Fritters? Yes, please! Frittering? No, thanks! It's time to stop frittering your money!
Everyone loves fritters. Yes, those delicious bites of fried dough, sweet with apples, savory with zucchini, or New England-style with clams. These tasty delights are worth celebrating, no doubt.
The other kind of fritter isn't such a delight. That’s when you use something up, little by little, usually with nothing to show for it. Whether you fritter away money, time, or an opportunity, it feels bad.
Maybe it’s not much. A $2 scratch ticket. An extra $3 for a muffin to go with your coffee. You have squandered cash here and there that could have helped pay down your credit card or funded a class to help you get ahead at work.
The problem is that most of us don’t realize we are frittering until the money already has been spent and we have nothing left to show for it. That’s because we don’t think about frittering when we're doing it. Browse the mall, stop by the coffee shop, take a peek at your favorite online store. Boom! Frittering occurs.
A better idea is to connect your spending to a goal. Notice we're not saying you should stop doing things you like that cost money. Just be mindful of what you buy. Does that muffin relate to your goals? Only you can decide that.
Here’s how to identify fritters. Track your spending for a week. When you are done, add up your daily and weekly totals. Scan your list of purchases. Stop making those purchases that aren’t relevant. Then take what you would have normally frittered away and put it towards a purpose you have identified as a financial or life goal.
Here’s a handy Fritter Finder you can print out, put in your wallet, log your spending for a week, and identify fritters.