As you grow in awareness, you’ll begin to ask yourself some interesting questions that get to the core of your values. I found myself doing exactly that a few years ago when I questioned the reasoning behind the things I bought. Why did I need to own two cars, live in an expensive apartment, and wear brand-name clothes? Why did I need the latest gadget and feel compelled to upgrade my phone every two years? And why did I pay for a monthly gym membership when I had access to a gym at work?
Asking these types of questions increased my awareness of my spending habits. I was making good money, but I was also spending most of it. Through asking myself these questions, I recognized that something was missing in my life—and that I was trying to fill it with things such as an $1,800 Movado watch and fancy weekend dinners with friends. I became aware that my mindless spending came from not knowing who I was, what I loved, and what I was working toward.
We often make purchase decisions without paying much attention to the thoughts and emotions that run through our mind. We’re spending because of habit or responding to advertising and marketing messages. You may even spend to feel in control. But you’re not in control when you’re spending mindlessly. You might be purchasing goods that keep you from buying the things that you really love.
On my road trip and throughout this book I’ve shared my spending rules when discussing spending behaviors and habits. When ...