Don’t you hate it when you spend money on something that goes to waste?

My youngest brother bought a pair of pants on Saturday. On Sunday he wore these pants, sat on a piece of gum, and ruined them. The pants cost $45 and they were ruined because of the gum. He tried everything. He just couldn’t get the gum off. He figured that the receipt wouldn’t work. He just brushed off the pants as a sunk cost.

Just one more dollar, right?

That’s all it is. Whenever you think you’re done with spending money, there’s always one more dollar left to spend. Have you noticed this?

I said screw that. I took the receipt, marched to the store, and asked for a refund. After some back-and-forth haggling, I got the money back. I gave my brother the $45 store credit and he wasn’t down the money. Every dollar counts when your building up your savings.

Where am I going with this? I’m not cheap nor am I cynical by any means. I just have been noticing that there’s always another dollar that you need to spend in life. You can never have it all.

Do you notice this? No matter what you sign up for what you buy, you always need more. There’s never enough. There’s always an upsell or an added feature that can be offered to you. You’re never done with spending money.

What can you do to avoid spending your last dollar?

The most important step is to get into the habit of paying yourself first. This is totally essential. If you don’t hit your savings targets first, you’ll always be behind. If you save money first, you can spend what’s left on yourself.

This leads to the next critical point…

The trick to not feeling guilty is to plan for your expenses. When you hit your savings targets, work on your debt, and pay the bills, you deserve some fun! You owe it to yourself to put some money aside to let loose.

I apply this logic to eating junk food or drinking heavily. I know it’s going to bed. I know that once a week I’m going to crush a whole box of pizza. Why lie to myself? Why feel guilty? Instead I plan for it. I do everything right during the week. I build myself up to the point where I don’t feel bad because I see it coming. Then I’m content for the rest of the week.

Spending money is like this too.

Do you need to be cheap?

Nope. It’s not about being cheap. It’s about keeping more of your hard earned money.

Saving money isn’t about being cheap. It’s about earning your freedom. It’s about preparing yourself for the future. On a daily basis, with everything that we do, it’s far too easy to spend money. You don’t even have to leave your home to blow your money. With the click of a button you can have anything that you want from Amazon or eBay delivered right to your doorstep. Spending money is easier than ever before.

This post is just a reminder that one more dollar saved beats spending an extra dollar on something that won’t provide you with much value in the long run.

“Money, if it does not bring you happiness, will at least help you be miserable in comfort.” – Helen Gurley Brown

Here’s a question for you — for the next dollar that you earn, how will you spend it? How much of it will get saved?