I mentioned in this book's introduction that the ideas I'm sharing with you are just that: ideas.
You will find that you'll want to try some of them right away because they match your situation and they don't involve much emotional pain of separating yourself from conducting your affairs how you do now.
You will find that others will involve emotional pain because you truly want to reduce your expenses but have a difficult time making the changes. Maybe cutting out expensive premium cable or satellite TV feels like cutting out your heart. You really want to enjoy the entertainment it provides, but you battle with that little voice in you reminding you that you "should" stop the service, you "should" reduce your expenses, and on and
I will not go into a lengthy psychological discussion about the reasons you're attached to cable TV nor will I go into some enthusiastic motivational speech to help you conquer those things we as humans all have to deal with, especially that nagging voice within.
Some of the things we have and do in life truly need to be given up at some point in life. A couple of examples should suffice: soiling ourselves and sucking our thumbs.
I hope you understand that any emotional pain you feel is a perception you have, however real, and you can change your perception to help you succeed.
I do my best to practice what I preach yet, as a human, I'm not perfect. I have an addiction to smoking cigarettes, which is not good: they waste my money and they will likely cause health problems. Since I do want to be rid of them, I go through a battle each time I give in to buying another pack. Slowly, I am wresting myself from the addiction by putting into place a couple of alternative ways to use this wasted cigarette money. I share them with you here as ideas to add to your toolkit and not to suggest that you have any addictions.
- Decrease the frequency of purchase.
I have gone from buying a pack of cigarettes each day to every other day, and now to every third day, by making a promise to myself. People I know who have quit smoking have told me the best way to quit is to decrease the frequency to zero: to quit cold. That worked for them but not for me.
- Substitute an alternative purchase.
I enjoy buying, reading, and collecting books. Since I can buy used books a block from where I buy cigarettes, I can buy two or three enjoyable long-lasting books for my collection rather than buy a pack that lasts only three days. Having a healthy substitute has steered me to the books and away from the cigarettes numerous times.
- Involve others as part of the solution.
I have my roommates hold my pocket money that I would otherwise use for cigarettes. Every several days, I have them give me $10 or $20. Since they know I want to quit smoking, I have a quiet promise to keep with them whenever they give me my pocket money.
These steps can be used to cut back on buying a $1.50 cup of coffee every day before work (buy a cup every other day - buy a coffeemaker and make coffee at work - involve coworkers in keeping you honest) or any other small but frequent purchase that really adds up over a year or two.
Enough said. Let's have some fun in the next section by looking at some of my favorite excuses which I used to confuse myself as my true needs.