The Second of the Seven Habits (we will only cover the first three, as those are the ones that can also apply to money) is "Begin with the end in mind". Know what you want your desired outcome to be and link a path back to where you are. Knowing what you want your outcome to be gives you a direction and a strategy as opposed to trying things out that may not be applicable or helpful towards your end goal.
My "End in Mind" for this pay cycle was to dedicate as much of my Fun Dollars as I could towards a new wardrobe. I did not expect to spend all $100.00 on new clothes. That would not be practical or realistic. If I did that, I would end up making purchases because I felt like I "had to". Instead, I used a list and kept to it as much as possible. Another "End in Mind" for this pay cycle was to spend $0.00 on fast food. So far so good on that one.
On a smaller scale, my day out for shopping also needed an "End in Mind". My target for that day was to a) Not buy any fast food, even though I would be out of the house all day long; and b) Only make purchases that were things I needed, no impulse buys.
I began my day as soon as I dropped my son off at daycare. An hour later, I still had not left town. I found myself in the canyon at Indian Gardens, one of my favorite places to grab a bite when I have the time. I knew they had an amazing breakfast sandwich there that would keep me feeling full until mid afternoon. (I even left off the bacon this time and it was still delicious!) One Egg Sammie and a tip later, I was down $8.00 and ready to go shopping on a full stomach.
Sure enough, by mid-afternoon, I started to feel a little rumbly in my tumbly. I had to drop off some things for store credit at the used book store, so I decided to get a dirty chai, and an organic, locally made Zunchini loaf for Lily and me to split. That took another $7.00 out of my pocket. Supporting Local, Avoiding Fast Food. All day long, from one end of town to the other, I kept to my goal of not going to a drive-through/fast food place.
I also was very diligent about sticking to my list. Store after store with cute stuff, things I wanted, but didn't need I kept my head about me and bought nothing on impulse. I even put back a cute pair of shoes for Lily that were on clearance at Old Navy. She enjoyed toting them around the store, but in the end, I knew she wouldn't wear them. She hates hard-soled shoes. She acts like a cat with tin foil on her feet if I put them on her. That was probably the closest call to not sticking to my list.
Begin With the End in Mind. Know what you want, and strategize how to get it. What do you want to see happen, what is your desired outcome? What steps do you need to take to get there? Seeing the whole journey reduces distraction and increases your effectiveness and chances for success.
Breakfast Sammie at Indian Gardens (plus tip)- $8.00
Snacks at Bookman's (plus barista tip)- $7.00
Balance this pay cycle- $75.00