Make a list of all your spending for one month
Put the list in order of the amount spent
Then add “? $100” to the list where it belongs in order of amount spent
Look at the list and decide which of those items are truly affordable
Now replace the ? With medical office visit or prescription
Has your view of affordable changed?
Thanks to Quicken, this was easy to do and I discovered that I would love to pay only $100 for medical in the last 30 days. $100 was below $102 for our wireless phone plan and a cordless drill that replaced a 15 year-old drill. I took months trying to decide if I needed a new drill and what to buy until it went on sale. $100 was more than some $89 reindeer decoration, that in my opinion, not my wife’s, we don’t need.
Now if you look at the expenses from a category listing, $100 seems very reasonable per month. There was a lot of $25 and $50 items in a category that may have added up to over $300 for the month.
Another experiment is for people who say they can’t save money. Put 20-$5 bills in your wallet and count them after 30 days. Then put $100 bill in your wallet. Chances are you will still have it in 30 days. You have a think hard about if it is worth breaking that bill. Your realize how hard you worked to get a $100 bill. That bill might represent 10 hours or more of your working life. Now just use plastic, you probably do not even care what the price was or what you spent and will not even bother to check the statement at the end of the month but wonder why you have no money.