To take control of your spending, you must first be aware of your spending. This mindfulness can be difficult for many people to achieve. GRS reader (and awesome artist) Tsilli pointed me to the work of Kate Bingaman-Burt, who has a unique way of being mindful of the money she spends: She draws it.

Bingaman-Burt teaches graphic design at Portland State University, but for the past eight years, she’s also been documenting her spending habits at her blog, Obsessive Consumption. But this isn’t just a spending log — it’s art! Here’s an example:

Would drawing my Burgerville milkshake make me more conscious of my spending habits? I’m not sure. But I do think that were I still in debt, drawing my credit-card statements would make me more mindful. Bingaman-Burt does that too:

I’m not suggesting that you should start drawing what you buy, but I do think that anything you can do to increase your mindfulness is great. It’s when we spend without thinking that we get into trouble.

You can see more of Bingaman-Burt’s work at Obsessive Consumption or on Flickr.

This article is about Funny Money, Odds and Ends