Your Crucial Purchase: A Shopping Notebook

Gary North

You have got to get your spending under control. A shopping list notebook is a crucial tool.

This is cheap. It fits in your pocket or purse. You must use it to discipline your spending.

You make this rule: “I will buy nothing that costs over $1 that is not in this notebook.” Then you stick to it.

This notebook is for tracking your spending. But it is a to-do list. If something is not on it, do not buy it.

You must make your shopping habits rational. Start here. When you go shipping, write down everything you really need. Write down an estimated price, too. See if you know what things cost. You should.

Plan your shopping for one trip per week. This will cut down on travel time, gasoline, and the wear and tear on your car (42 cents a mile, the Internal Revenue Service says).

Go through the stores fast. Don’t linger. Don’t scan the shelves. In and out. Fast.

No matter what you do, you will be tempted. You see it. You want it. You are tempted to buy it.


Start with this “mantra.” “Do I really need this? Let me list the ways.”

Then get out your spending/shopping list pocket notebook and write it down. List the ways.

See for yourself how crucial the item is.

Maybe you do need it. Then wait 30 days to buy it. Have a section in the notebook for buying. Have a date. Turn to it every day. See what that day allows you to buy. Think about this again.

But what if the sale ends? So what? The money you would have saved, once, is nothing compared to the money you will squander on stuff you don’t need or use if you don’t have a shopping notebook.

You are placing roadblocks in the way of your bad spending habits. This will help you.

I call this: “Going cool turkey.”

Buy the pocket-size notebook. That is a real need. For this, don’t wait 30 days. I hereby authorize you to buy it.

Don’t leave home without it!


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