OK, the truth is out, I like to spend money. It is hard sticking to a budget, saving, and clipping and pretending to be absolutely and wretchedly poor when I know there is money sitting in a bank account and all I have to do is swipe a little plastic card and spend, spend, spend.
I have found myself over the years going through trends (we all do it) where I save and save for months at a time and then blow it all as fast I can on all the things that I’ve been drooling over for those months and months. What have I done about it? I have learned to take it easy on myself.
The truth is, very few people can live on bread alone and I am one of them. I have certain downfalls like very good food at not-so-cheap restaurants; so, if I have the urge and after a few days I still have that urge, I just go for it. Sometimes a small “splurge” can prevent out of control spending. Just know your limits. If you just can’t stand to use another coupon, go without coupons for a week. If you just gotta have a mocha frappachino from Starbucks, limit yourself to one or two during that week and once the urge is gone, go back to saving.
I find myself starting to feel uneasy if I keep up my spending spree after my urges have been satisfied. I do not feel guilty. Don’t ever feel guilty about spending your own money if it is still within your means. So what you spent $40 dollars on yourself for once! At least you spent your money instead of charging it to your credit card. Pat yourself on the back for scraping and scrounging as often as you can and don’t be ashamed of treating yourself; just remember when to get back into the game.
I keep myself in check by withdrawing “blow money”. This money I use if I just have to spend. Once it is gone, I don’t spend anymore. When I can look at my blow money and see it dwindling down, it is harder to spend it. The good thing about my blow money is it gives me a little wiggle room during the week without undoing my whole budget and I never binge spend. (If you feel you really have a problem with spending, you might want to check out The Simple Dollar blog, that talks about being honest with your spending, or maybe seek professional help.)
From now on, don’t beat yourself up about buying a nice pair of shoes or a circular saw. Most things you consider as splurging, may actually be put into a necessity category but cost more than your usual purchases. I admit that I am usually the cheapskate, but I don’t deny my urges because I like spending.