UNITED STATES—I’d like to think that I have strong spending habits America. You might say to yourself that you know how to resist temptation when you have to, especially when it involves your wallet. However, is that true or are you just telling yourself that to make yourself look better. I recently decided to evaluate my expenses for a week because I wanted to know where the spending was taking place. Well, I learned it was coming from eating out.

If you are eating out or doing take out you can easily spend anywhere from $15 to $30 for just 1 meal! Now imagine if you’re doing that 2 to 3 times a day, several days a week? You could easily be spending $100 to $300 in a single week. So what did I decide to do? I went to the grocery store and spent a nifty amount on groceries. Yes, inflation is very real people, but the reality of the fact is when you cook at home you save money and you get satiated a lot sooner than a quick meal that cost a lot more money than you expected to spend.

With that said, I cooked meals 6 of the 7 days in the week. Yes, pat on my back people because I honestly did not think that was possible after long, stressful workdays. I had leftovers, which meant, there was food to be eaten the next day for lunch or dinner if I chose not to cook. Also I was eating a lot healthier. No processed foods, more fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins and small, but adequate portion sizes. So last week alone I save about $100 by cooking at home instead of eating out. Is it ok to eat out 1 to 2 days a week? Of course, most people do it all the time especially on the weekends, as a treat to one’s self.

With that said I discovered one bad spending habit and it forced me to acknowledge another. Spending sometimes to simply spend! I recently came across some unexpected money and I wanted to treat myself. You know what they say, you work hard you have to play hard sometimes. With that said, I revamped my closet. I got rid of a lot of clothes that I simply wasn’t wearing. So I donated them and gave them away. So in the process of replenishing my closet, I hit a local mall near my home. I was tempted, and trust me I was tempted to spend a lot more than I needed to.

However, I did something I rarely do: I asked the question. Do you really need this? Sometimes you have to ask that question and the realization comes to you that yeah, I need to do much better people, a lot better. So I planned to purchase two hoodies that I had been eyeing, but after thinking about it, I said, nope, I really want this color, I’ve wanted this color and the other color was a bit dirty. So that gave me an excuse not to spend money that I decided to use to pay bills people.

I properly was on the verge of spending $200 with that outing at the mall, but instead I only spent $100. That is half on myself and the other half on personal and household items that I needed people. It made me feel good because it struck me: you can control what you spend if you just take a second and actually think about it. You don’t have to spend money for the simple sake that you have the money to spend. Maintain that power, don’t allow anyone to take it away from you or get into your head about what you need, when in all reality you don’t need anything at all people. The more you control your spending habits, the more control you have over your finances in general people.

Written By Jason Jones