My money past versus my current spending pattern

The first time I had to challenge my money patterns was when I was in my 20’s. At the time I thought that spending was what was expected in life (it wasn’t until much later it dawned on me that it’s not). Back then I had countless sleepless nights because I was worried about money and paying my bills. I had debt and a terrible spending pattern. One night I decided that it had to stop. That I had to change my life and that money should never again be a reason for lack of sleep. And since that day I haven't had a sleepless night because of debt or money problems. 

The cure was a book by a danish author Anne-Mette Davidsen, where she asked a range of in-depth questions about my relationship with money and had me reflect on my money present, past and future. I had so many aha-moments while reflecting, and I made so many decisions to stop certain patterns and biases, that my relationship with money drastically changed from one day to the other. Some examples of ways my pattern changed was that I started paying attention to what I was buying, I kept within my budget (I cut my credit cards in two and had an envelope with a month of cash) and I focused on paying off debt.

I wrote an article with a list of questions you can ask yourself inspired by the book (but not 100% the same questions). 

And In my 12 months of investing practise ideas I give you some inspiration to how you can get started reflecting on your money patterns.

A couple of years later I met my husband. He had completely other spending patterns than me. He was always saving up for any large purchase, living low-cost and did not throw money around in general. Through all the years together, I’ve adapted some of his patterns – for example I started paying even more money off my student debt by cutting down on take-out and similar extravagant behaviours. I still enjoy being extravagant from time to time and it makes these times extra special because it’s not all the time – all the time extravaganza is just lazy behaviour.

When I discovered value investing, I found out that life is not about living from pay-check to pay-check purchasing stuff and accumulating nice things. Instead, money must be working for you. "Pay yourself first" – I had heard it before but never really gotten it (and honestly thought it was a hoax). It requires training and focus, but today I pay myself first. Before value investing I would invest in random things from micro loans, crypto currency, web domains, stocks and investing funds. I had no plan an no clue about what I was doing. What I highly appreciate about value investing (which is also why I'm so passionate about sharing this strategy), is that the principles creates certainty for me and gives me confidence in making investing decisions on my own.

But there's more benefits of value investing: In 2020 I spent half the money of what I spent in 2019 and this year my goal is to spend even less money. Today I track my spending in an app, which tracks my credit card transactions; it breaks down into categories and show me graphs comparing to past spending. At the end of each month I review the result and as I can see graphs in real time it keeps me on my path (well except in April, where I allowed myself to splurge on some courses). You can probably find similar apps in your region. Search for keywords like "money tracker", "expense manager" or "budgeting app" in your desired app store. I also track my net worth and my investment goals on a monthly basis to ensure that I'm on track with my 5-year goal. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook I keep you updated on my monthly progress.


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