It’s a balancing act! Spend less than you earn. Plan for tomorrow. What about today? You have to enjoy the now too.
The truth is some of us have become such heavy savers that we forget to live a little.
Don’t be so frugal that you put your desires on the backburner forever. If you can afford it, buy something you really want every now and then.
Last week I read a touching article, “What My Mother-in-law Taught Me about Personal Finance”, that pointed out this important principle. The author’s mother–in-law told her that she always wanted a Jaguar. Not the wild animal that roams the rain forests. The car.
The thing is that her mother-in-law was now up in age at 86. So several days later, the woman’s children took her to buy that Jaguar. You see she had the money to buy one for herself. The author wrote:
Clearly, it was a thrill to see this woman have something that she had always wanted. But what was clear to me was that she could have had this car all along. She could have had this car at age 45, when perhaps she would have enjoyed it even more. However, she was being frugal all those years and putting off the things that cost money.
This reminded me of a conversation I had with a family member a few years ago. He’s a great saver. The kind of person that’s always looking for a deal and buying used items to make his money go further.
One day I told him to buy something nice for himself. He deserved it. After all, he’s always saving and rarely spends any money on himself.
He’s managed his money very well. In fact, he’s set for retirement and beyond. Unlike many people, he’ll leave an inheritance to his children.
I don’t know if he ever did anything though, he only gave me a big smile. 😀
You Only Live Once
You work hard for your money, so enjoy it!
If you really want something and can afford it – there’s nothing wrong with buying it.
The key is to know how much you can afford to spend. That’s why Suze Orman’s segment “Can I Afford It?” is so wildly popular. People want to make sure they have enough put away (emergency savings, retirement) to splurge a little.
Clearly, you want to make sure it’s something you can afford. You don’t want your budget to take a nosedive. And you don’t want to raid your emergency fund or retirement savings either.
In summary, Don’t Be Afraid to Spend Your Money – Enjoy Life! Remember you just have to strike the right balance to stay on track.