Every time you spend money on something, you are making the conscious decision not to spend it on something else. Every penny is an exercise in prioritization. When you decide to eat out instead of cooking at home, you are making a trade-off. You are giving up the chance to spend that money on something else in order to enjoy the experience of eating out.
One of my mantras is “You can have anything, but you can’t have everything.” So when I think about making any purchase, I think about what I have to give up in order to allow for that. I can go out to dinner on Friday, but that means I have to cook for myself on Saturday and Sunday. I can go to this concert, but that means I have to take a pass on that other concert. I can go to this music festival, but that means I can’t do that weekend getaway to New York City. I can buy this new pair of running shoes, but that means my next “new” work outfit will come from Goodwill rather than a retailer of new clothing.
Everybody has different priorities. I’d rather have a camper in my garage than a diamond on my finger. I’d rather have a weekend at a music festival 8 times a year than a week at the beach once a year. I’d rather that my husband and I have two old cars than have to share one newer one. These are my priorities. Yours likely vary. But the thing we all have in common is that every purchase comes with a tradeoff.
You can have anything. But nobody can have everything. Your priorities will tell you how to spend.