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Paying attention

Paying attention

Just the act of tracking spending and plain old paying attention can go a long way. You see, when you pay attention, you care more about what you’re doing AND you get what you really want.

You don’t just grab any old thing off the shelf. You look at it to make sure that it’s what you want and that you can afford it. When you write down how much you’re spending each day, suddenly you want to spend less. It’s just like tracking what you eat: write down that you had a bowl of cereal, some candy, some chicken, potato chips, and a Popsicle, and maybe you’ll pass on the chocolate cake for dinner. You’ll REALIZE that you’re already full, and that you’ve already had more than enough junk. Instead, you’ll WANT something that’s healthier or you’ll WANT to use your money elsewhere instead.

Of course, paying attention is important in other areas as well. Maybe you have deadlines to meet at work. You’ll want to be sure to meet or beat those deadlines while being sure that you’ve dotted all your i’s and crossed all your t’s. You’ll want to have understood what was wanted so that you can deliver promptly, accurately, and effectively. This is such a rare thing in today’s society that actually DOING what’s expected, thoroughly and completely, will set you apart. Which will lead to a better job and more money.

What if you’re signing a contract? Whether it’s for a job, a house, a car, a credit card, or having work done, making sure you understand the details can prevent you from making costly mistakes. Fewer costly mistakes equals more money in your pocket, along with greater satisfaction. I’m one of those people that always reads over the contracts I sign, and pretty much every. single. time. I have found either an error in the contract or just plain something that I didn’t want to agree to. Those things are usually easily fixed or changed, but if they’re not, they can wind up costing you money.

Have you experienced the same types of things? What value do you find in paying attention?

View Comments (2)
  • I completely agree with you on tracking money. Most recently, I adjusted my cell phone plan after analyzing my monthly bill and now save about $20/month. It’s a big save that adds up.

  • You cannot measure the value of knowledge. A few months ago I started tracking all expenditures (minus mortgage and utilities), and I was baffled to find we were spending $500+ per month for groceries on a family of 3! Since that cathartic moment, we’re running somewhere around $200 per month. The benefit of this knowledge is that I’m constantly competeing against the previous month, with an ultimate goal of $100/month. And that goal makes me focused when we go the the grocery store, therefore saving us money and concentrating on our health (nutrition per serving, portion size, etc.).

    Why not use your brain to save your wallet? A little forethought can stop you from hitting the drivethru. Some internet research can produce many tasty (and uberhealthy) meatless recipes. Being able to think outside the box goes a long way towards making those clearance items work into your meal plan. You’re only limited by your brainpower.

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