hours or days of research. It could easily mean the difference of hundreds of dollars saved.

Consider Long-Term Costs: Beyond the initial purchase price, think about the long-term costs associated with the item. For example, consider energy efficiency, maintenance expenses, and potential repair costs over time. This can significantly impact the overall value of your purchase.

Read Reviews and Recommendations: Take advantage of online reviews, user testimonials, and recommendations from friends or family who may have experience with the product you’re considering. This can provide valuable insights into the item’s performance and durability.

Warranty and Customer Support: Check the warranty offered by the manufacturer and the level of customer support provided. A strong warranty can provide peace of mind and save you money on potential repairs.

Negotiate for Discounts: Don’t hesitate to negotiate with the seller, especially if you’re making a significant purchase. Many retailers are open to price negotiations, and you may be able to secure a better deal or additional perks.

And last but not least, if you already have the cash to pay for this big item, then use your credit card to get points or rewards, then pay the purchase balance right away. This is an easy way to get more out of your purchase.

In conclusion, when it comes to making substantial investments in big ticket items, a thoughtful and informed approach can make all the difference. Balancing cost considerations with the long-term value, warranties, and reviews can help you find the perfect fit for your needs and budget. Don’t hesitate to explore various options, negotiate where possible, and even leverage credit card rewards to maximize your benefits. Remember that taking the time for research and due diligence can lead to substantial savings and ensure that your purchase is not only satisfying today but also a wise investment for the future.

The Written Path to Success: Unleashing the Power of Goal Setting

We all have goals, whether small ones like making it to the weekend without quitting our job, or big ones like graduating college. But what sets true goal setters from those who end up quitting and not achieving their goals? Simply putting it on paper!

And yes this is backed by science , so why not explore it further together, so you too can use this simple hack to get closer to your goals.

In a fascinating study conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews, psychology professor at Dominican University in California, the profound influence of written goal setting was revealed. With a sample size of 267 participants, Dr. Matthews went deep into the question of whether simply writing down our goals could enhance our chances of achieving them. That is, if two people have the same conditions, timeline and goal, can one have the edge in achieving these goals by simply writing them down on paper?

The results were astonishing to say the least. Participants who engaged in the act of writing down their goals experienced a significant 42 percent increase in the likelihood of reaching their goals. This seemingly straightforward practice had a remarkable effect on the participants’ success rates.

The implications of this study are far-reaching. It suggests that the act of putting our aspirations into written words can instill a sense of commitment, clarity, and motivation within us. By giving our goals a tangible form, we create a bridge between the realm of thoughts and the realm of action. The written word becomes a powerful reminder, guiding our focus and propelling us forward. So why not use this little hack to achieve your wealth and financial goals? For example, if you are trying to achieve financial independence in the next 10 years, and your aim is to have $1million in networth, then you need to put that into a concise and clear sentence and make it a habit to write it in a journal book on a regular, if not daily basis.

Writing down our goals not only provides us with a visual representation of our aspirations but also serves as a blueprint for planning and strategizing. It allows us to break down our goals into actionable steps, fostering a sense of organization and purpose. That is, it is not that writing things down will magically happen. But rather, when you write something down, it is almost like you are sending a signal to your brain that this is important and matters a lot to you. With that cue, the brain then creates the conditions and environment for you to succeed to get to your goals faster, easier and with better certainty. Put another way, the act of writing itself engages our cognitive processes in a unique way. It stimulates our memory, reinforces our intentions, and strengthens our commitment. It is as if the written words create a pact with our subconscious, ensuring that our desires remain at the forefront of our minds.

So, let us embrace the power of pen and paper. Let us take the time to articulate our goals, to breathe life into our ambitions through the act of writing. By doing so, we unlock a greater likelihood of achievement and embark on a path of purposeful progress.

Combatting Inflation at the Grocery Store: Tips and Tricks to Save on Your Monthly Bill

Inflation has become a reality in every facet of life in the last 12 months or more, but it is nowhere as evident than at the grocery store. It is almost depressing to know that for the same budget, you are getting much less than what you used to do back in 2021 or beyond.

With that being the case, saving money on groceries is more important than ever, while still trying to get healthy and good quality food. A delicate balance that requires some research and effort. Groceries can make up a significant portion of one’s monthly budget, but there are ways to reduce these expenses without sacrificing the quality of food.

