Ever wanted to cheat on your budget? Find out why it’s okay!
Do you ever get tired of being careful with your money? I do. I have a website about taxes, I write articles on personal finance topics, and I consider myself pretty strict with myself when it comes to spending money.
But my self-discipline has its limits.
Take, for instance, the time in our life (me and my husband’s) when we were socking away money in anticipation of having our first child. We were self-disciplined enough to save all (or nearly all) of my income for a year and a half before she was born. And because I was scared to death of running out of money, we kept up that mindset for nearly a year after her birth date.
Splurging for a Big Purchase While Saving for a Big Goal
But eventually my frugality frayed around the edges, and I felt like we needed a reward for being so good for so long. So when my husband came to me and said, “We should buy a new flat screen TV for Christmas because we never spend any money,” I immediately said, “YES!” That was not like me at all.
First of all, I never make a big purchase without thinking about it for months on end. Plus, I would normally never agree to purchase a big item like that without putting up some sort of objection. But I think he could have said, “Let’s buy a new car,” and I would have been on board.
Is Frugality Sustainable? No One is Perfect…Cheat, Then Get Back on Track
When you’re trying to get a handle on your financial life, consistency is key. But let’s keep it real. It’s important to let yourself be bad every once in a while. Letting yourself slip and purchase something unnecessary / too expensive / ill-advised is part of the cycle. It’s like eating a piece of cake even though you are on a diet. Eating that one piece of seven-layer chocolate cake isn’t what ruins your diet; your diet is ruined when you let that piece of cake cajole you into lapsing on your diet entirely.
Never splurging on yourself would be like trying to eat raw veggies for every meal. No thank you!
You Can’t Stick to a Budget 100% of the Time Forever
Don’t beat yourself up if you experience momentary weakness when it comes to budgeting. Unless you just went out and bought a personal jet, you should be able to recover. 😉
So spend your money irresponsibly once in a while. Just make sure to get back on track when the time comes.
Amanda over at My Dollar Plan recently wrote “How to Splurge on a Budget.” After a period of stealthily paying off their debts, her husband also asked for a flat screen TV. Am I seeing a pattern here? Maybe men just need to be rewarded with electronics?! LOL Amanda talks about how they paid for the flat screen out of “found” money (money they came into unexpectedly, like blogging income and an appliance rebate). What a great idea!
And I just found this helpful post on 5 Unexpected Places You Can Bargain for a Discount. I never knew most of these!