Create your own currency and reign in spending!

Me with games and money
Me with games and money

A year or two back one of the fast food giants ran a commercial which featured a bunch of 20-somethings breaking down all of their major purchases into double cheeseburgers or chicken nuggets.

While visualizing your car payment as 220 double cheeseburgers is humorous, it won't likely help you manage your money. However if you switch the logic around and start measuring your weekly total of small purchases into one bigger item you may be surprised to find out that your double cheeseburger addiction could easily make your car payment!

Envisioning my smaller purchases as one larger purchase is something I have used in the past to cut down on my many small expenditures. When I started my first job I picked up a bad habit of grabbing too many fast food breakfasts and coffee-shop coffees on my way into work. While the low price of $1.99 for a McDonald's sandwich isn't going to break the budget if you get it once a month, after I looked at the total sum of my purchases I began to notice how much they added up. In fact if I measured my small purchases in a common currency, for example in video games, rather using cash, I was way more cognizant of my two video game a month fast food and coffee addiction!

Once you define your common currency, be it video games, scrap booking supplies, fishing gear or shoes you can easily make use of this common value to dissect your spending even on large purchases. Next time you get ready to purchase a new TV, decide if the enjoyment you get from the TV is really worth the fun of 40 video games. After you get this conversion rate embedded in your mind you and begin to weight all of your purchases, you can switch your focus to saving money. Start out by trying to save one more video game a month to a high yield savings account and grow from there. If you save enough now you'll be assured the ability to keep your gaming library stocked even when you have to take your baths with a sponge.