Try a Non-Buying Day – or Week…

It's easy to get swept off your feet by consumerism. You are assaulted on all sides by advertising and the promise of an easier life through technology, better food, more toys ñ you name it.

From the marketing side, people are trained to tap directly into our subconscious and trigger us to make that purchase, buy that item, sign up for that life-changing program. If you have ever watched an infomercial or a shopping channel show, you know the feeling you get when you are offered an instant solution to a problem you have. Even if you don't know you have a problem, you will discover that there is a solution.

It can be revealing to give yourself a non-buying day. This is a day when you make a conscious effort to not spend one red cent on anything. It will show you how much money you let trickle through your fingers in a day.

Pick a day over the next week. If you want to make it really easy on yourself, pick a day when you know that you donít plan anything that you know will cost you money. If you want to be brave, just pick a day at random.

Itís up to you whether you take money or a credit card with you on that day. It might be easier not to but then you may have people offering to pay for your coffee because you don't have your wallet with you. You canít do that because it is still spending money even though you wonít have to pay them back until another day.

Pay attention to what you donít spend. When someone at work does a coffee run, just say no thanks. You donít need to explain why you are not participating in the traditional coffee from the local coffee shop routine. Make a note of how much money you didnít spend.

Brown bag your lunch and make a note of how much you didnít spend on a sandwich from the vending machine or going out for a quick bowl of soup.
Donít pop into the convenience store for a loaf of bread and a newspaper. Make a note of how much you didnít spend.

If you go online, donít make a quick purchase of anything.

If you don't have anything in the house to make dinner with, take another look. Chances are good that there is something in the freezer that you bought and kept shoving to the back because it didnít appeal to you. If not, there are likely several cans or boxes of meal accompaniments that have lingered in the cupboards.

Before you do any cupboard searches, take a look in your refrigerator. There are usually enough leftovers and bit and pieces of food tucked in the nooks and crannies of the fridge to make a fridge soup or fridge casserole.

Take a look at the end of the day at how much you didnít spend. Think about how not spending your money that day impacted your life. Take the money amount and multiply it by 7.

Imagine putting that amount into your savings each month or applying it to your biggest bill every week.

The reality is that you do need to buy groceries but by being mindful of how you spend your money, you can make your life easier. Who knows? You might even be able to retire earlier.

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