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The temptation to spend is everywhere. There are sales and discounts, luxury goods, and cool stuff we don’t actually need. There’s a nice new shirt or piece of clothing on the store window. There’s that little snack bar that makes your favorite food. There’s that nice set of headphones, earrings, or accessory that you want… and you do have money for all of them. It can’t hurt to buy a few, right?
A half-dozen shopping trips later, you realize that your wallet is almost empty and you barely have enough in your bank’s savings account to survive until the next payday.
The temptation to spend is everywhere and there’s always something we want to buy. We can, indeed, set a budget, but most likely we’ll overspend and break it. What should we do?
In Dan Ariely’s book, Dollars and Sense, there’s a strategy an ancient Greek hero used to avoid danger, and we can use that to save money and stop overspending. Dan called it “Ulysses contracts”, and it’s basically any strategy we use to avoid future temptation.[Read more…]