Avoiding Budget Bust by making ‘Click’ Decisions

I confess. I have a problem. A really, really BIG problem. images

You see, I like to spend money. I do. It’s true. But that’s not the problem.

Liking to spend money is not wrong.

I also like to read books. Lots of ’em. On an electronic device. That’s not the problem either.

Reading books on an electronic device is not wrong.

So what’s the problem? [Well, I am about to tell you! Be patient! Geez.]

The electronic device people LOVE people like me because they make it SUPER easy to spend money. Did I say SUPER easy? Maybe I should say SUPER fast.

If Amazon has your account info in their system – if you see something you like – BOOM – click a button and it is either on your device in seconds or on your doorstep in hours.

Is it wrong for Amazon to do this? Nope. I would if I were them.

But when you put someone who enjoys spending money AND reading books electronically all linked in with Amazon’s ‘click to pay’ system – you have a recipe for ‘BUDGET BUST.’ They want me to make a ‘Click’ decision. Doing so puts money in their pockets (what they are there for!) and takes money out of mine.

The Lord has been revealing to me how ‘unwise’ it is to constantly be clicking away for more books on my Kindle device. [$2.99 for a great book is a great deal. But $2.99 over and over and over again adds up – you know?] So, I have been asking Him to give me and teach me restraint. As always, He answers.

I am currently reading Chip and Dan Heath’s Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work. [Yes, I am reading it on an electronic device, and yes, I got it through Amazon. The first step to getting over your problem is admitting you have one, right?] In one of the sections, they offer readers a couple of ways to sort through their emotions when making decisions. One way is called ‘10/10/10‘. In their words:

“There’s a tool we can use to accomplish this emotion sorting, one invented by Suzy Welch, a business writer for publications such as Bloomberg Businessweek and magazine. It’s called 10/10/10, and Welch describes it in a book of the same name. To use 10/10/10, we think about our decisions on three different time frames: How will we feel about it 10 minutes from now? How about 10 months from now? How about 10 years from now? The three time frames provide an elegant way of forcing us to get some distance on our decisions.”

When I read that, I thought, “What a great idea! I am going to apply that to my ‘books on Kindle’ buying problem.” Here’s how it works for me: When I see a book I want to grab on Kindle (and I ALWAYS see a book I want to grab on Kindle!) I ask the following. . .

1. How will I feel about this purchase 10 minutes from now?

I usually feel bad after I ‘click’ because I already have way more books than I have time to read.

2. How will I feel about this purchase 10 days from now?

I added this one, but I think it is important for my circumstances. If I have more books, than I have added more ‘angst’ that I need to read more – forcing pressure that could easily be eliminated.

3. How will I feel about this purchase 10 months from now?

Most of the time, I will be glad if I didn’t push click because I will be MUCH closer to staying on track with my personal budget for the year.

4. How will I feel about this purchase 10 years from now?

Saving money now will allow me to invest it for the future later. College. Cars. Vacations. Retirement. Inheritance. Lottie. Church.

If I take time to walk through these questions (and taking the time is THE KEY), then it has proven helpful when the moment of making a ‘Click’ decision comes.

What about you? Can you apply these to any area of your life? Or, if you are like me, what else have you found to be helpful in this area?

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One thought on “Avoiding Budget Bust by making ‘Click’ Decisions

  1. Becky and Johnny says:

    Reading a good book is one of my favorite pastimes! When I was a kid, my Mom always had a long list of “jobs” for me to do at home. I would do a few (to satisfy her), and then I would grab my latest Nancy Drew mystery, and climb up in the big elm tree in our front yard, hoping she wouldn’t miss me for awhile! It was all Mom’s fault that I loved to read, as she taught me to read early in my childhood and to love poetry! The library was one place we visited once a week in the summer!
    I have an older Kindle now, but somehow, it is just not the same as holding a book! Does that “date” me? Probably! I am a regular visitor to our church library; where I find some wonderful books and movies!
    Now, back to my work!
    Thank you for all you are trying to do to help the people in our church and community, Pastor Matt!
    To close, a Proverb for today:
    “There are many plans in a man’s heart,
    Nevertheless the LORD’S counsel—–that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21
    In His Love,
    Becky

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