UNITED STATES—Have you ever had that feeling of wanting to buy something, but knowing in the back of your mind that the funds are not quite there? Of course, we’ve all been put in that situation time and time again. Recently for me the past 3 months have been slightly tough. I’ve seen my bills slightly skyrocket, all the while people begging more and more to dig into my pockets.

At the end of the day, I’m the one left wondering just where is all of my money going? As Americans, we have to understand the difference between a need and a want. There are certain things that are absolute necessities, and there are others that bring what I call temporary joy. You have this eagerness to get the item, but once you do, there is a slight emptiness to having it. When you want something so bad and finally get your hands on it, it’s difficult to put how you feel into words.

The temptation will always be there to spend, for women slightly more than men, but we all have those things that make us happy. Rather its clothing, music, movies, sports memorabilia, electronics, the list goes on and on. There are ways to fight temptation though. For starters, if you don’t go out, you don’t have to worry about spending. Yes, it’s easy for someone to say just don’t buy it, but when you see it and if it’s at a super discount, the mind tells one otherwise.

You have to occupy your time wisely. What does this mean? It means find activities or chores that can be done around the house. Perhaps cleaning up the basement, the attic, the garage, the backyard; there is always something to do to divert your attention from spending. While the blow of not having something might hurt at the moment, trust me your wallet and credit card will thank you later.

If you find it difficult to sit at home and you have to venture out, don’t take all those credit cards and funds that you do have with you because if you see something you are inclined to buy it. The temptation to resist will be in your mindset, but the desire to spend will be as well. By nature, human beings are always inclined to want things. We will always want things and that starts at a very early age.

The desire to place a want above a need is something that gets so many of us into a tight bind. It gets to the point where it’s almost impossible to escape the madness, no matter how hard we try to fight it. The biggest problem most Americans face when it comes to spending, it’s spending funds before they actually have them. Trust me; you all know precisely what I’m talking about. Those situations where you are counting your check for the following week before it has even been cashed to purchase those pair of blue jeans, golf clubs or cologne that is not really needed.

Bad move, you should never count any money until it’s directly in the palm of your hand, rather its cash, check or credit. As Americans, we do this day in and day out, so much to the point that by the time we receive that check, we are grappling with our minds how we’re going to obtain more funds to pay off debt that has been created.

The temptation to spend is difficult to resist, but imagine the goals you can accomplish by not spending just to spend. Remember a $1 a day goes a long way in a year, whereas the more you spend the less that you have. Money doesn’t save itself.