Blog 6: An Inventory can help you minimize and plan your spendings

2 min read

Games like RPG games use inventories to add limitations to the player and force them into making meaningful decisions and prioritize what they want to carry around and keep. Sometimes you get the choice of upgrading your inventory with in game currency or experience points. I find these mechanics quite translatable into real life. As a student you mostly have low income and little experience about your desires and needs, once you level up through society and get a job you gain the ability to buy more things. So like in games you should be limited in how much you can buy and posses in relation to your wealth and experience. Creating an inventory allowed me to reflect on how much stuff I have accumilated, and with that knowledge I was able to make plans for purchases or getting rid of things. I need to decide my boundaries but by filling in what I have, it raised my awareness. Additionally I found that somethings need to get renewed so I planed in the expiration date of something or decided that I could upgrade eventually when I have the money. As an example lets take shoes. Shoes are something that has an expiration date due to the nature of its use case. One walks in them, therefor they break over time. This can be somewhat estimated, this allows me to plan the purchase of a new pair in lets say one year. Since one knows this degradation will happen it makes sense to add this into my budget plan. Another example is a winter jacket. Jackets have a much longer lifespan depending on their material. Some may even last a lifetime. Lets say you have a fairly expensive winter jacket that you got as a present. You know it will last another 20-30 years, but you do not actually like it that much because it does not fit your style. In your inventory you could add a condition to your jacket. For example: If you reach a new milestone in your career you buy a new jacket as a reward and sell your old one. All these things could be added in your inventory to help you plan better, allowing you to make higher quality choices for purchasing items. The issue I had was finding a proper application that allows me to do this. So i resorted to Excel or GoogleSheets for this again. 

In the image below you can see a snippet of the inventory that I designed in google sheets. As you can see I added the purchase date and a date for the next purchase with a budget for the item. This gives me a quick overview of what I have and needs to be purchased as well as indicating how much i spend on these items. All together I would spend 46 € for all products together. I also know that all these products run out about every 3 months, so therefor I can estimate that I spend around 200€ on these products a year. This can then be added to my budget plan.