UNITED STATES—We’ve talked about it before, but I still struggle and I’m certain many other Americans struggle with it as well. You really shouldn’t have to guess what I’m referring to? It’s the issue of money. However, the question I’d like to pose this week is why we react to spend instead of saving when we earn extra money from work. I feel like in the past month things were going quite well at work. I was able to manifest some extra hours, which is NOT that common for me if you want my honest assessment.

The one thing that bugs me more than anything is NOT having consistency when it comes to my work hours. I DO NOT and I repeat I DO NOT like when my hours fluctuate or bounce around. I think anyone who works can agree with that assessment. You want to be able to plan your week and things you have to do around your work schedule. Having a late day here and two early days here and another late day, and toss in an off day that is not what you expected and your entire work week becomes a mess.

With that being said, I feel like anytime you earn extra money it goes faster than you can count to three. Why is that? It seems the unexpected always, and I mean always seems to transpire when you have extra money in your pocket. I feel like just when I think I have the opportunity to get ahead something transpires that immediately sucks that money from my wallet or my bank account. It could be an unexpected trip to the ER (trust me I know), having to loan some money to someone, paying a higher bill than you expected, replacing a phone, a computer or item that is needed to complete work or a host of other things.

It’s like the universe is working against you at times and you get that instinct to want to scream to turn the tide of things. However, my biggest Achilles heel is the fact that when I do have a bit of extra money I’m finding myself stocking up on household essentials or materials that I don’t want to run out of. It’s like I see a deal and for the life of me, I can’t pass up that deal no matter how hard I try. However, I’m starting to realize that just because something is on sale does not mean I have to have it. I have to learn how to weigh my options: do I need this, do I want this or do I just feel like spending money?

That last question is a very important one: do I just feel like spending money? It may sound crazy when you hear it, but the truth be told there are tons of people who just spend to spend. It may sound foreign, but trust me you’ve been put in that position where you’re spending money for the pure sake of saying that you purchased something that you didn’t need to begin with. Of course, we always put ourselves in that situation where we like to treat ourselves and there is nothing wrong with that.

However, it does become an issue when the options that have to be weighed involve a want vs. a need. If you need groceries for the house, it might not be a smart idea to go out and purchase a brand new pair of gym shoes if you don’t really need them. A tool that can be used to help save money is start out on a low amount perhaps $5 to $10 per week.

Before you know it by the end of 1 month you’ve saved $20 to $40. That is money that can become useful in the future. Filling up the gas tank, purchasing toiletries, a few groceries or something else that is needed for the home. The thing with spending and saving is that they work in tandem; you have to spend a little in order to save a little, but it comes with discipline. The more that you do something the better it becomes with time.