One of the first and most effective ways to save on groceries is do an an inventory on what you already have at home, be it in the fridge, pantry, cold room etc., and ensuring you are using those before you have to buy the same items again. You don’t want your food at home to expire before you buy the same item again. This has happened at our household before and we are careful to check and make sure we know what we have already. Another related tip which a lot of you have heard of is to eat before you go grocery shopping: feeling full while there will magically make you want to skip a lot things that you would otherwise put in your shopping cart without much thinking.

Another way to save on groceries is by using coupons and checking weekly flyers. . There are many sources for coupons, such as flyers, online coupons, and loyalty programs. By taking advantage of these offers, one can significantly reduce their grocery bill. It’s important to note that coupons should only be used for items that are already on the grocery list and are needed. Using coupons for unnecessary items can end up costing more money in the long run. However, I am one of the last people to suggest that you go to multiple stores to find deals and use your coupons as that is a waste of time and gas which defeats the purpose. Aim to go to max of two stores , preferably within 5 KM of each other or less.

Another approach that can help, if you don’t mind making trips to two different stores, is to buy the food items where quality matters (meats, fruits, vegetables) from one store, and buying other less essential items (cutlery, condiments, canned food, frozen food) from discount food stores. This approach will ensure you are balancing quality with lower prices.

Strategies such as taking food inventory, using coupons, and shopping at discount stores can help you save on groceries in today’s high inflation reality. By being mindful of spending and taking advantage of cost-saving opportunities, one can reduce their grocery bill without sacrificing the quality of food they eat.

Breaking Free: How to Overcome Addiction to Lockdown-Era Apps like UberEats and TikTok and Reclaim Your Time and Money

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we live our lives, forcing us to stay at home and rely on technology more than ever before. While platforms like UberEats, Amazon, and TikTok were already popular, they have become ubiquitous during the lockdowns, to the point where they are now virtually synonymous with the pandemic itself. But it’s not just these platforms that have captured our attention and loyalty; there are countless others that have kept us glued to our screens and spending money in ways we never imagined. From social media giants like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat to e-commerce sites like Etsy and Wayfair, these platforms have become an integral part of our daily routines, and for many, even an addiction. In this post, we’ll explore the dangers of these habits, the impact they can have on our lives, and what we can do to break free from their grip.

Many of us have developed a routine of mindlessly using apps to the point of forming automated habits, without considering the negative consequences they may have on our lives. In fact, recent studies on the power of habits indicate that habits can either work for us or against us, and in the case of excessive use of certain apps, it is clearly the latter. As we reach the third anniversary of lockdowns caused by the pandemic, it is time to take stock of the bad habits that we may have picked up during this time. The amount of money we have wasted on online ordering of food, clothing, electronics, and other items is staggering. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. The countless hours we have lost to endless scrolling through TikTok, Reels, and YouTube shorts are equally alarming. These hours could have been utilized for more productive activities that could have provided us with a better return on our investment of time.

Where do you start? first, take an inventory of the apps that you started using more often 3 years ago and have continued to do till now, to the point of addiction. Let us take TikTok (time waste) or UberEarts (Money waste) to tackle, since they are most synonymous with the lockdowns and which most people have continued to use extensively till this day. Personally speaking, I am proud to say that I have virtually never used either service. I don’t have a TikTok account, and although I have an UberEats account, I have used it once or twice, and even that was for other family members. Check these apps and see how much time and money is being wasted on them. For time spent on apps, check ‘Screen Time’ on iOS or ‘Digital WellBeing’ on Android. As for money being spent using UberEats or other food ordering and delivery platforms, simply check your credit card statement or online bank account.

Once you identify the major sources of time and money leak, take proper and concrete steps to address the issue. You can go the easy route or start small by deciding how much time/money you would like to dedicate to each per month. Or you could take the nuclear option and just remove both apps altogether. Yes, going cold turkey on apps you are addicted to may not be easy, but you could give it a try. It will hurt in the first few days or weeks, but will get easy later. In fact, it will not only get easier, you will feel like a new person – relieved – with all the money and time saved.

Some people may use these apps for their convenience. While others enjoy what they offer, after all, what is wrong with some binge watching after a long day at work or school? And while that may be true, we all know the slippery slope this creates, and may not wake up to things until it is too late. Of course, there are always exceptions and some may have more self control than others.

