Too many times I’ve heard “I’ve earned my money. I deserve to spend it,” as the justification for throwing away prior budgeting attempts. And you know what? You’re right! You DO deserve to spend your money. You deserve to spend your hard earned money on what will build the life you want.
Saving is Delayed Spending
Hate the idea of saving? Well, when you really think about it, ALL money is saved with the intent to just be spent at a later time. Saving for a car? All that money goes into the car once it’s saved up. Saving for a house? All that money gets spent on the house. Saving for retirement? That huge nest egg you save gets slowly spent down over the course of 30, 40 or 50+ years.
When you think about it this way, all that it really means is do you want spend that money now on X or later on Y?
Now, I don’t care how much money you have, you can’t buy EVERYTHING. Just like you can’t do everything. Time and money are limited resources that need to be prioritized. Even if you were to double or triple your income, if you don’t prioritize your spending all of that money will just slip through your fingers, effectively wasting it.
You deserve to spend your money on things that really matter to you. So, think about what really matters to you. Compare a shiny new widget that you want right now versus being able to take care of yourself in the future. Which of those matters more to you? Assuming that we’re all picking the latter option here, then that means you’d rather take that money and save it.
Don’t Delay Gratification
“But I don’t want to wait. I want to use my money to spend today.” I understand this feeling and it’s a tough one. The reason we think this is because having a budget can feel like a restriction to keep us from having or doing the things we want. The problem then IS your budget. Not the fact that you have one. Just that you have a bad one. Like your morning latte? Get it! Just plan it in.
The point of a budget isn’t to make it so that you can’t do what you want. It’s a spending plan that lets you figure out how you CAN do what you want.
As for some of the items that maybe just don’t fit into the amount of money you have right now, it might be time to get creative. For example, instead of buying yourself a new book every week, try using the library or, if you like to use an e-reader, use either the Libby or Hoopla app to find ebooks and audio books.
Like doing yoga? Me too! I use a free app called Downdog to do yoga every morning. Starting my day off calmly and quietly while still getting myself moving makes the rest of my day flow so much better. And, guess what, since I started doing this 2 years ago, it’s cost me exactly $0.
See if there’s a different way for you to try and work in all of the activities and things you love in life, while keeping the cost down. If there isn’t a way to reduce the cost of say that expensive handbag you want, then plan for it. Set the money aside over time and then reward yourself with exactly what you wanted.
You’re right. It is your money and you should be able to do exactly what you want with it. Just make sure that you have a plan to do that or like your time, it will quickly slip away from you.
Do you plan your spending? How do you keep doing the things you love while keeping the cost down? Let me know in the comments below!