Oh, Tom and Donna, you are my favourites 😎
I’m a money saver. I’ve been saving money diligently since I was very young, with the only exception being my first and (so far) only year of university, when my bank made the foolish decision granting me a student line of credit. In a few short months, my credit card went from being used for tuition and school related expenses like books, to being spent on shoes, make up, and food (I spent a ridiculous amount of money on food during my college year). I learned the hard way that paying the minimum balance was–and is– always a stupid idea.
Anyway, I have since reformed my self-indulgent ways, and now I save to buy what I want. I abide by the motto “Give. Spend. Save.”
However, I am also a firm believer in the philosophy of “Treat yo self!”
First, I make sure all my bills are paid. I make all of my monthly charitable donations. (It’s more blessed to give than to receive, after all ) Then I check to see if I have enough cash on hand. (Treating yo self doesn’t have to involve incurring added credit card debt) And finally, I buy whatever I feel like buying because I can.
I usually treat myself with one of three things: books, make up, and fancy pens. I would have included clothes and shoes, but I’m of the “I-buy-when-nothing-fits-and-or-is-falling-apart” crowd. I hate clothes shopping.
There are many reasons to save and invest your money. They always involve planning for the future. “Carpe Diem” (or it’s dumber cousin “YOLO”) means diddly-squat when you’re flat broke. On the other hand, obsessively hoarding money isn’t good for you either. (I know, because I used to do it.)
Like most things in life, there needs to be a balance between spending on needs and luxuries, planning for the future, and saving in preparation for unforeseen circumstances. No one ever plans to spend $400 on medical expenses for a pet, but someday it may happen (as it did for me 4 years ago).
Plus you can’t fund an education on hopes and fairy dust.
In 2010, I discovered the magic of eBay and went on a bit of a spending bender. (You know it’s bad when your mother has to lecture you about your spending habits) I have since put the breaks on my unnecessary spending, and have a good chunk of cash stashed away for whatever may happen.
That doesn’t mean that I won’t, say, buy an expensive eye shadow palette that has been on my list for 6 months. It just means that I won’t buy 20 other things to go along with it.
Another thing about treating yo’ self? Moderation is your friend.
Take into account what you can afford to buy and what you cannot. If you have to pay by credit, you can’t afford it. Choose your treats wisely.
Making a list of what you want cuts down on impulsive spending. I have one rule for shopping: if it’s not on the list, it’s not coming home with me. If it hasn’t been on the list for at least 2 weeks, it’s not coming home with me. Unfortunately, I had to end up with thousands of useless trinkets in my house before I figured out that I really should not buy something just because it’s there. (Or on sale)
My last point: Live within your means. Having expensive tastes is fine, but only if you have enough money stashed to afford them and/or rich friends who are willing to spend money on you. If not, place limits on how you spend your cash. Instead of buying 8 pairs of designer shoes, buy two, and spend the rest on something inexpensive (or, you know, save it). (Notice I said ‘inexpensive’, not cheap. Cheap ends up being really expensive in the long run) Also? Consignment and secondhand stores offer designer brands for affordable prices. There’s no point having a house full of fabulous things if you’re only going to regret buying them when your monthly bank statement is sent to you. Treating yourself should be fun, not stressful.
So by all means, treat yo’ self once in a while. Eat at nice restaurants, go to concerts, drink good coffee, buy luxurious leather goods.
Don’t forget to count the cost.
“Be careful to guard yourselves against every kind of greed, because a person’s life doesn’t consist of the amount of possessions he has.”
Thank you for reading!