I’m not a fan of micromanaging. I’m a fan of setting your principles. When I go into a store, for clothes or books or whatever, I ask: How important is this? I’ll often take a picture with my iPhone, and if three days later I’m still thinking about it, I’ll go back and buy it. In the store, it’s in front of you and it’s so cute and so tempting and it’s in just the right light—it’s hard to resist. Or if it’s a book, you read it in a day and then it’s on your bookshelf for ten years.
It all becomes much easier if you start to believe that almost everything around you should represent you. The things you own should be something that you truly love, and most the things we buy aren’t. If you can avoid those things, you can control your expenses. It’s about exercising that judgment. Money is a state of mind issue. You work from principles: What is important to me, what do I want in the future—start from there and work backwards. If I want to be comfortable no matter what happens, I have to do that for myself.