"Yup, I'm very conscious when I spend."
That may be true, but they really aren't THINKING ABOUT THE PURCHASES THEMSELVES; they're just thinking,
"I'm spending money."
Conscious spending is all about actively choosing to spend on the things that are important to you. You evaluate every purchase, no matter how small.
Typically, we buy things we cannot afford and we will never use to impress people we don't even know. We spend to have things that other people have, whether we like those things or not. We purchase gym memberships we don't use. Note to self: you won't lose weight with the gym membership unless you go and workout.
Ah, yes, and the grocery store; think of the things you buy when you're hungry because they look good. Pickled herring...come on!
Here are the questions you can ask yourself in order to become a conscious spender:
1) How Long Will I Have To Work To Earn The Dollars To Pay For it?
You see, you trade your time (and talent) for money, and you trade money to buy things. So, in effect, you're really trading your time for the things you buy. Is it worth the time at the office, factory, or wherever you work, to make this purchase?
2) Will I Use This?
Think: the treadmill that turned into a storage closet. I mean think about will I really use this often? If you're spening $100 for the item, will you get $100 of use out of it?
3) Can I Buy It Elsewhere For Less?
Okay, so you've already decided you need it. Shop around; however, don't be driving all over town just to save a few bucks; the cost of gas will eat up your savings. Unless, of course, it is of better quality at a lower price. Make sure you're getting the best deal possible.
4) Do I Really Need It Now?
Electronics is a great example. You want the latest and no sooner do you buy it then an improvement comes out. One woman in a workshop I was conducting in California says she sleeps on the purchase. What about waiting two weeks? Perhaps a month? You'll really have time to think about it. If you truly still want it after a month, then maybe it's a good thing for you to have.
5) Why Am I Buying This?
If it fills a need, that's one thing. If you just want it, or you want to be like someone else, you don't need it.
6) Could I Buy Something Else With The Money?
Or...could you pay off more debt with the money? Of course you could, unless you have no debt. But paying off debt increases your net worth. Economists call this an opportunity cost: the cost of what is given up. Is there something you need more?
Are you already asking yourself some of these questions before you buy?