In conclusion, the COVID-19 lockdowns have brought about an increased reliance on online platforms, leading to the development of addictive habits that can have serious consequences on our time and money. It’s essential to take inventory of our app usage and identify the sources of time and money leaks, such as TikTok and UberEats, which have become synonymous with the lockdowns. While these apps may be convenient or even enjoyable, they can also lead to wasted time and money. Therefore, it’s crucial to take concrete steps to address the issue, whether it’s setting limits or going cold turkey. By doing so, we can reclaim our time and money and develop healthier habits for the future.

How to best use your Income Tax Refund?

If you got a refund on your income tax filing this year, congratulations, but now the important work begins: what to do with this money and how to budget it? Obviously, different people will have different ways of using and allocating this money, but generally speaking, there are better ways to use it than to just spend it all on a vacation or purchasing big ticket item etc. Also, the amount of your refund is also a big factor in what you do with the money; if your refund just around one hundred dollars, then save yourself the budgeting and all the thinking and just spend it any way you like, since it is an insignificant amount. On the other hand, and this article is based on the assumption that your refund is couple hundred dollars or more, then read on to help you get ideas on what to do with the refund:

Roll it over to your RRSP to get another refund next year
This would be the first and best use of any refund money. Depending on your situation and the amount of refund you got, you may redirect some or all of the money to your RRSP, and that in turn will generate another – or bigger – refund next year. This also accelerates your retirement nestegg, especially if you started saving a bit late.

Pay down debt
For some, this may be the bigger priority over their RRSP savings and that is totally understandable. If you have a big debt and got a big refund, then it makes sense to dedicate most if not all of your refund towards paying it down. On the other hand, if you only have a small debt left (say $1000) and your refund could cover all of that, then it is easy to figure out that you should use your refund to get rid of this balance.

Save it towards a big purchase or goal
Again, depending on what you are saving towards, whether there is something specific or just general savings – including building an emergency fund – rather than spending the money, best to save it and feel good about yourself. This is a way to help you look back in the future and have something to show for your hard work. In fact, assuming you get refunds that are $1K or more, and assuming you save even $250 of those each year, in couple of years, you have saved over $1K without much effort

Donate to a charity
This is something not a lot of people think about, but you should contribute a portion of your refund to help a charity: you get to help and feel good, while also getting a tax deduction: two in one!

Last, and certainly least: spend and enjoy it?
If, and this is a big if, you happen to be a lucky person who has no debt, has enough money saved and has maximized their RRSP contributions, then by all means go ahead and enjoy the money, be it to buy something new, book a vacation, or other ways that are specific to you and your lifestyle.

As mentioned, while some may prioritize their RRSP savings or paying down debt, at the end of the day, some combination of the above is the best way to go. Once you know what your refund amount is, sit down and spend some time going over what the money will be used for, and write it all down. Then come back to it a few days later and review the list again, to avoid the chance of forgetting any important item. Once you have confirmed how the refund will be divided, go ahead and take action by distributing the money accordingly.

How I am always creating win-win or win-win-win situations in my life

We have all heard of popular sayings and expressions like “Win Win”, “Two birds with one Stone” and other similar ones. The idea here being that we should be more efficient in life, careers, finances, by doing more with less. In other words, use one hand to do two different things and 2 hands to do 4 things and so on.

From a financial and personal growth prospective, this is about doing more in less time, thus stretching one valuable and finite resource that we all want more of: time! If we are time-stretched and since we can’t create more of it, why not do more in the same time it would take you to do one thing? In fact, we can go even further and do multiple things at once, thus making it a win-win-win proposition. Compounded over time, you are effectively freezing or even creating your own time, since the alternative would have cost you a lot more in terms of how long it will take. Some of the personal examples below may not seem as obvious as they seem simple and obvious enough, but they are powerful and add up over time. In fact, as you go over them, you will realize you may already be doing some of these.

Staying home is a win-win-win proposition for me. I save on gas. Save on eating out. Get to study or read. The alternative is driving my car, where I am not only wasting gas, but also putting my mileage on car. Of course, there are these times when you want to go out to change scenery and that is fine once in a while.

