Exercise #1: Make a list of all the purchases you’ve made in the last three months that you are not proud of, or that you wish you hadn’t made for whatever set of reasons. Make a list of every time you’ve spent money where you felt it was “stupid” or otherwise not worthwhile. Give yourself plenty of time to remember them all.
Exercise #2: For each purchase, ask yourself what you got out of it. You must have gotten something out of the purchases or else you wouldn’t have made them. There are no correct answers here, we’re just looking for honesty.
Exercise #3: For any case where the answer to Exercise #2 was something other than, “a quick dose of pleasure”, “brief relief from stress”, “just fun”, or other similar answers, what did you really want? If you could magically just attain it, what would you have really liked to have or achieve?
Exercise #4: This is for the purchases where your answer to Exercise #2 was something like, “pleasure”, “relief from boredom”, “relief from stress.” What can you replace your trivial spending with? What can you do to get the same results you were hoping to get by spending money? What are ways to relieve boredom or stress that don’t cost money? Feel free to be as creative as you’d like here.
Question: In your own words, according to your own ideas and values, what are you really trying to buy?
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