Have you ever noticed that it’s harder to spend money that you’ve saved up over time? Even though you may have saved it for a particular purpose?

Suppose you’ve saved for a year for a fabulous vacation, a vacation that you’ve wanted to go on for more than a decade. You have the money in your account. You’ve watched it grow as the year went on, getting ever closer to your goal. But when it comes time to buy the tickets and reserve the hotel, you find yourself feeling a strange mixture of excitement and reluctance.

Why is that?

I think it’s because you know, deep down, that the money sitting in your account represents all the hard work you did to get it there. It represents your time, effort, determination, patience and desire. And it causes you to weigh whether what you’re about to spend it on is really worth all that work.

You start asking yourself questions: Is it really what you want to use the money for? Do you want it badly enough to exchange the money for it? Are you willing to start over at zero for the next goal? What potential opportunities in the future will you be giving up or delaying by spending this money now?

In short, it makes you think. And thinking is a very good thing to do when it comes to spending money.