Do you know how long you have to work to pay for your stuff? A picture is worth a thousand words (or, in this case, perhaps a thousand dollars).
Matt over at Steadfast Finances has made me see our possessions in a whole new light. He has used a Google Calendar to show how many days of work it takes to pay a mortgage, car payment, utilities, etc. Click here to see the photo.
If you do this exercise yourself, you might be dismayed to find out that you only have a few days of “free” money that is not already allocated for an expense. In fact, you may find out that you have to work more than a month to pay for a month’s worth of expenses. Hellooooooo, credit card debt!
Since we’re downsizing down to 2 backpacks, it will be a fun exercise in reverse to see how much of our money we can free up in our remaining 9 months in the US. Even if you aren’t planning to ditch everything and travel around the world like we are, you can still use this as a starting point and start working backward.
Does seeing your expenses this way make you reconsider your spending? It certainly makes me reconsider mine. And if we had done this before we bought our townhouse we likely would have bought a less expensive home. Or at least I like to think we would have done that.
Will you use this idea to help you with future purchases?
(If you want to know how we saved half our income last year for the trip around the world, get our free ebook here.)