" To get there you need to know your destination"
This is one of my favorite quote's and I use it a lot in work related tasks and with my personal goals. I really don't understand people who love to wonder around without destination and goals, but you see those quite often. Also, I heard time to time people saying; when I have more this and that, then I will do start to do this and that. To me this sounds like they are wondering around and soon they will be lost or at least they will not achieve their goals.
There is a popular quote in Finland; "money does not grow on trees" and you cannot avoid hearing it. Time to time it is use even by the middle class which should have money. But there is a trick, you just need to check they car and you probably understand why they don't have the money. Like Robert Kiyosaki has said, middle class buy liabilities and rick buy assets. Please check Rich Dad Poor Dad if you haven't.
So, how to avoid all these circumstances? You need to have a plan! Next time when you are starting to think; I cannot afford that one, stop it and turn the thinking around! How can I afford it and is this an asset or liability? And if it is a liability please think twice before buying it.
And how I use these thinking? For example, I have created a plan to my financial freedom. I know exactly how much money I need for retirement or freedom from work. At this stage and with current savings plan my freedom is 25 years away. My goal is to get portfolio to grew up to 600 000€ (~685 000 USD) and with 4% rule I think this is enough for me.
So, it took around 10 mins for me to create this plan you can see above. By doing this, it is much more understandable for me what I need to do and how much I need to save. This is only an one example, but you can use this ideology in many other topics and tasks when you think a little bit outside the box.