Another example is when I go out for a walk, I am also learning by listening to podcasts or audiobooks. That is, I am doing personal development and learning, while improving my health by walking. This is something millions do on a daily basis, but may not have thought about the win-win benefits they are reaping.

Multiple incomes: In his book “The 10 Pillars of Wealth” ,Alex Becker argues that we need to separate our time from income if we are to become wealthy and have a lot more money than our 9-5 job can provide us with. In other words, just because we only have 24 hours in a day (2/3 of which is spent sleeping and socializing) doesn’t mean we are limited to making money in only those 9-5 hours. We have to have our own ‘Entrepreneurial hours’ where we have to pursue secondary side income, regardless of time of the day. This can come in the form of passive income that doesn’t require a lot of our time (dividend income, rental properties, online gigs, book sales, Youtube ads etc) .

When I did Uber as a side gig a few years ago, I would use the time between rides to listen to podcasts and audiobooks. In fact, I used the the idle time to study on my E-Reader for a technology-related certificate I was working on. This is an example of exploiting the time to do one profitable endeavor in order to do something else: perfect win-win example. The alternative would have been to sit idle between rides or listen to the news, and gain nothing in the end. And in fact, I ended up obtaining that certificate and that helped me with my career development and advancement.

To some of us, when we think of win-win, we think more along the lines of business. For example, a fairly negotiated deal may create a win-win for both parties. And by the same token, win-win may work between individuals, directly or indirectly. For example, if I make a charitable donation – with the first and true intention being to help others – only will I help others, I may also get a tax deduction as a result. The tax deduction is a by-product of the act of kindness and not the main intention, but it still creates a win-win situation.

While creating these win-win situations is great, there may be some limitations we need to manage or overcome. For example, for most, it is the inability to multi-task and the need to focus on one thing at a time. In fact, I am one of those strong proponents of focusing on one task at a time to ensure it is performed to perfection and no distractions. But most of the examples above involve one active task with another passive one in the background. While one task requires our full attention (e.g listening to an audiobook) , the other task may only require passive or subconscious attention (e.g walking) .

If you always think in terms of win-win – or triple win – you will exponentially improve your life and in a lot less time than the alternative. When doing an activity or task, think about whether you can make it a win-win proposition.

Breaking the Spending Addiction : A Guide to Reconciling Your Budget and Spending Habits

As it should be clear by now, our personal budget is a way of controlling our unlimited wants to match our limited incomes. We only have so much money to spend, save and enjoy.

But what if your budget just can’t accommodate your excessive spending? So much so that your paycheck doesn’t cover your spending, so you are forced to use your credit cards or borrow from others. Let us face it, this situation can’t last forever. Sooner or later, you will find yourself in deep debt, or worse yet, bankrupt.

What is the solution? How to force yourself to spend less and reconcile your spending with your budget? We need to be sure that we are only spending 100% of what we make or less, and not even 1% more than that. Let us go over a few proven and effective therapies for those who like-or are spending sick- to spend like there is no tomorrow:

1-Realize this is simply not sustainable: first, you have to admit and aknowledge that you can’t keep doing this forever and that you have to bring your spending under control and within your budget limit.

2-Budget for big and necessary purchases: if there is something that you absolutely have to buy, start budgeting for it well in advance

3-Avoid the trip to the mall: if the mall is where you spend your money the most, then stopping your spending is as simple as not going to the mall in the first place. And If this is easier said than done, then maybe go less? While the mall is here is a metaphor for any place where you spend with ease, the idea here is to be mindful of any place – including online shopping – where you can’t control your spending.

4– Track your spending: Keeping a record of your daily, weekly or monthly spending can help you identify areas where you are overspending and make adjustments accordingly. In other words, by finding hidden trends, you are able to correct them.

5– Find alternative ways to fulfill your wants, needs and
desires: Instead of spending money on entertainment, try finding low-cost or free alternatives that can bring you joy and satisfaction. For example, instead of spending money on movies, you can do it at home using Netflix or other streaming service, and even make your own popcorn and foods. It will save you a significant amount of money.

To effectively reconcile spending with a personal budget, it is important to admit unsustainable spending habits, budget for necessary purchases, avoid overspending triggers, track spending, and find alternative ways to fulfill wants and needs. By following these steps, individuals can bring their spending under control and within budget limits, reducing the risk of debt or bankruptcy.