Once upon a time at the end of the work week, men and women would stand at the payroll window and receive an envelope of cash as payment for the hours they worked at any given job.
Some would go out and celebrate, some go shopping and some would go home where they would parcel out the cash into a series of envelopes: food, rent, doctor, gas & electric, telephone, emergency, vacation. One wouldn't dare touch the rent money! If there were any money left over, it was spent on fun.
We have lost touch with money.
Direct deposit of paychecks, credit cards, wire transfers, etc. all have removed us from the physical touch of money. We're not sure how much we make nor are we sure of what we spend. Money has become ethereal and elusive.
Try these two exercises to put you more in touch:
The next time you plan to eat out, take only the amount of money you intend to spend that evening. NO CREDIT CARDS - $35, $65, $100 As you order be aware of the cost of each item and factor in the tip. Can you "afford" another glass of wine, a second dessert or a cappuccino? With your credit card you wouldn't have a second thought and often spend more than you intend.
For two weeks track your ATM withdrawals.
On the back of each ATM receipt write down every purchase you make with that withdrawal - to the dollar! You might find you are suddenly aware of how you spend your money.
Once you get back in touch then you can make wise $ decisions.