In the week before Christmas, Suze Orman was talking about rationalizing spending money and justifying purchases. A mom works hard at her job, comes home with little energy and thinks, “I’ve worked hard all day; I deserve to go out to eat.” (You could insert me here; going out to eat is my weakness.)

She then was urging viewers to seriously ask themselves before each purchase, “Is this a want or a need?”

My husband and I are not big spenders. We don’t buy many large purchases. I think our last big expenditure was the dishwasher we purchased last April. What we do though, is fritter away our money little by little. He thinks of eating out as a treat, so he likes to spend big when he does go out. I like to go out to eat frequently, but I am willing to purchase a cheaper menu item. When you merge our eating out pattern, you can see that we go out to eat frequently, and we spend a lot of money doing so.

I wanted to have two no spending months before the end of April, but for January, instead of a no spending month, I am going to ask myself before every purchase, “Is this a need or a want?” If it is a want, I am going to try not to make the purchase. My guess is that this line of thought will be just as effective, if not more so, than a no spending month.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

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