When we place restrictions on ourselves, the thoughts can be consuming. Take dieting. When we restrict sugar or cut out carbs, it almost always leads to us cracking under pressure and eating cookies or a big bowl of spaghetti. But that’s because we can’t and shouldn’t live an all-or-nothing lifestyle. And the same goes for our expenditures. If we create a budget or life where we can never indulge, we are bound to splurge and break that budget. Instead, it’s more important to create a realistic plan. The best way to do so is to carve out time and money that allow for you to treat yourself.
Let’s say you love pedicures, but you’ve decided that you need to start saving that $50 a week toward a bigger goal. But what you don’t realize is that it wasn’t just the act of getting a pedicure, it was also an hour of time just to yourself. You start feeling a little down or overwhelmed or just not right about a month in and end up splurging on something else to make you feel better: a new dress or shoes or car. But that splurge cost more than the $200 you spent in a month and didn’t satisfy you in the same way. What you thought was a good budget decision actually turned out to be detrimental. But why? It could be the restrictions, but the act of spending $50 could also quell other spending impulses. I tell people it’s important to carve out time for themselves and treat themselves. It’s a method that makes the long-term budget goal a little easier to handle and eventually achieve.
The pedicure example could be substituted for another type of treat: season passes, going to the theater, massages, or adrenaline-fueling activities. But the message is the same: by looking after yourself and your needs and desires, you’ll be more apt to succeed in your other goals. It won’t feel like such a restriction has been placed on you and you’ll still feel like you’re enjoying life.
For more information about treating yourself while still staying true to your financial plans, visit tswealth.com.