It helps to assign a tangible value to money. I’ve done this in the past by developing my own “currency”. For years my big treat to myself was a Baskin Robbins Mocha Cappucino Blast, which cost around $5. By thinking of money in terms of my precious drinks, I assigned very tangible value to it. Making a decision that would save me $10 meant more when I thought of that $10 in terms of two Baskin Robbins shakes! Money alone has no intrinsic value.
I was finally able to kick my habit about a couple of years ago. So, my currency had to change and I switched it to a bottle of wine, which costs me between $7 and $8. Seems my most effective currencies all have to do with vices!*
My husband, who rarely if ever spends money, is usually faced with bigger dollar value decisions. Does he hire someone to powerwash and paint the deck or does he do it himself and save $500 – $1,000? Jay’s “vice” is an annual fishing trip, and the reward for doing something himself is that he knows he’s making it possible for him to go to Cabo.
What’s your currency?
*update: I’ve added a new currency – yoga classes. I love this because a) they are healthy and my currency is no longer limited to vices; and b) at under $3, they give meaningful value to even smaller savings.